meat filled pastries

Pie 84: The Ardrossan Winton Rovers Pie

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Hello and welcome to the last Meat Filled Pastries of 2014. What a year of pie it has been. I’ve managed to score a couple of freebies, spread my gospel of meat and pastry in a couple more match day programmes and, perhaps most significantly, got my taste buds around some of the best (and worst) football pies around at the 2015 World Scotch Pie Championships Judging Day.

This adventure just keeps rolling on and just when I think that the pastry laden path I meander along has made things as surreal as they could possibly be it has me hurtling down the rabbit hole like a pie starved Alice in a wonderland of mutton, mince, onion, pastry, steak and gravy. Thank you to those of you that have shared, printed, spoke about and, quite frankly, indulged me on this journey over the last 12 months. I hope you continue to do so in 2015.

Sentiments aside, the reason why you are all here is to once again dive head long into a wonderfully meaty treat. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Winton Park, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Glenafton Athletic, West of Scotland Cup 2nd Round

Some Retro Signage
Some Retro Signage

Price: Priced at £1.20 this is perhaps a little more expensive than you would expect at an Ayrshire District League ground but the good folk at Ardrossan are packing a secret as the pie they stock is none other than the 2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner. Therefore making an apparently premium junior price seem like a bit of a bargain.

Here's the sign to prove it
Here’s the sign to prove it

Presentation: After a slightly strange array of offerings recently it is almost fitting that the last pie of the year should not only be a champion but also presented in the ever classical medium-sized white napkin leaving the pie neither over or under dressed. You know I’ve always wondered if Coco Chanel would approve of such paraphrasing when the subject matter it relates to is so big and meaty.

THE PIE

2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner
2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner

Meatiness: As I stared at the placard on the side of the pie stall that proclaimed the presence of a world champion pie my expectations were immediately raised. A reward for jumping in my car and seeing where the footballing gods wanted to guide me. It did not disappoint. The pie was moist but not greasy. There was a peppery hit that as opposed to being sharp and acrid was smooth and lingered long in the pallet. Once the pepper had dissipated you were left with a mutton finish that did indeed have you biting down for more. It was clear to me why this was considered a pie of the highest order.

Pastry: This is going to sound a bit odd but when reviewing my notes of this pie I’ve described the pastry as meaty. As I rack my brain trying to get my taste memories past Christmas Dinner I remember thinking that the pastry had managed to retain some of the juices from its meaty insides. It also had a light buttery finish with a nice crumble and sufficient enough to hold the filling as I munched my way through.

Brown Sauce: A sweet and tart offering from Spar presented in a squeezy bottle. If I’m being honest I felt the sauce, on this occasion, detracted from as opposed to enhancing the flavour of my pastry.

Overall: I would have like to have tasted this pie without knowing of its prestigious history just to see if it really was as good as it appears as I can’t help but feel a blind tasting would have brought a truer review unaffected by the fame of it all. That said there is no doubting that this was a belter of a pie.

Gravy Factor: King of Pies, for now. A contender for the 2015 crown we’ll have to wait and see but for now Michelin gravy.

Pie 84 is where this year’s tally will end, but there is no doubt in my mind Pie 100 will come to us all in 2015. I had planned an additional review from Ardeer Thistle however they had, rather upsettingly, ran out of pies when I finally reached the front of the queue 15 minutes after kick off. Whilst disappointed my sorrow was tempered when I was greeted with the same World Scotch Pie Championship Winner sign that had greeted me at Ardrossan just a couple of weeks earlier. I assumed they must be the same.

Anyway, here’s to 2015, go forth and eat pie!

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Pie 83: The Thorniewood United Pie

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It’s Meat Filled Pastries Time! Let’s. Get. Meeeeatyyyy!

Hello, hope you’re well, I thought today I’d address just a couple of the most commonly asked questions I’ve received since starting my journey of pie. Just a couple though, I wouldn’t want to be struggling for words when it comes to writing my memoirs. I thought the best way to do this would be to answer the two questions that are asked by 90% of the people who hear my story, namely, “Who Does the Best Pies?” and “Don’t You Ever Get Sick of Pies?”. Consider it an end of year treat for you all.

Firstly let’s address the number one question I’m asked, “Who Does the Best Pies?”, but to be honest it’s far more complex than blurting out a name or venue. For starters there are lots of different types of pie available, some scotch, some steak and some completely different. To pick one, as a solo muncher of pies, when there is a multitude of parameters to consider would be reckless on my part. Secondly I like to think the best I’ve ever had is always the next one to pass by my lips, call it part of my relentless optimism to do with all things related to pie. That not a good enough answer? Sounding a little too measured and political? Well OK then, some standouts for me are ‘The Beith Chicken & Haggis Pie’ and one I haven’t ever reviewed on the pages of Meat Filled Pastries ‘The Burghead Thistle Mince Pie’. Two that still to this day linger long in the taste buds.

Secondly, ‘Do I Ever Get Sick of Pies?’ Course not silly, pies are awesome.

Seriously though, not really. Due to the volume I find myself consuming at football matches it’s not something I tend to have for my dinner or lunch. My favourite item from Greggs is a Roll and Chicken Bake and the amount of effort that goes into making a really good pie, pastry and all, means that they tend to get made as treat (usually for the amusement of others) as opposed to being a regular item on my homemade menu. I like pies but I love food and to limit myself to one item would be just too much to bear.

That said this one item has gave me a lot of stories and brought me a lot of fun, so without further ado let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Robertson Park, Thorniewood United v Pollok, West of Scotland Super League First Division

Pretty sure I got trench foot...
Pretty sure I got trench foot…

Price: £1.20. Slap bang in the middle of the junior price range for a scotch pie. Can’t really have too many complaints with that.

Presentation: Aside from the ever classical medium-sized white napkin this scotch pie was presented in a tin foil case a somewhat unusual style for a scotch pie, even more unusual for a junior pie. Perhaps I have been doing this too long already but when I noticed its shiny silver surround a little part of me actually went, ‘oh, that’s new!’, and you know what, it was!

THE PIE

Oooooo silver, fancy!
Oooooo silver, fancy!

Meatiness: This pie was very moist but as I sit here typing this latest review I find it hard to remember anything standout about it, reviewing my short notes on the day moist is all I had written. Moist and pleasant (Mind out the gutter please folks). Something I will admit, and is apparent as I write this review, that if a pie filling is relatively tasty, has nice seasoning and doesn’t leave a waxy trail of grease glued to my arm then it’s fine by me. It just doesn’t give me a whole lot to write about. This pie is an example of that. Absolutely nothing wrong with it but not one to be stored in the vault.

Pastry: It had a nice crispy top with an even thickness of pastry all around. It was perhaps a little soft underneath. A consequence of the tin foil case it sat within but nothing went where it shouldn’t be as I ate. Did a job.

Brown Sauce: This brown sauce was a lot lighter in colour and was almost apple sweet, it had a gentle tang to it and was a nice complimentary flavour to the pastry and meat underneath.

Overall: Nice enough, but won’t live long in the memory.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.

A solid if unspectacular effort from Tannochside, the junior pie bandwagon rolls on with an offering from Ardrossan Winton Rovers and it’s something that is a little bit special.

However until then though, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 81: The Dundee Violet Pie

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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.

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Glenesk Park, Dundee Violet v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round

Not my finest camera work here
Not my finest camera work here

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.

THE PIE

In fact, is this teal or blue> I'm now not sure?
In fact, is this teal or blue> I’m now not sure?

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!

Pie 77: The Stirling University Pie

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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:

http://www.scotchpieclub.co.uk/index.php?ID=2255&CATEGORY=6-News+and+Events

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!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Forthbank Stadium, Stirling University v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Second Round

Love a view of the hills in the background
Love a view of the hills in the background.

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.

THE PIE

Told you it was on a paper bag.
Told you it was on a paper bag.

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!

Pie 75: The Shettleston Pie

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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!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Greenfield Park, Shettleston v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division

The Green, Green Grass of Greenfield
The Green, Green Grass of Greenfield

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.

THE PIE

Seriously, A BOWL!
Seriously, A BOWL!

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.

Pie 74: The Greenock Pie – A Meat Filled Tribute

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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:

http://www.thegrambler.com/2014/08/week-4-tribute-to-our-founder.html

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!

fit fun day

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!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Ravenscraig Stadium, Greenock v Pollok, West of Scotland Superleague, First Division

A Tipsy Pie...
A Tipsy Pie…

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.

THE PIE

Pie day is Cheat Day!
Pie day is Cheat Day!

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!

Pie 73: The Arthurlie ‘Steak’ Pie

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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!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, Sectional League Cup Section 5. Entry: £5

That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist
That slope is not an optical illusion it really does exist

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.

THE PIE

NAE NAPKIN!
NAE NAPKIN!

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!