meatfilledpastries

Pie 63: The Glenafton Athletic ‘Onion’ Pie

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Monday Night Pastries
Monday Night Pastries

Hello and welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries. Home of the greatest sporting snacks that Mother Earth has so generously bestowed upon us. This pie review is written with more than a splodge of sadness, not for the ketchup blob you see before you, but because this pie symbolised the end of my 28 year run as a football fan without suffering the heartache of relegation.  I’ve  put a positive spin on it in my latest non-pie piece for Meat Filled Pastries, ‘Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?’ (http://wp.me/p3Q7wL-34), and the fact a whole new world of pie has been opened up to me is one of the few shining lights at the end of a pretty terrible season. However let us not dwell on such matters, I am a pie professional and as such I will give a fair and honest assessment of this Monday evening offering from the world of Scottish football.

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

Where: Loch Park, Glenafton Athletic v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Divison

Price: You know what, I’m not even writing it. If you keep up to date with Meat Filled Pastries you know how much a junior football pie is………….

………OK, OK, it was £1.20 but the only reason I tell you know is because I realised half way through that previous sentence that some of you may not keep up to date with my stories of pie, and whilst I chastise you for doing so, I am nothing but a benevolent host.

Presentation: This was presented in a polystyrene try which when looking around also doubled as a chip holder. It meant that the pie’s heat was kept safe froom my palm although it also led to it not being held as securely as it would have been snugly fitted into my hand whilst wrapped in a napkin. Which brings me to the other point about the presentation, there was no napkin, meaning that I had to resort to the ‘rubbing-your-hands-together-really-fast-so-that-all-the-spillages-either-absorb-into-your-skin-or-drop-off-altogether-technique’. A slight distraction from the game going on around me. As I surveyed the pie before me I did find myself wondering that if this was a Saturday afternoon and not a Monday night things, in the presentation stakes at least, may have been very different.

Meatiness: Speaking of things that were different there was no brown sauce! No golden brown tang to smatter on my pie! Once again I put this down to it being a Monday night but it didn’t make it any less distressing. Saucing issues aside this was a tasty, well seasoned if somewhat wet pie. I say wet as opposed to greasy because although there was plenty of moisture within the pie at no point did I feel a tidal wave of grease flowing down my gullet although I did feel it crumble a little with every bite I took. As a result of this it was really messy to eat but I was enjoying it. The other thing that struck me was that despite no indication as to this being anything other than a standard scotch pie it was clearly of the oniony persuasion. It was laden with large pieces of translucent onion adding a note of sweetness I have came to expect from an onion pie. I kid myself that an onion pie counts as 1 of my five-a-day but I feel confident in saying this offering is the closest I have came to eating a vegetable on this journey. I just wish there was some brown sauce.

Pastry: As I said the pie filling itself was quite wet and as I hope you can see from the one bite expose above this caused the pie to fall apart somewhat as I ate. First the pastry walls, although crisp at the top, started to cave and then the base slowly fell apart in my hand. In the end I was actually quite thankful for the polystyrene tray as it provided a perfect boat shaped receptacle for this pastries meaty cargo.

Overall: As onion pies go this was pretty good it was incredibly moist without the flavour being washed away however I cannot condone the lack of napkins and brown sauce. A taste sensation in the mouth but more than a handful when it came to its consumption.

Gravy Factor: Can you get anything moister than gravy? If so this is it. Moist Gravy.

The next review from Meat Filled Pastries will be from New Douglas Park home of Hamilton Academicals where I had the pleasure of watching THAT game.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 62: The Arthurlie Pie

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Derby Day Pastry
Derby Day Pastry

It’s Meat Filled o’clock and this latest offering comes from the Southside Clasico in Barrhead between local rivals Arthurlie and Pollok. When I arrived at a sun-drenched Dunterlie Park it became apparent that a summer quiche would have been a more appropriate way to take in this derby day clash than my usual match day snack of choice, but as champion of the humble pie nothing was going to stop me munching down once more on that heavenly combination of meat and pastry with the same gleeful gusto as always.

So without much further ado, and with a Solero on standby, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Dunterlie Park, Arthurlie v Pollok, West Superleague Premier Division

Price: £1.20. A price that come rain, or in this case, shine will forever be engrained on my memory as the price to be for scotch pies in junior football during the 2013/14 season. Will the prices go up next year? We’ll have to wait and see.

Presentation: Although this was wrapped in the ever classical medium sized white napkin unusually for a junior scotch pie it was presented in a silver tin foil case which whilst keeping the pie warm contained a heat that was mercifully gentle on the finger tips.

Meatiness: I’m going to be honest here before I get started. I’ve been to Dunterlie for a number of years and in my head the pies have never lived long in the memory and I was concerned that it would be destined to take it’s place alongside some of the other ‘Bog Standard Bisto’ offerings encountered this season. However something had changed and I am pleased to report this was a well seasoned savoury morsel. Although not packing the fiery kick of pepper that so often gets my taste buds going the flavour of the pie itself was warming enough to compliment the pleasant late spring day that was bestowed upon me. Throw on the customary dollop of brown sauce and you had a perfectly pleasant mouthful of meat to satisfy yourself with.

Pastry: The pastry was of the well fired variety, not to everybody’s taste but for me it always adds a charred and bitter note that compliments the meat and sauce combo that will always be there when I do these reviews. It was maybe a little soft underneath but there was no sticking to the tin foil case and as such no spillage occurred the more I bit through. However apart from being well fired this was a pretty bog standard pastry that was designed more to hold the meat inside than to add a buttery wave of flavour.

Overall: A pleasant surprise of a pie, not spicy but well seasoned and savoury. The overly crisp edges may put some people off but the addition of brown sauce made a flavour trifecta that made it worth a nibble on one of Glasgow’s sunnier days.

Gravy Factor: Surprise Gravy. May not be a pie of the year contender but certainly worth parting with your £1.20 for.

Another pie down and as it stands only a few more to go this season. As this will be the last one to appear on the pages of the Albion Rovers programme this season I just wanted to say thank you to the good folk at Cliftonhill for giving me a platform to share my pie based nonsense. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I do writing it. If you want to keep track of my pie journeys over the summer and any of my other football work you can do so by visiting http://www.meatfilledpastries.com, my next offering will come from Junior Cup Finalists Glenafton Athletic.

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

Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?

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As some of you may know, I have spent the last year running two sites with football at their heart and soul. This one, a celebration of all things pie and a sister site titled ‘Leading The Line’ where I would muse over many of footballs little foibles that are not solely encased in pastry. As the season comes to a close and plans get set in motion for next year I have decided to amalgamate the two sites into a one stop shop for all things sporting and pie. Do not be afraid that pies will be off the menu for there is another two reviews working their way to you in the next few days but now I want to take this site and to the next stage. This may work, this may not, but either way I will still be your number one friend in pie. So without much further ado, let me welcome you to Meat Filled Pastries first non-pie piece, Relegation: It’s Not All Bad, Is It?.

Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards
Picture courtesy of The Football Blogging Awards

When I was a much younger lad I had a t-shirt that read, ‘Football is life…the rest is just a game’. At the time I believed it to be true but as I have grown older with life continuing to throw its many curve balls, both good and bad, I know that the slogan sprawled across my chest in those most innocent of days was nothing but a clever play on words that only helped to serve as just another subtle enabler to my burgeoning football addiction. As I travelled back in the deathly silence of the supporters bus, the realisation dawning on the dozen or so of us on board that this was the season that relegation had finally come after what has felt like years of constant struggle, that t-shirt came screaming to the forefront of my mind and the question I asked myself as I looked around was ‘Why are we all so sad?’. ‘How can something that is in reality so fundamentally irrelevant when compared with matters of life and death cause a group of men to look so down trodden and broken?’

I could analyse what caused this communal depression but instead of staring down the pit of despair that relegation is meant to bring, and quite frankly to try and cheer me up a bit as much as anything else, let us try and put a positive spin on what without a shadow of a doubt is the most soul destroying aspect of the game we all love.

1. At Least it’s Over.

Relegation is not something that happens in an instant, it’s the culmination of a season or in some cases many seasons woes and struggles. There is no more false hope to cling to, no mathematical equation that can save you and no desperate voice in the back of your head screaming ‘Please, please, please just put me out of my misery!’. When that final goal that seals you’re fate goes in the misery finally comes and the grieving can begin. Now some people deal with this grief in different ways, some get misty eyed giving knowing nods and gentle applause to the players who have just not been quite good enough whilst some get angry, unable to contain the raw emotion that the ultimate in footballing failure causes to coarse through their veins. For me I go into quiet contemplation mode, dissect every single tactical decision made, every substitution, every player signed and sold, wonder what will happen next and where it all went wrong this. Three very different ways of coping but all of them finally end with taking solace in the fact that at least it’s all over.

2. A Fresh Start.

A summer of fine tuning and removing the perceived dead wood has you starting the season, albeit at a lower level, as one of the title favourites and not the easy three points that your rivals eyed on a Saturday afternoon. The grieving is over and the wave upon wave of new hope and optimism is near impossible to repress even for the most cynical of fans. There is always that one new signing that scores 3 hat-tricks in pre-season and who you pin your hopes on for the year ahead. If a player doesn’t look up to the task early on they get the benefit of the doubt that a new season brings and you convince yourself he’s bound to come good soon. Sometimes the manager changes, sometimes it doesn’t but who cares as long as we keep winning and the crowds come flooding back.The dread of Saturday is replaced by the excitement of another potential day of glory. The dark days are over, by the end of the year your team will be champions!

3. Road Trip, Baby!

Get the satnav out as your geographical knowledge of the great footballing beyond is about to increase exponentially. All of a sudden places you’ve never heard of become your desired destination on a Saturday afternoon. The roads less trodden become the roads you and your fellow footballing army tread upon with new hope and expectation. You get to meet new people, drink pints in new pubs, stand on new terraces and set your taste buds alight with a smorgasbord of new pies and pastries all season long. For any football fan even the familiarity of a fierce rivalry can still breed contempt and the chance to go somewhere new is often what piques the interest of even the most casual of fans.

4. You Still Have Each Other.

Whatever joys or miseries a new season may bring you can carry on supporting the team you love safe in the knowledge that those fans that were there with you at the bitter end of a previously fruitless season will be standing side be side with you when hope springs anew once again. The slightly un-PC pensioners, the people you can’t remember how or why you stand with but you continue to do so with ever willing acceptance and the generations of family both young and old that are usually the ones responsible for you finding yourself in this mess in the first place.

I had spent 28 years on this earth without suffering relegation. I hope to go at least another 28 more before it happens again but until then I’ll do my best to remember that no matter how big a part of my life this wonderful game is, when the final whistle blows, it’s all still just a game.

 

If this is the first time you have read a non pie piece from me, I hope you enjoyed it and an archive of my previous work will remain on the internet until the end of time at http://www.leadingtheline.wordpress.com. But do not fear I have a programme deadline to meet so a new pie review will be with you imminently.

As always though, until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Pie 59: The Auchinleck Talbot ‘Onion’ Pie

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Did this pie make my eyes water?
Did this pie make my eyes water?

It’s pie time. A new review and a somewhat luxury offering from Auchinleck Talbot awaits. In my eyes a pie is plenty when it comes to match day sustenance,  maybe two but for some the option of a side dish is one that turns their trusty pastry snack into a full blown mid-afternoon dinner. Sides often include but are not limited to chips, soup or in this case a generous dollop of mushy peas. In fact whilst living in Brighton,  I often attended games at Lewes FC, where on one occasion a chap leaning on the barrier to my side advised me to poke a hole in my pie, which I should add was a steak and kidney delight, and pour my Bovril straight inside! People will have their own little pie eating rituals even if they don’t realise it but me; I like my pie to fly solo perhaps even more so since the creation of Meat Filled Pastries. Look out for your pie eating ritual next time you’re about to take a bite.

But anyway rituals aside and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

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

Price: £1.20. The same price as the standard pie offering from Auchinleck and as such almost single-handily throwing my theory out the window that a ‘luxury’ pie has to be significantly more expensive that its standardised contemporaries.

Presentation: Although this pie is packed with onion it was still lovingly dressed in the medium-sized white napkin often seen nestling snugly underneath many a pie across the land.

Meatiness: So what is the difference between a normal pie and an onion pie? Well the first thing you notice is the smell and I don’t mean that to cast a negative light on the filling inside this pie in any way. In fact to be honest I’ve never really though about how a pie smells until this one wafted past my nostrils with its distinctly sweet smell of onion almost immediately putting my taste buds on high alert.

Something new in the world of Meat Filled Pastries was about to happen.

I took my first bite and was greeted with a combination of fine mince and thick gravy rounded off with some clearly visible slivers of near translucent onion within. The taste was predominantly of meat but you could not ignore the distinct oniony undercurrent adding a layer of flavour not found in your standard scotch offerings. Ironically enough after saying in my last review (Pie 58: The Auchinleck Talbot Pie) that I didn’t require any brown sauce upon it I couldn’t help but wonder if this luxury offering would have been enhanced even further with a wee splodge of brown sauce but it’s was just fine without. I was worried this was a bit of a gimmick but it actually turned out to be a very different animal indeed.

Pastry: A puff pastry top with a golden pastry surround and base it was almost identical to the mince and gravy offering from the same club but for the two holes popped in the lid which in retrospect probably help the scent of onion enter into my nostrils. It held well in my hand and even after squeezing it a little to show more of the filling for that crucial one bite expose the pastry remained intact until my consumption was complete.

Overall: Is it a luxury pie? I’m still not 100%. sure In essence it was your standard pie with a few extra onions through it but it would be remiss to ignore the definitive deviation in flavour that these eye watering roots supplied. I would maybe add some brown sauce next time but it was perfectly lovely without it.

Gravy Factor: This is an easy one. Onion Gravy

Another pie done and as such I can concentrate on something that’s not pie related for the rest of this week. Your next helping of pie will come from Cumnock, Auchinleck’s nearest and fiercest rivals. Let pie battle commence!

Until next time 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.

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.

Pie 56: The Rangers ‘Steak’ Pie

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Steak pie Muthafudgers!
Steak pie Muthafudgers!

It’s pie time. Luxury pie time. Another hulking brute of pastry, steak and gravy. I’ve done a lot of pie reviews recently and as such I have very little new nonsense to spew forth in your direction as a pre-amble to the main event and therefore without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers v Albion Rovers, Scottish Cup Quarter Final

Price: A rather hefty £2.50, a cash equivalent of 2 Junior level scotch pies and a full 50p more than another luxury option, the recently reviewed, Ayr United Steak & Ale Pie (Pie 54). A price symptomatic of the ludicrous idea that if you are a bigger club you are obliged to charge a bigger price when in fact all that you are increasing (apart from my waistband) is the profit you make. Seriously let’s think about this for a minute. How many pies do you think are consumed at Ibrox, Celtic Park or Hampden? A conservative estimate of 5000-7000 let’s say. Now how many are consumed at Cliftonhill, Newlandsfield or Ochilview? A couple of hundred. Now using a fairly basic knowledge of how business works and economies of scale, the larger the bulk amount initially purchased from the supplier is the cheaper the P.P.P (Price Per Pie) becomes. Basically what I am saying is I’m willing to wager a considerable sum that the P.P.P before selling onto the fans is far less at bigger stadia than at smaller grounds. Is that saving passed on? Erm, no. But at least the pie is of far superior quality? Well let’s move on form this digression and see before this rant takes on a life of its own and I end up with another website dedicated solely to the price of pies!

Presentation: Your standard steak pie presentation here. A medium-sized white napkin wrapped around a silver tinfoil case, although the case seemed a little battered and bruised and as a result was nowhere near as snug fitting as it would usually be as a pie with a hint of luxury in its make up. Not necessarily a bad thing, as in fact I think it will have prevented the all to familiar scald to the palm often associated with a hot pie and tin foil case.

Meatiness: Look here’s the thing it was a nice pie. The first bite produced a more mince based texture meaning a splurge of gravy landing on my lips and as I bit further in bigger chunks of shredded steak were there for my teeth to bite done on and chew. It was seasoned well a wee bit peppery with more salty than some of the other pies I’ve had on this journey but seasoned well nonetheless. The thing is I want my pie, not to be happy with being like all the others, but to stand out from the crowd and have an identity that can only be found at that one footballing location, this pie sadly did not meet that brief. Nice but a little bit soulless.

Pastry: The pastry was a mere receptacle for the meat inside. A well fired crust with a base that was soft without leaking into the tin foil case below. The looseness of the tin foil case no doubt helping to prevent the pastry sticking to the bottom of the case, a common problem often found when consuming a luxury pie. Once again it wasn’t offensive, in fact it was nice but was it going to live long in the memory? I don’t think so.

Overall: I think the thing that irks me most about paying a premium price for luxury pies in large stadia anywhere is that the addition of the word steak automatically justifies a hike in the price. If I was hungry and I wanted something to eat before or during the game it would do and I would be satisfied but unfortunately I cannot place more praise on it than that.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto from Waitrose when really a trip to Tesco would be just as good.

Sorry that was rather uninspiring, the unplanned rant on pricing aside of course, but as you will already know from this journey I am seeking more than just taste in my pies. Hopefully the next effort from Ibrox later this week will have more to offer, I can guarantee you it’s certainly going to be different.

Until next time, 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.

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 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 49: The Greenock Morton ‘Steak’ Pie

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Back to the lap of luxury...it's STEAAAAK!
No Pies were harmed in the making of this review.

Did you know the word luxury started out as a term most commonly associated with sexual intercourse in the 1300’s? I certainly didn’t and whatever comparison you have now made between the physical act of making love and a golden filled pastry packed with meat and gravy is entirely of your own doing. As part of good housekeeping I should probably confirm that I am never going to tell you to make love to a pie, firstly it’s not that kind of site and secondly it would just be a downright waste. This is not American Pie, you are not Jim, please keep your pants on!

Anyway, welcome back to Meat Filled Pastries where we love pies, not make love to them. This is the second review of a packed week of pie and a long-awaited return to the luxury market with our second offering from Cappielow, home of Greenock Morton.

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

Where: Cappielow, Greenock Morton v Queen of the South, SPFL Championship

Price: At £1.80 it is 30p more expensive that the standard scotch offering at Cappielow but when compared with other luxury offerings it’s priced towards the cheaper end of the scale. As it happens, I nearly missed out on this pastry present to myself, only being alerted to its existence by the chap behind me promptly ordering one for himself and I hope his 3 friends. I imagine it’s the first time anyone has given back a pie at the football but 3 pies in one 90 minute sitting is too much, even for this lover of all things pastry filled and meaty.

Presentation: One of the few luxury steak pies to go against popular convention and not present itself inside a tin foil case, instead flying solo on a napkin of similar size, colour and heat resistance to that the Morton scotch pie was provided on.

Meatiness: This was a steak and gravy pie, the steak was tasty and well seasoned with the right mixture of large chunks and smaller strands of meat distributed throughout. The gravy that surrounded it was seasoned well with a salty as opposed to peppery undertone of flavour which for my palate was perfectly pleasant. As nice as the pie was I am disappointed to report that it was rather cold, not undercooked in any way, shape or form but tasted like it had been sat out for a while before it had made its way into my paws. The taste of the pie was good but I can’t help but wonder if a hotter pie would have tasted even better with the gravy surrounding the steak being glorious and unctuousness as opposed to a little congealed.

Pastry: The pastry suffered from the cold too as it appeared a little pale and limp as opposed to crisp and golden.  The softness of the pastry did make for a really forgiving bite and little mess but from a personal standpoint a good luxury pie should result in puff pastry flakes in your beard and a dribble of gravy down the side of your mouth. This pastry, although perfectly serviceable, robbed me of that satisfaction, and as a result was a little disappointing.

Overall: A pie of frustration. It was tasty but I feel that if this pie had retained some it’s warmth then it would have undoubtedly gained even more ticks in my flavour boxes. A simple message to all you purveyors of match day pies, make sure they’re warm, especially when it’s hats and gloves weather.

Gravy Factor: Leftover Pie. You could heat it up but that would involve getting off the couch, turning the oven on, waiting for it to heat up and then having to repeat the process all over again. After you’ve eaten it you’re happy because you’ve eaten a pie but if that little bit more effort was made to inject it with warmth it probably would have been that wee bit better.

One pie shy of 50, and that my friends will be winging its way to you before the week is out with a return to the junior pie ranks and a scotch pie offering from Penicuik Athletic.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest piece for www.thefootballbloggingawards.co.uk looks at the new found tradition of kicking the ball out of play when a player goes down ‘injured’ go have a look it’s almost as good as all the pie chat.

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 48: The Greenock Morton Pie

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If I don't say this pie is excellent Kenny Shiels will hunt me down...
If I don’t say this pie is excellent Kenny Shiels will hunt me down and then refuse to comment as to why

Hello and welcome to the first of what will be a veritable cornucopia of meat filled pastries this week, a list so long that I have resorted to my first ever Saturday evening special to prevent me falling behind. The reason for this volume of pie to be reviewed, postponements.

Now, when a fixture is postponed on a Saturday the stomachs of those unfortunate fans who are effected start to rumble, almost chanting the following phrases from deep within;

“Where’s my meat?”,

‘Where’s my pastry?”

”Where’s my pie?”,

“Where’s my gravy?”

You try to kid it on by going to the supermarket, fondling the chilled aisle and coming home to stick a pie in the oven, getting a bit of kitchen roll (never a plate) and eating it on your couch. But your body knows, it always knows, that this is not right and so you are left still unfulfilled with a sadness in your eyes, knowing that this empty feeling will not subside until the next time there’s a chill in the air and a meat filled pastry in your hand. I’m here to help you fill that void, even if it just by a little tiny bit.

As the weather continues to be more temperamental than the French national team during training at a major championships, midweek football starts to become the norm and so the opportunities to bite into even more meaty morsels present themselves. Which is good news for the site but not so good for the waistline. Now before I continue it’s important to note that this particular fixture rearrangement was not as a result of the weather but a tragic event during the match the previous Saturday, and the free entry gesture from Morton and the £6000 raised for the St. Andrews First Aid Group by fans of both sides is testament to the good that football can do.

But as I said there is a lot of meaty goodness to get through this week and so without much further ado. Let’s rate some pie!

Where: Cappielow, Greenock Morton v Queen of the South, SPFL Championship

Price: £1.50. Much like the £1.20 mark in junior football pies, £1.50 is fast becoming the anticipated price for a pie at an SPFL ground outwith the Premiership.

Presentation: A racier version of the medium-sized white napkin, this was a little thinner and a little smaller than what has fast become the standard presentation style found on Meat Filled Pastries.

Meatiness:  I know I say this a lot but the pie was thankfully meaty in both flavour and texture. I also know that a statement such as this could be deemed as redundant when reviewing a meat filled pastry however I do so to make it easy to distinguish when one doesn’t meet the tasting criteria required of such a snack because unfortunately sometimes they don’t. There was a hint of pepper but it was very faint and for my palate it would have been nice for it to have been stronger either during or after consumption. It was also a tad greasy meaning that some of that faint pepper flavour was washed away even further. It was nice but nothing that had me scrambling back to the queue for another.

Pastry: The pastry was quite short, not in texture but in height resulting in a squat little pie that snuggly secured the meat inside. But that snugness meant that when larger bites were taken the pastry caused the meat to flick up in the air that put my cat-like reactions to the test. As always I consumed this pie prior to kick off so there was no distraction from the game itself but I’d imagine it could result in you missing an important piece of on the field action if you partake in your pie during the game.

Overall: Sorry Kenny but I can’t call this pie excellent. I can call it nice and pleasant but I can’t go much further than that. It was lacking a wee bit of punch and for my taste the slight film of grease left on my lips was something I could have done without. I reckon that there will be some people who really like this pie due to its relative inoffensiveness but for me I want my pie to have a bit of bite.

Gravy Factor: Safe Gravy. The gravy that you’ve made thousands of times, one that you quite like but that gets you annoyed each time you make it because you wish you had found a way to do it better.

So another pie down but not the last we shall hear from Cappielow  as the next entry will be a long-awaited return to the luxury market with the streak and gravy offering from The ‘Ton.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

My latest piece for www.thefootballbloggingawards.co.uk looks at the new-found tradition of kicking the ball out of play when a player goes down ‘injured’ go have a look it’s almost as good as all the pie chat.

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.