scottish football

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.

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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 47: The Albion Rovers Pie

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'In next weeks programme...'
‘In next weeks programme…’

Guess what? It’s time for another entry into the Meat Filled Pastries Hall of Fame. Yay! Before we get started I want to share one of the many reasons why I enjoy venturing to football down the leagues on a weekly basis. My first game of football was part of generational tradition, my dad was taken by his dad, he then took me and, if I ever screw the nut and stop gibbering on about pies, I would like to keep that tradition going. We always stand in the same place, with the same people around us, different ages and backgrounds all gathered to take part in the joy of a Saturday afternoon at the football.

A lot of the time, the discussions would continue long after the final whistle had gone in the pub round the corner leaving me with people who have been watching football for 50, 60 years and regaling stories of a time when the team were so much better than they are today. I love that. The unity that football brings amongst those who would more often than not be strangers. Unfortunately this past week, one of those friends passed away, but instead of being sad about the life that’s been lost I’m thankful that I took the opportunities I had to listen to the stories he told and for the continual enjoyment that this ragtag group of football fans bring me. I’d strongly advise that if you’ve sat or stood beside somebody for years and never said hello then get your thumb out your bum and fling out a wave, if all else fails you can always talk about the football.

This week, as a small tribute, this review is for Bill. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie.

Where: Cliftonhill, Albion Rovers v Berwick Rangers, SPFL League Two

Price: £1.50, a price that I couldn’t see but one that the ladies behind the pie counter at Cliftonhill were happy to provide. About average for the level of football on offer in Scottish League Two.

Presentation: A break from the classic white napkin…well kind off. It was a bit smaller than usual and it appeared to be pulled from a larger roll as opposed to an individual offering, but it was most definitely white. I think the next pie I have that does not come wrapped in a white napkin of sorts, I will nominate for entry into Le Louvre.

Meatiness: I would call this a proper mutton pie, well filled without being overly so. The meat was moist from it’s own juices and fell apart like a good pie should once bitten, almost perfect in texture. There was a lovely hit of pepper, not spicy but enough to notice it and the taste itself was totally changed once a bite was taken with the incredibly tangy brown sauce that was provided to squirt on top. If I hadn’t already had my lunch I most likely would have got another one.

Pastry: The pastry was a standard crust, contributing to the overall pie eating experience without blowing me away. It held up well and there was no spillage as each bite was taken although the top was a little loose which meant the last two mouthfuls involved using both left and right hands. The pastry shouldn’t have to be the star of the show and in this case it wasn’t but deserves an honourable mention as part of the supporting cast in this mouthful of meat.

Overall: A tasty pie, with the right mix of meat, pastry and spice. The brown sauce, as I said earlier, was extremely tangy and I imagine for some palates would be a bit too much but for me added another dimension of flavour that my taste buds enjoyed.

Gravy Factor: Jolly good gravy with an optional brown sauce inspired tongue tingling kick.

One more thing before we scrunch up the napkin of pie 47 and set our sights on more meat filled pastries. I have often said that pie makers at football grounds should do more to advertise their meaty wares. Well, I’m happy to report that at Cliftonhill there was advertising a plenty championing the name of JB Christies, who after a bit of research turn out to be quite the pie makers. If you make the pies, then make sure we know about it.

Next stop for Meat Filled Pastries, weather permitting, will be Penicuik Athletic from the East Region of the junior football scene but should that fail then the next stop on this tour of pie could be you!

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 42: The Berwick Rangers Pie

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'A Chippy Pie'
‘A Chippy Pie’

Hello to all my fellow pastry lovers, I hope you had a lovely festive period and that Santa brought you all the pie related gifts your heart desired. It’s been a couple of weeks since the last entry into the Pie of Hall of Fame but we have time to squeeze one more entry in before the bakers of 2013 close their oven doors one last time.

A couple of developments to make you aware of since the last review. Firstly as some of you may or may not be aware I don’t write solely about pies, but try to squeeze out some other football related pieces when time allows me to. These articles have been run primarily through my sister site Leading the Line, and while articles will still appear there from time to time an agreement has been reached with ‘The Football Blogging Awards’ to become a regular contributor in 2014. It will allow me to keep Meat Filled Pastries as a solely independent venture whilst also spreading the word of pie through other channels, something that I wouldn’t be able to do without the support of all you delightful folk that read it.

This brings me on to the second piece of news, for the remainder of the season my stories of pie can be found in the Albion Rovers match day programme. For Meat Filled Pastries to become a part of a fans match day experience is more than I could have wished for when I started this venture but now it’s happened I want more, and in 2014 I hope we will all see the growth of Meat Filled Pastries even further. So if you are interested in my tome of pie and would like me to contribute to your programme, magazine or website just drop me an email or send me a tweet.

So without much further ado, and with the PR Campaign out the way, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Shielfield Park, Berwick Rangers v Peterhead, SPFL League Two

Price: A rather expensive £2, a price that required asking as none was listed for a single pie.  The same price as the ‘Premiership’ pie from Motherwell but more expensive than the Cowdenbeath offering and the various junior equivalents this journey has provided us with.

Presentation: A break from the norm this pie was presented in a polystyrene tray. The reason for the polystyrene tray, you ask? Well this pie did not come from a loan standing pie hut at the side of the ground or from a kiosk in the bowels of the stand but from a chip shop van, a traditional one none the less, one of two conveniently located in the ground. Now this caused a small moment of panic in this pieman’s head, initially because I was unsure how traditional a Fish and Chip Van was at a football ground, but perhaps more pressing was the realisation that there may be no pies to review and as such this blog would have had more padding than Bobby Mann at the end of his playing career. That said I got a pie it was in a polystyrene tray, because usually they would have chips in them, and it came with a medium sized white napkin to mop up any meatfilled spillages. Disaster averted, let’s move on.

Meatiness: This pie was a slow burner on the taste front. On the initial one bite expose the taste, although definitively of pie, was rather underwhelming and I had concerns that this would be confounded to the status of ‘Bog Standard Bisto’. However as each bite was taken the warmth of spice and pepper became more prevalent and by the last bite I found myself wanting more. The meat was well packed inside and not very greasy at all which is impressive considering my suspicions were this was a deep fried pie, but more on that in a moment. Despite the initial concerns of the first bite this was a tasty morsel indeed.

Pastry: This is where my deep fried suspicions really started tingling. The pastry was incredibly golden and the pie lid itself had no hole in the top to let out steam that would be generated in an oven. Then there was the first bite, the pastry didn’t flake but more crumbled and where the pastry had tore away from the main body of the pie it had slightly disintegrated around the edges. It was of no detriment, although the further into the pie you got you became increasingly grateful for the polystyrene tray provided. Once again, just like the filling it was impressive how un-greasy the pastry tasted. If someone at Berwick can tell me if I’m right or wrong on the deep fried factor it’d be greatly appreciated.

Overall: This pie was a pleasant surprise after the obstacles it put in front of itself before its consumption was complete. It was slightly expensive for the surroundings and the fact it came from a chip van was something that caused a bit of initial confusion. The ‘potential’ deep frying left the pie suitably moist and crispy without being over greasy and with a long slow burning flavour of mutton and spice.

Gravy Factor: The marathon pie, remember pie eating is not a sprint, savour every bite and don’t discount it because your first bite wasn’t all your pie dreams were made of.

Another pie down, another five minutes added to the tread next time I’m in the gym. Work commitments mean that next weekends offering will most likely be either the first rugby pie of Meat Filled Pastries journey of pie or from the Scottish Premiership.

Either way, 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 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 33: The Stenhousemuir Pie

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No that's not mood lighting, it was just dark.
Look at the floodlights glisten in the brown sauce. Beautiful.

 

Hello! Do you love pie? I love pie, and that is why I am here once again to get elbows deep in another meat filled beauty.

A few things have happened since my last entry on Meat Filled Pastries. Firstly, I have a shiny new banner header, it’s good innit? I still need to tweak a couple of things but your pie man is now a Pac-man and a big thanks to the person who made my rather crude drawings come to life. Secondly, Meat Filled Pastries made its radio debut as a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ on Pulse 98.4′ It was good fun to speak to fellow junior football fans and obviously spread the word of pie. If any of you missed it here’s a link to the show, http://www39.zippyshare.com/v/72429430/file.html‘, I’m on it for the whole hour so no need to skip ahead. You may hear the odd reference to ‘Beastie’ and I think it will be more entertaining if I let you decide who or what he or she may be. Hopefully though a few good things will come out of the back of my appearance and I’m already pencilled in for an end of season review.

How do you celebrate these latest developments I hear you ask. By sitting back, relaxing and reading another story of football based snacking from the ever increasing tome of pie that is Meat Filled Pastries.

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

Where: Ochilview, Stenhousemuir v Rangers, Ramsdens Cup Semi Final

Price: £2 worth of pie, cheaper than some but more expensive the others within the SPFL set up.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin, sufficient to hold the pie and provide you with a corner to dab your mouth.

Meatiness: I usually find this the easiest part of these reviews to write but in this instance I have very little to say. It was filled well enough but what lay inside lacked any real punch and would have been helped substantially if it was a little warmer. This would have let the fat soften and spread flavour throughout the meat. The addition of a particularly tangy version of brown sauce certainly helped to add some more flavour which was needed. There was nothing wrong with the meatinees of this pie but nothing that left me feeling more than ‘meh’ about it.

Pastry: And the feeling of ‘meh’ continues. The pastry was just there, it lacked any real crispness to give a satisfying bite and was slightly pale in colour suggesting it may have been underdone. One thing of note is that unlike most scotch pies there was no hole on top to let the steam out. That’s right this pie is so boring that this may be the most interesting thing you read about it!

Overall: It was just boring, I had been told of the wonderful steak pies at Ochilview but alas these were not on offer for my consumption. Instead I was left with a scotch pie that, while filling a dinner-shaped hole in my belly, did not result in any great feelings of excitement in my taste buds when going to take the next bite.

Gravy Factor: Made with value gravy granules, it does the job but you find yourself reaching for additional condiments straight away.

I feel like any time I give anything other than a positive review I need to put a disclaimer at the end of it to re-confirm that this is just my opinion. Other people may love this pie, others may not. It’s what this journey is all about, watching football and consuming meat filled pastries. Just like every game of football isn’t a 4-4 thriller nor is every pie going to leave you yearning for more but when the final whistle goes or the final bite is but a distant memory you still love it all the same.

Until next time my fellow pie munchers, 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 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.