morton

Pie 65: The Hamilton Accies ‘Steak’ Pie

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STEEEEAAAAAK!!!
STEEEEAAAAAK!!!

Not much of a pre-amble to this latest addition to my ever growing pynasty. It’s another pie review from that 12 goal extravaganza at New Douglas Park and a return to the luxury market. As it stands there will be at least 3 more reviews before the season ends but I’m going to keep their locations a secret for now.

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

Where: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Accies v Morton, SPFL Championship

Price: Breaking the £2 barrier at £2.10 not the cheapest steak pie that has been offered up to me but by no means the most expensive. A 30p upgrade on the standard scotch version at the home of the Accies.

Presentation: Much like Pie 64, (The Hamilton Accies Pie), this was presented in a tin foil cases and wrapped in a medium sized white napkin. There was no severe heat coming from the aluminium foil which is always a sweet relief when handling a pie presented in this nature. A point of note, something which may be present in all tin foil cases but has so far alluded my eyes, is that in the base of the cases there was 3 small holes pricked in the bottom. No big deal you would think but in actuality this is a rather ingenious way to prevent the pastry steaming and sticking to the bottom of the case, thus ensuring that your pie maintains it’s structural integrity. Something I will certainly be keeping my eye out for in the future.

Meatiness: A steak pie that was from the coarse mince school of luxury as opposed to earning its stripes with meaty chunks or a mixture of both. Personal preference dictates that I love a meaty chunk, the additional texture it provides is always a winner, but the benefit of getting a more mince like consistency within your pastry is that the sauce feels more oozy and generous. It was maybe a spoonful short of being filled to its optimum level but the taste was perfectly pleasant and well seasoned. It was however rather no frills, and although the extra 30p was worth it I was again left with a slightly generic memory of this pie.

Pastry: As is so often the case with a footballing steak pie this had  standard case with a puff pastry top.  The pastry fell apart a bit as I was eating it but that was more due to my appetite cajoling me into taking bites that my mouth clearly could not handle. Whilst the ceiling of the pastry was lovely, soft and flaky it did not mingle in as great as volume as I would have wanted with the gravy inside. Soft pastry kissed with meaty gravy is truly one of life’s pleasures and I felt in this instance I was a little robbed.

Overall: Once again my belly was full and my taste buds were suitably appeased but I felt this was a pie that was lacking in a bit of sparkle and pizzazz, although the discovery of holes in the tin foil is certainly something worth keeping an eye out for.

Gravy Factor: It’s a steak pie at the end of the day, and who doesn’t love a steak pie. Sustainable Gravy.

As the season comes to a close I have to admit to a bit of pie fatigue, it’s a hard thing for one man to write about on a weekly basis but the compliments and words of encouragement from those that read it drive me on to eat more pies. Such a hardship!

Anyway my next pie might taste like silver polish and confetti…..

Until next time go forth and eat pie!

Pie 64: The Hamilton Accies Pie

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A Pie for Scholars or Academics if you will
A Pie for Scholars or Academics if you will

 

For me there is nothing worse than the football season to still be running and then waking up in the morning with the realisation that your team is without a game. Sometimes you have some forethought and a Plan B is well and truly in place and other times it just creeps up on you. The other week it just crept up on me and I found myself at 12 o’clock on a Saturday scouring the fixture lists for something meaningful to attend. The hash tag #helicoptersaturday led me to New Douglas Park and to perhaps one of the most remarkable games I have ever seen. Needing an 8 goal swing and for Dundee to drop points I watched on with my jaw genuinely on the floor as goal after goal flowed in and the pipe dream became a distinct possibility. Alas it was not to be as at Dens Park Dundee claimed all 3 points but for me and the couple of thousand fans at Hamilton on that Saturday afternoon we all left with a story to tell. A story of Hamilton Academicals 10 (TEN) Greenock Morton 2.

My point? If you have a choice between a day in the pub watching Soccer Saturday or actually going to the game then the smell of the grass and the ringing of the tannoy should always win out because at the end of the day you could end up being there to witness a little piece of history.

Anyway, the other benefit of attending NDP on Saturday was a chance to consume yet another pie, or 2 as it happened and so, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: New Douglas Park, Hamilton Accies v Morton, SPFL Championship

Price: Focusing more on my belly than this here blog my initial pie purchase was done without taking a single bit of notice about the number of gold nuggets that had left my hands to pay for this meaty morsel. Luckily a cursory glance at the price list on a second trip to the refreshment stand revealed this scotch pie was priced at £1.80, competitively so for an SPFL Championship level pie.

Presentation: As classical as the medium sized white napkin is at non league level in Scotland the addition of a tin foil tray for your pie to sit in is the classical interpretation of presentation often presented to fans in the upper echelons of the game. Nothing ground breaking here.

Meatiness: I’m not going to lie, I had almost totally forgot to make my tasting notes about this pie and initially I felt guilty that I had let my tasting standards slip but now as I write this latest review my feelings have changed. You see, the reason why I almost forgot that I had a review to do was that this pie was almost instantly forgettable. Not to say that it wasn’t a perfectly serviceable footballing snack. It had all the right components. The meat was seasoned reasonably with a hint of pepper and it was packed snugly into its pastry surround however I found it lacked the moisture and natural lubrication that a little fat brings to your pie, praise the lord for the return of the brown knight of the pie table Mr. Sauce. As such it lacked a meaty punch and after the final bite had passed my lips I was left with that hollow feeling that only a mass produced pie could leave. It was just a little bit boring.

Pastry: The pastry was also achingly dull and sadly it also seemed incapable of holding the meat inside. As can be seen as soon as I lifted the pie to take my one crucial bite expose it felt apart limply when not supported by its shiny tinfoil shield.

Overall: Ach, it was just a bit dull. I didn’t hate it but when you consume as many pies as I do and then burden yourself with the task of writing about them then you need to find something exciting to write about these pastry jewels. In this case I was thankful for the game going on around me.

Gravy Factor: Sorry folks but it’s a Bog Standard Bisto.

Well this didn’t really meet the heights of the game I had the pleasure to attend but hopefully the next review, Hamilton’s Steak Pie offering can save the day.

Until next time though, go forth and eat pie!

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 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.