neilston

Pie 104: The Neilston Pie

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I’m still powering through the Spanish classes at the moment so I’ve not had much time to let my meander too much but one thing I’ve still had time for is my football. Prior to this week’s match our group of merry men had set up camp in the local bowling club. Whilst supping a pre-match pint our conversation was halted by the unexpected sound of an elderly man gleefully ringing a bell.

It soon became apparent that the bell signalled the all important announcement of the pairings for that afternoons bowling session and so with the mystery solved we resumed our conversations, primarily focusing on how white all the participating bowlers jackets were only to be again interrupted. This time by a lady of later years who I can only assume took great pleasure in very sternly shushing our collective more aggressively than any person has done anything in their life ever. It was both comical and frightening but nonetheless effective as it brought instance silence and a clear understanding that you should never EVER mess with an old dear when it comes to her bowls. Needless to say 20 minutes later, and feeling like a group of naughty school children, we had finished our pints and it was off to the match we went.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Brig O’Lea Satdium, Neilston 1-8 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5

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Price: At £1.20 this is a return to the average pricing of the 2014/15 season so nothing to really grumble about with that.

Presentation: Presented within an aluminium foil container (somewhat of a rarity at junior level) and with a medium-sized white napkin of sufficient size to prevent the foil melting into your hand and forming some kind of half man half meat robotic mandible that would protrude from the end of your arm.

THE PIE

Deep amongst the Renfrewshire hills there still are pies to be found...
Deep amongst the Renfrewshire hills there still are pies to be found…

Meatiness: This pie was huge and it was with some great relief that when I bit inside the pastry was not just a hollow shell but bursting to the seams with meaty goodness. The filling was sweet and spicy however the pepper kick wasn’t prevalent until the very end of consumption at which point there was some linger. Although the first bite was a little greasy, leaving that slightly unpleasant film on the lips that grease often does, the quality of this pie filling grew the further I munched my way through. There were some rumblings from others that I was being blinded by the (unusual for the juniors) ‘fancy’ tin foil casing but as an experienced pie connoisseur I can assure you that this was not the case, after a sluggish start on my palate this filling was very tasty indeed.

Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp all round and did not fall victim to the soggy bottom that often befalls a tin foil encased pastry. It did become a little flimsy as you ate through but this can be attributed to the vastness of meat within and as such required one of my patented pie juggling techniques to consume successfully without spillage. The pastry was perhaps a little salty but other than that as pastry goes it was pretty sound.

Brown Sauce: HP in a squeezy bottle. How it should be at a football ground.

Overall: A big hunk of spicy sweet meat in a well-baked and sturdy pastry case that matured in flavour with every bite I took.

Gravy Factor: A hunk a hunk a tasty gravy!

Next time out will be a review from Ibrox and Meat Filled Pastries first ever ‘Seasonal’ Pie but until then go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

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Pie 103: The St. Anthonys Pie

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Me llamo Chris. Yo como empanadas.

Sorry folks, the book has had to go on hold for a couple of weeks whilst I power through some intensive Spanish lessons. I drop to one lesson a week next month and the book writing can gather pace once again. My main focus just now is drawing an upside down question mark successfully, something that I’m finding far more difficult to do than the actual Spanish itself!

Anyway you’re here for pastry not paella patter so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: McKenna Park, St. Anthonys 0-4 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5

A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon
A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon

Price: At £1.50 this is at the top end of the junior scale, 50p more than the offerings from Cambuslang Rangers and Vale of Clyde we have already encountered this season. A loftier price is greeted with loftier expectations.

Presentation: Covering all the bases here this pie is presented on a polystyrene plate along with a fairly large white napkin. Whilst the plate will I’m sure appease those of a frailer disposition I felt it was superfluous when you consider the size of the napkin provided. A grumble for the sake of grumbing I think because as you will soon see I quite liked this pie.

THE PIE

To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.
To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.

Meatiness: The last time I visited McKenna Park (in those dark days where Meat Filled Pastries had yet to exist) I remember getting a pie and being slightly disheartened to see some empty boxes from a high street frozen food purveyor. The pie was serviceable but it was slightly disappointing to know that a baker somewhere may have had something better to offer. It was then to my great joy that the boxes were nowhere to be seen (disclaimer: if it turns out these are the same frozen pies I owe said frozen food retailer an apology). The meat was both sweet and spicy, the heat being provided by pepper along with something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Whilst I love a peppery kick, one too strong can leave an acrid dry taste in the back of your throat, something that this mystery ingredient helped to avoid with great aplomb. It was very well filled, held together well whilst I chewed through and was sufficiently moist. I had two, partly because I was hungover, but mainly because I really enjoyed this meaty treat.

Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp. There was some boil out which may have put some people off however I enjoyed the wee squirts of mince that had poked through and been crisped up by the oven almost like the crispy edges on a freshly grilled lamb burger. It was a bit rough around the edges and the top wasn’t quite as secure as it could be, popping up as I ate but these are small niggles for a well-baked pastry.

Brown Sauce: HP. Squeezy bottle. Minimal mess. Maximum taste.

Overall: Tasty filling that was both spicy and sweet. Well cooked pastry and a dollop of HP, either this is the best mass-produced frozen pie ever or The Ants have upped their pastry game.

Gravy Factor: Great Gravy. The bar for the 2015/16 season has been set.

Next time out will be a review from the Renfrewshire hills as on offering from Neilston Juniors is on the cards.

But until then, go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.