meatfilledmerch

Pie 58: The Auchinleck Talbot Pie

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This pie is in no way affiliated with the fictional team Auchinleck Town..
This pie is in no way affiliated with the fictional team Auchinleck Town.

Welcome to Meat Filled Pastries, my mission to ensure that the mighty pie remains at the forefront of fans mind everywhere when hunger strikes at football grounds across the country. Battling the increasing onslaught by chips, burgers, curries and hotdogs to barge its way to the front of your local refreshment counters. As steeped in footballing tradition as the half-time draw, the busted coupon and jumpers for goalpost the pie is football’s culinary gift to the world and as long as I have breath I will ensure it remains that way. Say ‘Aye to Pie’.

Anyway we have two reviews from Auchinleck to get through in the next few days so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Beechwood Park, Auchinleck Talbot v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: £1.20. That’s right another club who has gone for the junior average of £1.20. I wonder if at the start of the season clubs have a meeting where they decide what the maximum and minimum price of a pie should be. If they do it can I request you to stop doing so and go wild by throwing in a £1.14 or a £1.06 every now and again as it can make for a pretty boring opening to a review unless a rant such as the small one I’ve gone on there takes my fancy. Moving on.

Presentation: A medium-sized white napkin, the classical look most commonly associated with football based meat and pastry parcels.

Meatiness: This was not a scotch pie as anticipated but instead I was greeted with a filling of thick mince and gravy a detour from the loosely formed block of meat you would find in your standard scotch pie. The mince was seasoned very well and the thick gravy that surrounded it caused a playful little dribble to form on my chin the further I delved into its meaty goodness. It was tasty and as such I would have liked a little more of it as on further inspection the fill levels seemed rather shallow when measured against the pastry walls surrounding it. They do however say always leave them wanting more so maybe this is just a clever rouse to get the humble punter to consume yet another meaty morsel so this is but a minor complaint.

My main problem, was one of my own doing. As always with a non-luxury offering I had put a squirt of brown sauce atop of my pie before taking that first bite. With a standard scotch pie you need that squirt of sauce to give that little bit of extra lubrication to help the digestion process and to add another twang of flavour. With a mince and gravy pie the lubrication is already present and as such any brown sauce added could only serve to mask the flavour of the gravy inside. If I’d known I may of refrained from the usual routine, or at least been a little less firm with my routine squeeze.

Pastry: This is where I probably should have realised it wasn’t going to be a normal scotch pie, the tell-tale sign of a puff pastry top often indicates that the filling inside is something not usual in nature. It was flaky and golden on top, whilst the soft layers of pastry underneath almost melted into the meat and gravy below. This wasn’t mind-blowing pastry but a lovely addition to the carnivorous concoction inside. There were a couple of gaps were the filling had leaked through but this only added to the overall presentation and flavour of the pie.

Overall: While the scotch pie is, and should continue to be, the standard-bearer of footballing snackage, this mince and gravy effort is a worthy adversary in the battle for pie supremacy. It was meaty and filled with a lovely gravy topped off with a singular disc of puff pastry. It’s only missing component was that hit of pepper that I so love in scotch pie offerings.

Gravy Factor: Mince and Gravy, and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact there was quite a lot right with it.

Next time out Meat Filled Pastries has a second helping of pie from East Ayrshire as it takes on a new variety, ‘The Onion Pie’.

But until then, go forth and eat pie!

My latest non pie piece ’Pretty in Pink’ is found not only on Leading The Line but also at www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk looking at some of the pinkest kits you’re eyes ever did see and the stories behind them. I also encourage you to look out for my piece ‘Defining World Class’ on the same site, you’ll have to scroll down a bit but it’s definitely worth a read. Something new will be coming soon.

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while you are at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

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Pie 50: The Penicuik Athletic Pie

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Half a Century of Pie, Jings!
Half a Century of Pie, Wowzers!

50 Pies. Half a century of this meat filled madness and I’m loving every minute of it. I hope you are too, and what better way to celebrate my fiftieth meaty masterpiece than by writing a review about it in all its delectability. It’s the third pie of the week and a return to junior football, where this journey started. Lower league football is where the true diversity in pies comes from, unlike stadia such as Ibrox, Hampden and Celtic Park the pie proprietors at these ground tend to use local butchers and suppliers creating their own unique taste sensations. My promise to you is as we continue to set our sights on 100 handfuls of pastry perfection is to find even more pies from as many nooks and crannies of Scottish football as I can.

So without much further ado, let’s add another chapter to this Pynasty, and rate some pie!

Where: Penicuik Park, Penicuik Athletic v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup Fourth Round Replay

Price: £1.20, proving that from west coast to east in junior football £1.20 is the price for your pie to be.

Presentation: It’s baaaaaack! Almost knowing that this was the fiftieth pie, the little black dress of the pie world, the medium-sized white napkin struts its gravy catching stuff once again. A timeless look for these meat and pastry beauties.

Meatiness: This was a pie with many a layer of flavour. On first bite it tasted like a pretty bog standard scotch pie, the meat well packed with room for the meat to breath and with a texture that was forgiving to the bite whilst letting the odd morsel fly solo on the edge of your lip. A few more bites and a sweet oniony taste appeared, which was strong enough for me too pull my head back and inspect the innards of this particular pie searching for a translucent fleck of chopped onion. There was none but the taste was most definitely there. A few more bites and the pie was done leaving a long peppery finish. I mean this pie was still playing table tennis with my taste buds long after I had guzzled my post pie can of Irn Bru,

I think I can honestly say that this pie took me on the kind of journey that would see The Hairy Bikers try to stretch a 10 part TV series out of it. My only grumble was that it could have been warmer but given the particularly chilly conditions of the day I’m willing to let that slide on this occasion.

Pastry:  As I write this review I’m struggling to remember exactly what this pastry tasted of suggesting that it was nothing spectacular. What I do remember though is its appearance with the lid sealed all the way to the top as opposed to leaving a small lip that most scotch pies have. It was also flakier than usual, so much so that when I finally got home a couple of hours later and untied my scarf there were still crumbs of pastry scattered across my top. Functional pastry with a twist on the traditional pastry casing.

Overall: A pie that seemed to get better the more I remembered about it. It’s ever-changing flavour profile being a particular highlight with its shortcrust/puff pastry hybrid casing adding a dimension that makes it stand on its own.

Gravy Factor: Nostalgic Gravy. The kind of gravy that the longer you leave since you had it the better it seems to taste.

Well I did it. When the week started I thought I would struggle to get three reviews done before my next footballing adventure. 50 is a great achievement and I have surprised myself with the dedication I have shown to the pie cause, here’s to 50 more.

The next stop might be meaty but is it going to be all about the pie?

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest piece ‘The Descendants of Djemba Djemba’ can be found not only on Leading The Line but also at http://terracepodcast.net/  looking at some of the African players who have left an impression on Scottish football, both good and bad, once again it’s not about pies but I promise you it’s thoroughly decent.

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while you are at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 44: The Kilbirnie Ladeside Pie

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Hello 2014! Let's Keep Eating Pie!
Hello 2014! Let’s Keep Eating Pie!

Welcome to Meat Filled Pastries, and the first review of 2014. While people are making resolutions about eating salads spritzed with some low-fat dressing that taste like a fairy’s fart your friendly football following pie man has but one resolution: Eat More Pie! I want to continue to smother these meat filled bad boys in brown sauce and tell you lovely folk all about them. I want to find more luxury, discover the unusual and if I’m lucky see some rather good games of football along the way.

So with that said, there is no time to be wasted. Let’s rate some pie!

Where: Valefield Park, Kilbirnie Ladeside v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1.20. With enough change left over to buy a Bovril from the £2 coin in my pocket this pie fell bang in the middle of the price range associated with junior level pies.

Presentation: A small white napkin, sufficient to grasp the pie securely and leave a small corner to dab away the rather healthy splurge of brown sauce that I had chosen to place upon this pie.

Meatiness: A mutton pie that was filled sufficiently to give the right balance of meat to pastry. The meat inside was flavoured very well and although it did not have the peppery kick my palate usually would crave it was more than compensated by the lovely savoury flavour that filled my mouth. In terms of texture the meat inside was near perfect. Falling apart just enough to allow a generous bite without fear of a meaty waterfall cascading down your arm and a puddle of meaty disappointment forming on the terracing below. I had missed my lunch and this pie certainly was helping to fill that hole.

Pastry: Although the pastry may look a  little underdone in the picture I can confirm that it was baked sufficiently to support the meat inside whilst allowing a bite free of any jagged edges. The top was a little loose which resulted in a small blob of brown sauce ending up on my nose at one point but that aside the pastry was a success in providing the necessary support for the meat within without being devoid of taste itself.

Overall: Without having that spicy kick I normally rave about it would be understandable to expect me to say this pie was no better than average, however that was not the case. It was well seasoned and had a lovely bite with a meat and pastry combination amongst some of the best I’ve had. My only negative was that unfortunately when I went to get a second just before half-time they had run out, and to run out before half-time is over is simply unforgivable.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy I wish I could have had more of at the time. Many a chef will always advise to ‘leave them wanting more’ but when it comes to a pie at a football game I don’t want to have to go without, even if it is seconds.

Another pie down and if you have read this far down then I know you are keen and like the words I write so I will give you my bonus resolution and let you do with it what you will, it simply reads: Get a Free Pie.

Remember  you can visit www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk where I talk football in a non pie based manner, my latest entries look at the rules surrounding football celebrations and a look at how we as fans can help deal with homophobia in the game we all love. My next tale of pie will be at as a yet to be determined location as the weather is playing havoc with my sporting adventures at the moment but as soon as I know I’ll get it put on Twitter.

However as always, until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while you are at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

Pie 40: The Largs Thistle Pie

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'Do you want a flake in yer pie!'
‘Do you want a flake in yer pie!’

‘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.’

I was going to apologise for going all festive on you but in reality I’m really chuffed with that. Hello my fellow pie connoisseurs and welcome to another entry into the best football based pie site around. As Christmas comes closer shops across the country are stocking those most festive of treats, mince pie’s, and I am not excited in the slightest. But you’re the Pieman, Mr. Pie, Sir Meat Filled of The Pastry Roundtable, yes these are all true but I have never been partial to a mince pie or the candied peel nature of Christmas desserts. However, this year in the spirit of this here misadventure I am pleased to announce that I now think mince pies are….alright. I still think they have the distinct aftertaste of ear wax but I can munch my way through one in a social surrounding without looking ungrateful at what has been put before me.

Anyway back to the proper stuff and the journey of Meat Filled Pastries’ rolls on to Largs, home of ice cream and Vikings (apparently).

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Barrfields Park, Largs Thistle v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1. Amongst the cheapest pies that we have come across on our journey so far.

Presentation: Today’s presentation will be presented in the form of a riddle. It is not as black as night, and neither generous or stingy. I’m not going to give you the answer if you have read enough of these by now you know what I’m getting at.

Meatiness: Unless my taste buds were deceiving me this was not your standard mutton pie. It was a tad disconcerting at first, and to fully get my taste buds around it I required another couple of bites but the filling inside was strong in it’s taste of lamb. There was no taste of pepper in this pie which I think only helped to heighten my initial confusion. After my taste investigations I would say this was a really well seasoned lamb mince pie as opposed to a standard mutton scotch pie. Now with this confusion firmly put to one side I could focus on the other elements for consideration. It was well filled if not a tad uneven, the meat inside had a nice bite that held well but for some reason I felt a slight film of grease forming each time I moved the pastry away. On appearances this was by no means a greasy pie but I wonder if the lack of pepper I usually find in the scotch variety was causing confusion in my pallet. It was certainly tasty but definitely not what I was expecting.

Pastry: This was a crisp golden pastry with a lovely buttery flavour, however it was so crisp that it caused me to roll my tongue around my teeth to check for chips when biting down. In fact, the crucial ‘one bite expose’ you see above had to be doctored a bit as on first bite all I was provided with was a shard of pastry. The pastry though was definitely one of the better efforts I have come across but be warned that your first bite should be taken with caution in mind.

Overall: Disconcertion’s aside this was a tasty pie and as it came in at only a quid it was certainly worth the money paid. The pastry was a little too crisp, it would have been better without the faint hint of grease that accompanied every bite and or my taste an extra peppery kick would have been nice. However there was a good splodge of brown sauce available to provide that flavour boost. Everything tasted good but could have been made even better.

Gravy Factor: Made not with gravy granules, but one of those fancy stock pots. A different take on your standard gravy.

Another pie down, another 10 minutes on the treadmill added to the routine. The plan is to visit next one of the most recognisable names in junior football Auchinleck Talbot but that involves some serious negotiations when I get back into work that I reckon will be doomed to failure. I think we can all agree that Saturday afternoon’s should be spent with pie in hand, scarf round the neck, watching 22 men kick about a synthetic leather sphere especially when you run a site based on the consumption of these meat filled beauts.

However until next time, whenever will that be, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply go to www.meatfilledpastries.com and hit the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to The Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

 

Pie 31: The Dufftown Pie

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Road trip Pie
Road trip Pie

 

Meat Filled Pastries is back! With another 2 pie review’s for you delight and delectation from the picturesque Moray countryside. One of the heartlands of Scottish malt whisky and home to Dufftown Juniors Football Club. I love a football road trip. The getting up early on a Saturday morning, the hip flask in the jacket pocket, the stop at Pitlochry because the majority of your bus just can’t hold it in that long anymore or the plethora of stories that they tell you about football glory days of old I love it all, I truly do. On these trips football usually ends up playing second fiddle to the fun of the jaunt, but I, being a consummate professional, remembered I have a job to do.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Westburn Park, Dufftown v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Rd

Price: A whooping £2, a pricy pie indeed, especially considering it is classed on these pages as ‘non-luxury’, it transpired that there was a flat pie rate at Westburn Park which only went to heighten my expectation that this mince pie was going to have a lot to offer as it was bracketed the same as the other luxury options.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was very tasty and came with an equally tasty gravy although it definitely could have been more plentiful. The colour of the meat was rich in colour when compared with the more anaemic shade of brown that a scotch pie would usually be associated with. You could tell that the meat was of a good quality, it was therefore a shame that I found myself, as with the gravy, wishing for more of it. As can be seen above this pie was more pastry than meat, meaning that the all important meaty ratios were skewed somewhat. Quantity of the meat aside the innards of this pastry were a tasty treat indeed.

Pastry: This pie had a puff pastry top, not something commonly associated with a mince pie. This meant that you had lots of layers of lovely flaky pastry which got you in the inevitable mess that good puff pastry should. What it also provided is a thoroughly good bite, with minimal risk of any of the filling inside tumbling out. Naturally the top was a little ‘caramelised’ but I think it would have been difficult to achieve a base of sufficient sturdiness without burning the top a little and to my taste a wee bit of the black stuff doesn’t do any harm. What I will say is that, because it was puff and therefore without the crispy pastry walls normally associated with a scotch pie, any bite taken resulted in the brown sauce sitting atop squirting all over the place, a minor grumble on this slightly modified version of a scotch pie.

Overall: This was a tasty pie but there was a couple of things that stopped it from being truly great. Firstly there was the cost, it was £2, I wrestled with the idea of this being a luxury pie to help account for the increase in cost but I couldn’t. Justify it? OK, well if you turned up at the counter of the Dufftown pie hut and asked for ‘Just a Pie.’ this is what would be presented to you, a twist on a scotch pie yes, but it’s still a mince pie. The second thing was the ratios, a mere few millimetres of extra meat would have sent this pie into the upper echelons of pie as much as I enjoyed the alternative puff pastry top.

Gravy Factor: It’s not gravy, it’s jus, you’ll get it in a little porcelain jug and like it!

There will be another pie review from Dufftown on Wednesday, and if you thought chicken, haggis and mashed potato was a bit bonkers, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to tune in to Pulse 98.4 the ‘Listen Live’ function on  http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/. on Thursday 31st October for some live pie on ‘Nugent4Nil’ and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs where any personal profit made will go to the now child friendly Grambler: Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund’ a truly worthwhile cause.

 

Pie 30: The Beith Pie

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Not for the faint hearted: No, seriously!
Not for the faint hearted!

 

Word up pie fans! Straight from the meat filled ghetto I am happy to present to you Pie 30 of Meat Filled Pastries: Tour of Pies ‘The Beith Pie’. As promised in my last review I have a couple of announces to make. I have been doing Meat Filled Pastries for 3 months now and I am delighted that people seem to like this little project. To be fair if people didn’t like I’d probably still be here wittering on about pies but I would just like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has read, liked, tweeted, commented and shared with their friends in what ever way you have. I hope this is the start of something that I will keep going for many a pie to come.

On the back of all your support I am delighted to announce that Meat Filled Pastries will be live on air between 8-9pm on Thursday October 31st on Pulse 98.4FM, available on your radio’s in the South of Glasgow and East Renfrewshire area or by the ‘Listen Live’ function on the station website http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/.  I will be a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ a programme focused on Scottish junior football (on Thursday night) the pies provided by these teams. It will be my first appearance on the radio for over 4 years and it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to it. If you have a bit of free time give it a listen.

Secondly I am proud to announce that Meat Filled Pastries now has on offer MeatFilledMerch. Dedicated to all your pie based fashion needs, whatever they may be. You can find the store at http://meatfilledmerch.spreadshirt.co.uk/ and the link is on the right hand side of the site. This is very much in it’s infancy but I hope over the coming weeks I’ll items you may actually want to wear and buy! I would also like to make you aware that any personal profit made on anything bought from ‘MeatFilledMerch‘ will go straight to ‘The Grambler’s Kick Arse Fund’, the full story of which can be found at the following link, http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3, if you could take a look it would mean a lot.

So yeah, busy times at MFP HQ, but now back to the main business of the day, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith v Pollok, West of Scotland Cup 1st Rd

Price: At £1.10 about par for a junior football scotch pie.

Presentation: As previously mentioned in ‘Pie 29: The Beith ‘Chicken & Haggis’ Pie’ this came wrapped in a local bakery branded large napkin by the name of Irvine’s. There was however no tinfoil case, of which I approve, as a good scotch pie should be able to hold itself up securely in the safety of a suitably sized napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was moist and quite flavourful, not particularly peppery but pleasant enough. Unfortunately though this is where the good times end as once the first bite is taken your mouth is subject to a tidal wave of hot grease. A tidal wave !?!? An exaggeration too far you say. Well I counter your act of flippancy at my suggestion by confirming that on tipping the pie to a 90 degree angle a continuous stream of grease came dripping out for just over 19 seconds before subsiding. That’s right, it was that greasy that I thought it worthy enough to get a timer out. Now I should say if you love a greasy pie, then you will love this one but for me every bite left a greasy film that covered every corner of the inside of my mouth. It washed away any of the meaty goodness inside and left my arteries feeling more clogged up than a San Marino’s defence whilst 1-0 up against Scotland with 5 minutes to go. It was such a shame after the highs of the previous Beith based pie.

Pastry: The pastry for what it’s worth was good, although as can be seen from above came with a glistening puddle of fat atop of it meaning that it got soft very quickly, it held well when a bite was taken but was victim to the same gush of grease that put paid to the taste of the meaty filling.

Overall: Part of the tag line of this site is ‘Let the grease hit my elbows’, the grease within this pie though not only would have hit my elbows but made it down to my knees and into my toes. I’m just here to give one man’s honest opinion on pie and If you like your pies greasy then this will be right up your street but for me unfortunately it fell short of the mark. The short taste of meat I managed to get suggested there is a good pie waiting to get out but until the grease is reduced considerably I’ll continue to wish for another one of those beautiful ‘Chicken & Haggis’ offerings.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that started off using bones and scraps for a flavoursome stock but then forgets to skim the fat off the top before leaving it to sit out for a few days. Greasy Gravy.

So another pie review done, and a decidedly mixed bag from Beith. All going well next week’s review will be fresh from the ovens of Moray as Meat Filled Pastries hit’s the Scottish Junior Cup trail to Dufftown but until then go forth and eat pie.

Did you know you can Subscribe to Pie? Simply click on the ‘Follow’ link on the right and you will get an email advising of the glorious news that a new pie blog is ready for your consumption and while your at it why not have a look at ‘Leading The Line’ a blog not based solely on Pies, crazy I know! The link is on the left hand side, and remember to tune in to Pulse 98.4 on Thursday 31st October for some live pie and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs.