meat filled pastries
Hello and welcome. Not much of a pre-amble today, an Albion Rovers home double header has me working on this right to the wire after some technical issues with the laptop. That said the Christmas period is upon us and so in true festive spirit I thought I’d share a wee pie themed ditty from last year to celebrate this tide of yule:
‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,
Meat Filled all the way.
Oh what fun it is to have the gravy on my face.’
‘Christmas Pie, Christmas Pie,
Pastry golden brown.
Oh the taste of a brown sauce squirt is by far the best around.’
You’re welcome. I’m still far prouder of that than a grown man should be, but as I’m sure you have already figured out my mind doesn’t always conform to normal sociable standards.
Anyway without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.
Where: Glenesk Park, Dundee Violet v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round
Price: At £1.10 it was slightly more than some junior pies I have encountered this season but equally it was slightly less than some others and when compared with some of the prices found at SPFL grounds it’s still a bit of a bargain really.
Presentation: I don’t know how old you all are but when I was a nipper and had to use the facilities at school you were always forced to dry your hands on paper towels that would be better used to sand down that desk tidy you’d cobbled together in Craft & Daft. It was with this pie these paper towels resurfaced in Dundee as it sat proudly atop of one in a rather snazzy teal colour. It’s sometimes nice to be different but the harsh realities of scrubbing my face with these napkins of yore were not something to look forward to.
Meatiness: As can be seen by the greasy shadow on my paper towel there was a fair bit of fatty moisture in this pie. In fact being truthful on first appearances it wasn’t really a looker but that doesn’t mean it can’ be tasty and thankfully this wasn’t too bad. It was greasy but just about managed to be not overly so. It had quite a shallow fill of muttony goodness and I felt it was a tad under seasoned although there was still a prominent taste of meat. There was no peppery kick but all in all the filling tasted far better than it looked. Solid if unspectacular.
Pastry: The pastry was quite soft, perhaps a consequence of what looked like a significant amount of boil out causing some greasy puddles on top of the pie. The top edges were crisp and if memory serves me right the grease actually boosted some flavour back into the pastry. Once again it didn’t look great but there was enough flavour to keep a hungry man happy.
Brown Sauce: Suitably tangy with a touch of heat courtesy of The Happy Shopper.
Overall: A bit of a horror to look at but was a perfectly acceptable inductee to The Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame.
Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy you sniff a few times before going, ‘ah it’ll be alright’.
Once again apologies for a slightly truncated edition this time out, there will be a fuller pre-amble in my next review, and a return of the luxury pie again from Dundee Violet.
So until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries one mans journey to champion the humblest of pastries, the pie, thanks for visiting and your continued support.
So what’s been the happy haps? Well since my last entry I have been awarded the honour of judgeship at the 2015 World Scotch Pie Championships. To say I’m chuffed is a bit of an understatement, never in a million years did I think that when I started this little venture 16 months ago I would find myself responsible for helping crown a world champion in pies. I would like to thank Div at Pie and Bovril for giving me the call to arms and the Scotch Pie Club for accepting his recommendation. Judging takes place on the 11th November in Dunfermline and if you are reading this thinking you have a belter of pie to offer then you still have five days to enter at the link below:
This championship does everything I want in highlighting the humble pie as the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions that it truly deserves to be. The winners will get announced in January and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it all goes.
My second piece of news involves another episode in my travels with the Tartan Army this time from Warsaw. Now I’ll save you the blow-by-blow account of whatever drunken debauchery I may or may not have got involved in but what I would like to share is my television debut on Sky Sports HQ. Accosted by David Tanner outside a rather swanky hotel after picking up tickets for the game myself and my fellow companions swiftly found ourselves in the media spotlight responding to a series questions about ticket prices and our predicted match outcome. Now in hindsight a shout to Meat Filled Pastries wouldn’t have gone a miss but it was all good fun in the end. If anybody happened to be recording Sky Sports HQ at about 3.15pm on the 14th October give me a shout would love to give it a watch.
So an eventful few days have been had. The last 3 days have been spent sleeping but here I am feeling semi-normal again so without further ado let’s rate some pie!
Where: Forthbank Stadium, Stirling University v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Second Round
Price: £2, double the price of the pie fare I have encountered in the lower leagues of junior football and quite a bit more than even the most expensive of junior pies. It surprised me quite a bit considering the fledgling nature of the club and the Lowland League set up that it currently sits within. I’m sure the pricing will be for economical reasons but with a target audience made up mainly of students it could be cheaper.
Presentation: Remember when you were wee and you used to go to the shop and buy a 10p mix up from the local café or newsagent and it would actually have 10 sweets in it (oh for those halcyon days) well remember the bags that the sweets would come in, that is what this pie was presented on. Not in. On, like really. What made this all the stranger was that on the other side of the counter, out of reach of your average punter was a pile of small black napkins that every pie eater’s heart would have been desiring. Stranger still some people got given one of these napkins and some didn’t. As one of the unlucky few I soldiered on with my paper poke but a consistent approach to presentation in the future would be much appreciated.
Meatiness: This pie was a tasty treat, admittedly it’s tastiness boosted by my Sunday afternoon hunger. The meat inside was moist without being greasy and was well filled. There was a gentle peppery kick, not mind blowing but with enough of a presence to add another dimension to the flavour profile of this pie. Outside of that there wasn’t a great deal to be said about it to be honest, for two quid I was hoping for something a little more.
Pastry: Now when I first went to get a pie before kick off the lovely ladies at the Stirling Uni counter informed me that none were present and as such me and fifty or so others found ourselves waiting in the half time pie queue. This immediate need for pie I think then resulted in the pastry being ever so slightly underdone. It was too soft and it missed the crunch of crispy edges. Due to the pastries softness it also splintered all the way round dividing this pie into loose wedges much like you would find on a deep dish pizza. It didn’t make it difficult to eat but stopped it from hitting any kind of pie perfection.
Brown Sauce: I’ve been a bit lax on this section I know but this seemed a good juncture to bring it back. The brown sauce provided in this instance was difficult to pinpoint as it was presented in a small white bowl in which you spooned your required dollop on with. At least it was different from a squeezy bottle or sachet.
Overall: A bit too pricey for my taste given the comparative surroundings but a solid effort none the less. The paper poke and bowl were a novel approach to match day pie preparation.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto with a few idiosyncrasies thrown in for good measure.
Another pie down, and the first of my Lowland League adventures complete, next up remains a mystery but until next time go forth and eat pie!
Hi folks, I know I know it’s been a while I apologise, I had some battery recharging to do and some bits and pieces of non pie related stuff that needed some immediate attention but fear not Meat Filled Pastries is back to work with a review from Shettleston Juniors based in Glasgow’s east end but before that time for your regular pie-atribe.
As I am sure many of you will be aware that recently Scotland was in the midst of referendum fever and whilst I am disappointed with the outcome I am not here to go on a mini rant of gloom and doom. Firstly that’s not in my nature as I, like many others, am hopeful that whatever happens in the coming months will be beneficial for Scotland and its patrons at home and abroad but secondly, and most importantly, football and politics should not mix.
Let me explain.
As I have mentioned previously I have been known to frequent Ibrox on the odd occasion. On my last visit I was greeted on entry by a raft of ‘No’ paraphernalia making my intuitive decision not to display a ‘Yes’ badge all the wiser. On reaching my seat it was apparent that the partisan Broomloan Front section of the stadium were also very much for the union focusing more on chanting Rule Britannia and flashing ‘No Thanks’ signs than concentrating on what was actually a fairly competent Rangers performance. Now this is an easy illustrative example to make, and it would be even easier to think that the idiotic behaviour of the few in George Square the day after the vote was driven, in the main, by Rangers supporters. It would be impossible to ignore that there are some elements of truth in this assumption but to chastise the masses for the behaviours of a minority is downright ludicrous as for the minority of idiots on one side there can be no doubt that the counter argument will be home to just as many morons. I would have been no happier to go to a Scotland game to be met with ‘Yes’ campaigners thrusting ‘No to Trident’ posters in my face or calling me unpatriotic if, for whatever reason, I had chosen to vote the other way.
Tese behaviours were not solely reserve for the Old Firm or Tartan Army minded amongst and in the main any debates I saw, heard or were involved in where of a convivial nature at football grounds across the country but the fact they were happening still irked me. What right does a team you support have to thrust its political affiliations on you, why can you not support a team because they’re close by, because your grandfather and father supported them or because quite frankly you got so disillusioned that the idea of a new football team to follow signalled a fresh start toyour life as a supporter. This political posturing by fans and clubs is not reserved to independence either. Palestinian, Israeli, Irish, Northern Irish and Catalan flags have all been flown at grounds across Scotland as some kind of misguided solidarity with a situation that only a small percentage of those in attendance will fully comprehend.
I am not against political debate, I am all for it and I hope that the revitalised Scottish scene continues to grow but please, please, please when you wrap that scarf around your neck, push your arm through the turnstile and launch into the traditional kick off roar just please leave the politics at home and let the football fuel all the debates you need.
So yeah pack it in! Anyway we’re back to Shettleston so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Greenfield Park, Shettleston v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division
Price: £1. Something that has quickly became the standard price in the West Superleague First Division. My, that’s a bit of a mouthful innit? Anyway one golden nugget for a pie can’t really grumble about that.
Presentation: This was just bizarre, as you will shortly see, this pie was presented in a polystyrene bowl with no napkin. I’ve heard of a roll and pie an often scoffed at delicacy, but a bowl and pie, no thank you. And the no napkin scenario is just lunacy. ( A slight exaggeration on my part as one contained after completing the prerequisite number of nods and winks). The pie etiquette here was just all wrong.
Meatiness: I am afraid to say this was not the finest example of a scotch pie I have ever encountered. There was a slim layer of mince within this pie but that was it. It had a slight savoury flavour but there was no distinct peppery kick and although it was moist all the moistness achieved was to wash away the meaty flavour found within. Texturally it was fine but I’d be a liar if I said that this particularly meaty filling was something I would go out my way to have again.
Brown Sauce: I mentioned earlier on about poor pie etiquette, this was in evidence once again when on the request for brown sauce I was not allowed the simple task of applying it myself but instead presented with a pre-sauced pie. My question is simple, how do you know how much sauce I like on my pie? For example, some people smear a layer so thick it looks like they’re icing a cake while others suffice with the merest of splodges. Let me sauce my own pie!.
Pastry: To be fair the meat was not the biggest problem and neither was the saucing debacle, the bowl, however, was and this had disastrous consequences for the pastry underneath. Politely put it was a bit soft but realistically it was a soggy mess. Here’s why. Because the pie was placed in a polystyrene bowl the steam was trapped in a pocket between the pies base and the bottom of the bowl, now as we know when steam gets trapped it forms condensation causing water droplets to form on or around the surface of an item, in this case the pie. This meant that as you bit the pie the bahookie fell out of it almost straight away. The more you bit into it the more mess it made. The pastry walls started crumbling and before I knew it theres was pits of pastry floating about everywhere in a mincy sea. It was just all a bit wrong.
Overall: See if this hadn’t been served in a bowl this would probably have been a perfectly serviceable bog standard Saturday snack, however it wasn’t and along with the fails in pie etiquette this pie did not leave many fond memories.
Gravy Factor: A Gravy Boat. But where’s the Gravy? Ditch the bowls.
I feel I have to say this ever time but I don’t like writing negative reviews, but I am nothing but honest and when it comes to all things football you will never find me blowing smoke up anyone’s orifice. Anyway the next review shall be from Ayrshire at Ladywell Park home of Maybole Juniors, I promise I’ll try to get this out a bit quicker.
However until next time. go forth and eat pie!
Interested in some non pie work then visit The Football Pink at, http://footballpink.net/2014/09/22/the-sporadic-scottish-football-round-up-first-installment/ for the first of my Scottish football midseason reviews covering men’s, women’s, senior and junior football in Scotland.
Hello and welcome to Meat Filled Pastries the home of pies, pies and a little bit of football chat. Usually I would have a light-hearted pre-amble about something that has irked me about the recent weeks football activities but today will be slightly different.
A year ago to the week one of my closest friends passed away after a 2 year battle with bowel cancer, last week I was asked to say a few words about him as a tribute and for once I struggled. Not because I didn’t miss him, because I do sometimes without even knowing it. No the reason I struggled, me, the man who once a week writes a 1000 word diatribe based around pies, is that for all the words I write and say they don’t really mean anything, not really. I’m glad it spreads a little happiness and I’ll continue to do for as long as its fun but it’s not going to change the world. Might change a few pie suppliers, but not the world. So here it is, inspired by the eloquent and heartfelt sentiments of his friends and family I do my best to truly articulate what my friend meant to me, a meat filled tribute if you will:
Smit was a wonderful man and friend. For all the time I knew him he never once changed who he was or how he acted for anyone and that’s because he didn’t have to. Every day eulogies appear where someone is dubbed as the kindest or the nicest or the most well liked person and I’m sure in their own way they are but in Smit there was a man who nobody could say a bad word about. He would always be there for some hijinks or there to call you an idiot, something I had much experience of but most importantly he was always there. Even through the traumas of chemotherapy, of endless doctors appointments and hospital stays I never one felt that he wanted you to be anything other than normal with him. To live life to the end with that strength is something that I can only aspire too.
Smit died aged just 28 an age at which no person should pass away. When something like that happens its hard not to evaluate your own sense of worth and the decisions you make, it’s just human nature, the sudden realisation that life is fleeting and then invincibility of youth is a cruel façade that can be so quickly and unfairly taken away. The words of Meat Filled Pastries may not have been here was it not for the likes of ‘The Grambler’ and ‘Rubbertoe Mankini’ some of Stewart’s finest creations and the choices I make now are not made with more than a thought to what he would do if he was standing there beside me. I’ve become a little braver and I’d like to think a little wiser but these changes pale in comparison against what my friend had to go through. I will always remember, I will never forget.
A year down the line and the focus of Stewart’s friends and family are firmly focused on raising the profile of bowel cancer and The Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund has raised nearly £15,000 to date. If you want to donate then you can do so at the following link, https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3/, you don’t have to but if you do it will be greatly appreciated.
The Grambler is still going strong left in the capable hands of Stewart’s father Kevin, who continues to produce the betting tips that will win one day win you millions and all it asks in return is you push a little of those winnings towards the funds way. Below is a link to those testimonies I described earlier, if you’ve got this far you might as well read a little further:
The next fund-raising event is scheduled for Sunday 7th September and below I’ve attached all the information you need to know for a fun filled family day out!
Thank you for bearing with me through all that if it’s not your cup of tea I understand but it would be remiss of me not to use my mild infamy to promote something close to my heart. But for now let’s have a change of pace and why many of you are, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Ravenscraig Stadium, Greenock v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division
Price: £1. One single golden nugget has to depart from your paw to be rewarded with a meat and pastry snack. That my friend, in today’s world of £59.7m Angle Di Marias and £16m Danny Welbecks , is an absolute bargain.
Presentation: Being a scotch pie this rode bare back in my hand with just a medium-sized white blanket playfully wrapped around it.
Meatiness: This was a traditional scotch pie but if I’m being honest it was all rather disappointing. There was definitely a meaty centre derived from the most aged of mutton but it lacked any real flavour. There was no peppery hit and neither was there a savoury note to the meat inside. It was moist but didn’t feel lubricated with the wafer thin film of grease that a good scotch pie should leave on your lips as you consume it. This was certainly an instance where I was thankful for a healthy dollop of HP to add some much needed spice and zing.
Pastry: The pastry was OK, it was a hot water crust and a little crispy but also managed to be a little too soft on the sides at the same time. There was no hole in top to let the heat escape although to be fair I am yet to be convinced those pies that give a sneak peek of the meat inside do so for no other reason than aesthetic appeal. There is nothing more frustrating than a pie that you can’t get enthused about when you spend a good chunk of your time reviewing them but the pastry on this pie did little to lift my apathy.
Overall: I ate it, but it’s not devastating to think that it could be another wee while before I have another one.
Gravy Factor: A little below bog standard Bisto. Disappointing.
The next helping of pie will be from an as yet undetermined location so keep your eye out by following me @MFPTasty.
However, until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Hello and first of all my humblest apologies as it has been a couple of weeks since my last pie story and I can assure you that it’s not for a lack of football in the time since my last entry. visited both Beith and Airdrieonians but on each occasion was disappointed to find that new pies were not to be found whilst my own team have been in the midst of a raft of home games that’s not due to end for a couple of weeks yet.
In Beith the steak pie I desired was not on offer and my meat filled misery was compounded further when I was told that they hadn’t made any of their wonderful Chicken & Haggis offerings, something that I am pretty sure disappointed every single member of the Bellsdale Park crowd. Last week I went to Airdrie to take in my first ever Women’s Champions League between FC Union Nove Zamsky of Slovakia and WFC Kharkiv of Ukraine. It was a freebie on a Monday afternoon so I went with my pie expectations set more to hope than expectation although it was still a shame that they weren’t able to furnish my mush with a pie especially considering a wind was blowing that made it feel more like Lapland than Lanarkshire.
But have no fear as here we have Pie 73, The Arthurlie Steak Pie, so without much further ado, because let’s be honest it’s been two weeks, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, Sectional League Cup Section 5. Entry: £5
Price: Priced at £1.50 this was a fairly priced offering falling well below the average of £2 found in senior Scottish football last season for luxury pastries.
Presentation: It was naked! Well not naked it had its roasting hot tin foil underwear on caressing the pastry skin of this meat filled morsel. What I mean by naked is that there was no napkin, no medium-sized wafer of tissued comfort, no piece of kitchen roll or tiny square of white paper to dab my lips with and mop my brow, nothing! Now using my years of pie eating experience I think there was a napkin shortage as there were definitely a small mound present behind Dunterlie’s pie counter but they seemed to be getting dished out to the select few. Maybe I should have made my presence known as Chief-Pie-Officer of Meat Filled Pastries but really should I have had to? Anyway with the lack of a napkin and the aforementioned roasting hot tin foil sleeve in hand I carried out a spot of impromptu juggling before taking my first bite.
Meatiness: Being a steak pie this had to be nothing less than luxurious and I think it made a fairly good fist of it. The meat inside was tender and was chunked into a variety of different sizes, some that slipped straight down the throat and some that required a good chew. There was no hint of pepper or anything out of the ordinary flavour wise but that didn’t stop it from being well seasoned and tasty. There was a lot of gravy in this pie, something I am a big fan of, but something I would have been an even bigger fan of if I had had a napkin. You see as I took a bite, not knowing the size of the steak my teeth had munched down on, bits of meat fell out of there pastry cave and into the shiny silver lagoon below. This resulted in a lot of finger picking and due to a lack of napkin a lot of finger licking. Thankfully this pie was consumed prior to kick off otherwise I almost certainly would have missed something. It’s not really a complaint to be fair as I’m forever eating things with my fingers that I shouldn’t, roast dinners, curries, soup (OK not soup) but when I do I always make sure I have something to wipe my greasy paws on after I finish, it would have been good to have a napkin with this pie as tasty as it was.
Pastry: A puff pastry top with well fired sides. The top was just cooked enough to provide crispness whilst also allowing the soft under layers to mix with the gravy. The sides were well baked at the top and bottom but seemed a little doughy in the middle although due to its crispness I was able to employ the break-off and scoop technique by breaking off part of the crust to use as an edible spoon to scoop up the meat and gravy residue. This pastry had a function far beyond tantalising the taste buds.
Overall: A tasty steak pie, but woe betide the good folk of Barrhead if they run out of napkins again.
Gravy Factor: Messy Gravy. More pastry spoon than silver spoon.
The next helping of pie will be from an as yet undetermined location so keep your eye out by following me @MFPTasty.
However, until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Have you ever tried to eat a pie in 28 degree heat? Yeah me neither, until now that is.
For the unaware amongst you a heat wave hit the west coast of Scotland that left many reaching for the Factor 50 and as the Commonwealth Games rolled into town I had enough time to nip to Castle Park, home of Blantyre Victoria, for a pre-season friendly before getting home just in time to see a bunch of dancing teacakes look on in horror as SuBo fluffed her lines.
It could have been worse though, for all we know wee Susie could have looked out at the psychedelic nonsense going on before her and thought she had died and gone to Tunnock’s heaven, diving head first into an unsuspecting volunteer trying to first tear the wrapper off the marshmallowy behemoth before consuming it whole. This of course leads to the all important decision of whether or not to lay out the empty foil flat on the ground or to roll it up into a tiny ball before flicking it into the distance in no particular direction. The poor lassie.
Sorry, went off on a tangent there. The point I was aiming when I started out here was that a roasting hot day is not ideal pie eating conditions, but as always I found a way to bring a new pie review to you.
So after finding a shady spot to cool myself down, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Castle Park, Blantyre Victoria v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly. Entry: £3. Programme: None.
Price: There was no menu adorning the pie stall window, and in haste to get out the sun I forgot to ask how much I had to part with for my pastry. However using some simple algebra deducting the price of multiple cans of fizzy pop from the pie purchases of those around me I can confirm this pie can be yours for a solitary British pound. Bargain!
Presentation: It was white. It was medium-sized. It was a napkin. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Meatiness: This pie was perfectly pleasant. Nothing outstanding but a tasty meaty treat nonetheless. The meat was relatively well packed although did fall apart a little the more I bit into it. It was moist without being greasy and although the peppery linger didn’t last long on the palate it was still present after I’d finished. It was the kind of pie that is hard to get really enthused about but at the same time leaves you with nothing bad to say either.
Brown Sauce: That’s right we have a new section folks. It’s something I have toyed with in the past but my early season experiences have shown that the sauce itself is a stand alone feature of any pie whether it be good or bad. So how was the brown sauce at Castle Park? In a word: tangy, adding a sparkle of flavour that this pie was maybe slightly lacking. However be careful as too much and you could end up looking like your sucking an invisible milkshake through an equally invisible straw. It provided some added lubrication with a distinct tart tang.
Pastry: The pastry was soft and crumbly, the edges weren’t particularly crisp so there was no brown sauce dunking on this pie but it did mean that if you were in a rush you could eat this pie in a flash. This pastry would be a favourite with the pie eating sprinters but may disappoint those who are in it for the long haul.
Overall: New section about Brown Sauce aside this was a pretty standard pie, but for a pound you can’t really grumble.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.
All things going well my next review will be from Beith, home of one of the best pies of last season the luxury Chicken and Haggis Pie and one of the worst the Scotch Pie. Hopefully the Steak Pie on offer is closer to the former as opposed to the latter. In other news I will be the Scottish correspondent for The Football Pink this season, a link to which can be found on the left hand side of the page, starting with an SPL review that I plan to get done this week. Give the site a visit and order a copy should you get the chance.
However until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Today’s entry into the Meat Filled Hall of Fame is a return to junior football one of the key inspirations for this journey of pie. Those who follow my adventures will have been now been able to piece together my allegiances at junior level and this season, mainly thanks to a pretty woeful one previously, a whole new world of pie has been opened up to me as my team face life in a new division. But before, a hopefully triumphant, league campaign gets underway there is a few friendlies to get out-of-the-way first.
I always find it really interest going to friendlies, not so much for the football which is usually pretty mundane, especially when you have no affiliation to any one team, but for the reactions of the crowd, because for every fan who see’s a friendly for what it is; a chance to warm up for the season, try new things and see new players there is another one who still treats it as the same kind of life and death scenario that a relegation six pointer in February would be. Personally I err on the side of the former. I mean just because Dundee beat Manchester City 2-0 it doesn’t automatically equate to Paul Hartley being the odds on favourite to be the next Chelsea or Barcelona manager nor does it mean that Manuel Pellegrini will be popping up in Falkirk or Hamilton anytime soon because he can’t hack it at the highest level any longer, football just doesn’t work that way.
The other thing that’s nice about friendlies, especially for a man who loves his football, is that there is pretty much a fixture within reach every couple of days and at this time in the season more than ever you find yourself at places that you wouldn’t normally be.
So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Beltane Park, Wishaw v Pollok, Pre-Season Friendly: Entry Fee £3, Programme: None
Before continuing I just wanted to take time to thank the folk at Wishaw for their hospitality, they are clearly a club who are trying to set themselves up for a bright future after a previously nomadic existence and their generosity on Saturday did not go unappreciated. Good luck for the new season in a new division folks!
Price: At £1.20 this is priced at the same level as your average junior scotch pie from the 2013/14 season showing certain Scottish footballing associations that just because a new season is upon us and your team is on the rise there is still no need to fleece your fans.
Presentation: A simple presentation style found at many grounds of a medium-sized white napkin, certainly nothing to be sniffed at and on review of my one bite expose a napkin that now seems a little larger, although I wasn’t going to get my set square and measuring tape out to see if that indeed was the case.
Meatiness: I hope the picture above does this pie justice in showing how incredibly well filled it was for a scotch pie, this might sound daft, which I know a lot of this usually does, but I could actually feel the weight of a slightly heavier pie in the hand as I made my way pack to my standing spot. As I bit down the meat held really well and was incredibly moist, not with grease but with lovely muttony juices. It was a little cold in the middle but I was pre-warned of this and it was only once I reached the very centre did I notice and in this occasion it didn’t have any real effect on the overall flavour. The other lovely thing that this pie brought me was the return of the long peppery linger that slowly built as I ate and lasted for such a time that it was worth remembering for this review. After the generosity of the club I was worried I was going to have the fudge this a bit to play nice, but I can honestly say this was a very tasty meat filling indeed.
Pastry: The pastry was flaky but held just enough to support the ample mince inside. I was able to break off the top of the crust to dip into the safety of an HP sauce puddle without everything crumbling round about me. Perhaps if I was being hyper critical the sides were a little soft and it became a two hand consumption job by the end but that would be the most minor of grumbles.
Overall: After last weeks professional scotch pie disappointment it was great to feel the comforting bosom of a junior scotch pie to nestle into with its ample meat and long peppery linger.
Gravy Factor: Standard Bearing Gravy. A pleasing pie that has set a true benchmark for the season ahead.
So the first junior pie of the season is in the books and the second one is on its way from Castle Park, the home of Blantyre Victoria. Navigating my way round the south-east of Glasgow should be interesting now the Commonwealth Games are here but I love my football and I love me a pie.
So until next time go forth and eat pie!
Remember to follow Meat Filled Pastries on twitter @MFPTasty and for any enquiries or feedback, and a thank you to those who have already, you can email email@example.com.
Hello and here we are once again ready to delve headfirst into another meaty morsel. It’s the second of two reviews from Starks Park home of Raith Rovers and Meat Filled Pastries first step into the luxury market this season.
The consumption of multiple pies at one venue is something that will be far less common this season, with this ritual being reserved for places where I am really unlikely to be visiting again, not due to disdain for my visit but due to the distances involved. Being based in Glasgow means that there is a plethora of clubs within an hours drive of home and so restricting myself to one pie at these venues will not only help my waistline but also ensure I will never run out of pies to review. Well that’s the theory anyway.
However without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Starks Park, Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, Pre Season Friendly. Entry Fee £10. Programme £1.50.
Price: At £2 this was 20p more expensive than the scotch pie offering from Kirkcaldy but given some of the prices that were flung at me when down south over the summer for luxury pies this seemed a relative bargain. I think by season end this will turn out to be one of the cheaper luxury pies to pass my lips.
Presentation: Unlike most steak pies this did not come with an aluminium foil cae wrapped around it instead trusting the structural integrity of the pie itself to hold firm once the first bite was taken. As is the case in the majority of pies this was served with a medium-sized white napkin.
Meatiness: Before I get into the meat of this pie matter a wee reminder that a luxury pie should be untainted and such none of the acetic brown sauce that nearly obliterated my scotch pie at Starks Park will be present on this pastry. Luxury comes at a premium price and with that comes greater scrutiny, the pie alone should provide all the flavour you need. So how flavoursome was this pie? It was not bad, not bad at all. First of all as football pies goes it was a generous handful, the meat was in large chunks but had a good mouth feel, coming apart as you bit off the tender strands of steak. It was seasoned well enough to give a strong savoury flavour although it lacked a little depth. Part of this could have been caused by the pie being a touch on the cool side. I also noticed that although there wasn’t a great deal of gravy within I at no point felt that the pie was dry which is once again testament to the precisely measured time it would have spent in the oven. This was a solid effort, perhaps a few tweaks short of something special but not a pie-saster by any means.
Pastry: As previously mentioned there was no tinfoil case to support this pie and as such that burden fell on the pastry something that it coped with more than admirably. The sides were slightly thicker than you would usually have on a pie but this meant that you could take a good-sized bite without worrying that your pie filling well end up splattered on the terrace floor below your feet. It had a puff pastry top which flaked as it should and although not particularly buttery or flavoursome it provided a suitable accompaniment to the pies meaty interior.
Overall: A solid if unspectacular start to the 2014/15 luxury market, it was a large pie with large meaty chucks and a substantial pastry case. Won’t be the best of the season I’m sure but certainly won’t be the worst.
Gravy Factor: Sturdy Gravy.
So that’s two reviews down and I feel I’m getting back into the swing of things. Next stop, Wishaw, and a return to Meat Filled Pastries spiritual home, junior football. Planning to cover UEFA’s week of football concept at some point over the weekend but until next time…..Go Forth and Eat Pie!
Remember to follow Meat Filled Pastries on twitter @MFPTasty and for any enquiries or feedback, and a thank you to those who have already, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jings! That World Cup was rather good wasn’t it, although I don’t know if I would have fancied a roasting hot pie in the afternoon heat of Fortaleza or Salvador. That’s right folks, despite the doubters who thought this wouldn’t last a month Meat Filled Pastries is back for the 2014/15 season and I believe that this year the pastry is destined to be crisper, the gravy even messier, the meat oh so tender and the grease at a level that will mean I can keep my morning routine down to 1 cholesterol reducing yoghurt drink a day. I’m a season down and my standards have never been higher.
Before we get started on today’s review a few pieces of housekeeping for the new season:
- For ease of communications you can now follow Meat Filled Pastries on Twitter @MFPTasty, also for any queries you can now contact pie HQ directly by emailing email@example.com. I want to spread the word of pie even further than before and by whatever medium I can so I am open to all offers.
- The classic one bite expose will also this season be accompanied by a couple of pictures of my pie eating surroundings, whilst I’m sure larger venues like Ibrox, Hampden and Tynecastle will be familiar to many the aim of this ‘project’ is to shed some light on those venues where only the few will ever go, raise the profile of these clubs and spread the love about the beautiful game.
- After a successful test towards the end of last season each week as well as a slice of pie based punditry there will be my take on whatever is prominent in the footballing world, perhaps there may be the odd match report and interview thrown in to but bear with me as I am just one man with a sizeable appetite for pies and live action football.
I will refrain from going on any longer at present and get on to the pastries, so without much further ado, say it loud and say it proud, LET’S RATE SOME PIE!
Where: Starks Park, Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, Pre-Season Friendly, Entry Fee, £10.00. Programme, £1.50.
Price: Priced at £1.80 this will be the standard-bearer for pricing of pies towards the top end of the Scottish footballing pyramid. Instinct suggests to me that this may be about average for the season to come but we shall wait and see what the future brings.
Presentation: It may be a new season but its good to see that the medium-sized white napkin that I so often lauded as the little black dress of the football snacking world is still looming large over the humble pie, it was good to feel that soft paper between my fingers again.
Meatiness: I made a massive mistake with my first pie of the new season which both helped and hindered this review. Now as you all know all scotch pie tastings must be adorned with a splodge of brown sauce and as daft as this sounds but I probably could write a blog totally devoted to the different types of brown sauce you get at football grounds across the country but even I think that’s a step too far. Anyway to get back to my point such is my familiarity with this most delicious of condiments I often know exactly how much sauce to place on my pie. If I see a label or bottle I don’t recognise I’ll tread carefully as I’m not sure what version of this spice laden sauce is about to be bestowed upon my pastry. In this instance however I forgot about this rule and gaily smothered two-thirds of the pie lid with a few squirts of Bobby Brown probably in excitement more than anything else. This was my massive mistake.
The sauce was perhaps the tangiest thing I have ever put in my mouth, causing my cheeks to instantaneously suck themselves inwards resulting in pulling a duck face that 20-year-old lassies everywhere dream of putting on their Instagram accounts. It certainly added flavour but boy I wish I hadn’t been so generous, that said once I managed to find an area not so sauce laden I was slightly disappointed. The meat was a little under seasoned and that kick of pepper I had waited all summer for was nowhere to be found. I ate it pretty quickly as hunger was in full force after the drive to Kirkcaldy so my disappointment was only heightened when there was no discernible flavour left lingering in my mouth apart from the sting of the sauce. As a return to pie it was a little underwhelming.
Pastry: The pastry was soft which made it easy to eat. The softness was due to a well made pastry as opposed to it being underdone but I feel like it missed those crispy edges that I have a penchant for tearing off and dipping into the saucy pool above. Although I would have refrained from doing so on this occasion anyway. I had also noticed that on some of the pies around me there were small glistening puddles of grease that had leaked through but on mine the lid was dry and intact.
Overall: Starting the season with a Bog Standard Bisto offering was not what my heart desired but in truth this was nothing better than average although the good folk at Starks Park may be able to use their brown sauce to wake up any players knocked unconscious during the season. One sip of that bad boy and you’ll be wired to the moon.
Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto with a half pint of vinegar thrown in for good measure.
So there we have it your 2014/15 pie virginity has now been broken. Let me know what you think of the new format, I like it but I welcome all feedback good or bad. Once you’ve finished reading please remember to share it with your friends and spread the gravy.
The next review will be a second offering from Starks Park as the luxury pie makes it’s season debut whilst this week’s non pie piece will be in relation to the SFA’s interesting taking on ticket pricing for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and how UEFA’s ‘Week of Football’ philosophy only helps to compound the error in judgement made.
Until next time, go forth and eat pie!
Not much of a pre-amble to this latest addition to my ever growing pynasty. It’s another pie review from that 12 goal extravaganza at New Douglas Park and a return to the luxury market. As it stands there will be at least 3 more reviews before the season ends but I’m going to keep their locations a secret for now.
So, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Accies v Morton, SPFL Championship
Price: Breaking the £2 barrier at £2.10 not the cheapest steak pie that has been offered up to me but by no means the most expensive. A 30p upgrade on the standard scotch version at the home of the Accies.
Presentation: Much like Pie 64, (The Hamilton Accies Pie), this was presented in a tin foil cases and wrapped in a medium sized white napkin. There was no severe heat coming from the aluminium foil which is always a sweet relief when handling a pie presented in this nature. A point of note, something which may be present in all tin foil cases but has so far alluded my eyes, is that in the base of the cases there was 3 small holes pricked in the bottom. No big deal you would think but in actuality this is a rather ingenious way to prevent the pastry steaming and sticking to the bottom of the case, thus ensuring that your pie maintains it’s structural integrity. Something I will certainly be keeping my eye out for in the future.
Meatiness: A steak pie that was from the coarse mince school of luxury as opposed to earning its stripes with meaty chunks or a mixture of both. Personal preference dictates that I love a meaty chunk, the additional texture it provides is always a winner, but the benefit of getting a more mince like consistency within your pastry is that the sauce feels more oozy and generous. It was maybe a spoonful short of being filled to its optimum level but the taste was perfectly pleasant and well seasoned. It was however rather no frills, and although the extra 30p was worth it I was again left with a slightly generic memory of this pie.
Pastry: As is so often the case with a footballing steak pie this had standard case with a puff pastry top. The pastry fell apart a bit as I was eating it but that was more due to my appetite cajoling me into taking bites that my mouth clearly could not handle. Whilst the ceiling of the pastry was lovely, soft and flaky it did not mingle in as great as volume as I would have wanted with the gravy inside. Soft pastry kissed with meaty gravy is truly one of life’s pleasures and I felt in this instance I was a little robbed.
Overall: Once again my belly was full and my taste buds were suitably appeased but I felt this was a pie that was lacking in a bit of sparkle and pizzazz, although the discovery of holes in the tin foil is certainly something worth keeping an eye out for.
Gravy Factor: It’s a steak pie at the end of the day, and who doesn’t love a steak pie. Sustainable Gravy.
As the season comes to a close I have to admit to a bit of pie fatigue, it’s a hard thing for one man to write about on a weekly basis but the compliments and words of encouragement from those that read it drive me on to eat more pies. Such a hardship!
Anyway my next pie might taste like silver polish and confetti…..
Until next time go forth and eat pie!