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Pie 111: The Clyde ‘Not Pie’ Pie: A Call to Arms

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Happy New Year from Meat Filled Pastries! My apologies for a lack of activity recently, a fixture list that saw a string of home games for Pollok along with weather conditions that obliterated almost every game I had lined up to go and see meant that things have been rather quiet on the pie front so far in 2016 and my first offering of the year has not a drop of pastry in sight.

Before the review though let me share with you the outcome of this year’s 2016 Scotch Pie Awards hosted at the Westerwood Hotel, Cumbernauld on the 13th January. Once again I was honoured to participate in the judging process to find the best pies and pastries from across our fair land, first judging in the hot savoury category and then taking part in the second round to find the World Scotch Pie Champion who this year is found at The Kandy Bar in Saltcoats. A full list of winners can be found at http://www.scotchpieclub.co.uk/ as well as by following me on Twitter (@MFPTasty). As always I had a blast both on the judging days and attending the awards themselves meeting numerous individuals who make my passion for pie look paltry. I left the ceremeony thinking that there is work to be done to promote pastries at our football grounds and with that in mind I thought I would share with you the 2016 Football Pie Winners, headed by Bruce of Broch’s steak pie offering, available at both Fraserburgh in the Highland League and Fraserburgh United in the North Region Juniors. The full list is below, I’m writing this on the move so apologise it’s only in picture form:

Congratulations!
Congratulations!

Congratulations again to everyone involved. So with that covered off, without much further ado, let’s rate some pie! (Or in this case a burger!)

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Broadwood Stadium, Clyde 0-1 Queens Park, Scottish League Two

Disappointment awaits...
Disappointment awaits…

Now usually I’ll go through a series of ratings before summing up my feelings on the quality of pastry I have been provided with but as this is ‘not a pie’ and has some key elements like pastry missing then the following is more of a long winded monologue (for ‘long winded monologue’ read as rant) on the state of non pie based catering at Scotland’s football grounds. I have no idea where this is going to go so I’ll try not to ramble.

I have always been one to build my Saturdays around a game of football, it’s always felt wrong to sit in the pub and watch Soccer Saturday, however since I have started this little venture a new variable has been added; have I reviewed a pie there before? In the case of Clyde I had not and with the Scotch Pie Club Awards ceremony happening just around the corner the following week I smelled the opportunity for a tie in.

Imagine my disappointment then as I walked into the main stand to find the shutters down and a steward ‘helpfully’ pointing me towards the corner of the stadium in the direction of a burger van. This isn’t the first time this is happened this season and my apologies to Clyde that they are getting the ones that have unleashed my ire but going to a ground and being able to get food, but not a pie, makes me sad and a little bit angry.

Now before people start getting defensive I understand a couple of variables may have been in play in this situation:

  • It was January 2nd. A Scottish Bank Holiday. A day where the whole of Scotland sit in their pants and watch a Wallace and Gromit marathon whilst eating the remaining left over turkey and steak pie.
  • Maybe the butcher wasn’t able to provide pies that day.
  • As it is such a day of rest maybe wee Betty who runs the pie counter didn’t fancy hauling herself down to Cumbernauld to feed a bunch of folk for a fiver.

You know what? If any of the above are true then fair enough, everyone deserves a holiday. Maybe a bit of better planning would help in the future and I can almost, ALMOST accept the contingency of a burger van coming into play if the quality of the fare offered in the place of pastry is of an equivalent or higher standard. Sadly though, in this instance, and in many others, you are presented with a crunchy frozen burger heated up on a griddle and topped with a slice of limp processed cheese and some barely warmed through onions. Don’t believe me look at below:

Not a Pie.
Not a Pie.

Scotland, renowned for nurturing some of the best produce in the world, and this is what you get presented with. Then after discovering the one place where you always expect to ‘take a pie’ doesn’t provide one you are stung with the fact you have to pay more (£3!!) for the privilege to eat something that you wouldn’t look twice at it in the frozen meats section of your local supermarket.

I understand some people don’t like pies, these people are beyond help but understandably football clubs, in a bid to boost revenue streams, often provide alternatives. I don’t particularly like it but I don’t object to it. Burgers, fine. Hot Dogs, OK. Chilli, stovies, curry all easy to prepare in large quantities and warming to the soul on a cold day, I’d rather they weren’t there but they serve a purpose. All of them, all of them bar one: Chips. Sh*t chips. Really sh*t chips. Think about it, have you ever went to a game and walked out the ground thinking, ‘my, those chips were right braw!’. Football chips are an abomination and fall into one of two categories:

  1. Canteen style mass-produced tatties, usually found in larger stadiums. Available already sitting lukewarm under the heater for your tasting pleasure accompanied by sachet’s of sauce that are impossible to open because the smallest amount of grease on your fingers turn the small tear you need to pick at to get into the condiment of your choosing into some kind of water torture.
  2. Chips at smaller grounds where invariably a man stressfully fills the deep fat fryer he’s brought in from home with enough chips to serve one person at a time as an ever increasing queue populates itself with frustrated individuals unable to make their purchases until the 17 minutes required to cook these frozen beauties to just past raw perfection.

Chips! Do one.

I’ll stop here. You know my stance by now, I want pies, have your other things but I want pies. I want to protect the sanctity of a product that is so special to Scotland and ensure that at football matches in 2055 people are still letting the gravy smatter their face and the grease run down their elbow. With that in mind, and to support Scotland’s butchers and bakers I will be compiling the first ever (I think!) Scottish Football Pie Database. Telling you what pies you can get where and who can provide them. I want football clubs across the country to really champion there pies and the people who provide them. This year there were 53 pies entered in the Football Pie category, sounds grand doesn’t it, and yet there is:

  • 42 SPFL clubs
  • 18 Highland League clubs
  • 15 Lowland League clubs
  • 17 East of Scotland League clubs
  • 14 South of Scotland League clubs
  • 165 Junior clubs

Plus a plethora of amateur clubs I haven’t even mentioned, all of a sudden 53 out of 271 doesn’t sound that impressive. For the 2017 Scotch Pie Awards let’s get more involved!

Right that’s me. I’m off my soapbox and next time out I will be back with the first of two proper pie reviews from Linlithgow Rose but until next time, 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 89: The Airdrieonians Pie

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Hello and welcome back to a more conventional offering from Meat Filled Pastries after the pastry deviation that occurred last time out. This week I was pointed to an article by The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor about Stan Collymore and his one man sectarianism crusade. It can be found at the following link:

http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2015/feb/21/debate-old-firm-rangers-celtic

Here were my instantaneous thoughts and I thought I’d share them, let me know if you disagree.

“This whole thing really gets on my wick because the entire debate is driven by ‘dunderheads’. Dunderheads sing the songs on both sides and then the same bloody Dunderheads bitch and moan about the nasty songs being sung at them because they are the antithesis of the archaic message they are happy to communicate.

Is Stan Collymore right to question why it still goes on? 100%.
I
s he right to focus his attention on Rangers and Rangers alone? Of course not.

And in this issue the problem lies, there has always been a ‘us and them approach’ to resolving sectarianism in Scotland and believe me it’s not just at Ibrox and Celtic Park these barbs are heard, I dot around a lot of grounds and the UVF and IRA are inexplicably championed here too.

If only there was a governing body with no premise of bias and the ability to impose real sanctions on those fans who continue to waive their right to not being dunderheads. Like some kind of Scottish Football Association type thing, surely they would have actually done something about it by now.

It is a problem that will never leave our terraces until somebody in a blazer grows some balls!


The sad fact is that if any politician was asked what needs done about the sectarian issue they’ll reel off a bunch of children focused campaigns. It’s not children that need educated on the rights and wrongs of living in a modern and cosmopolitan society, they understand it, it is how they have always been known to live there lives, it’s the adults, the people that are meant to be setting the examples, who are in desperate need of an education!


With all that being said Stan Collymore is still a Grade A wazzock!”

He is still a Grade A wazzock but he’s a wazzock with a point, an ill-structured and not very well thought out point but a point none the less. There is no sadder indictment of ‘Scotland’s Shame’ that the fact it takes somebody like Stan Collymore to point out that absolutely nothing effective is being done to stamp out sectarianism and once again bring this ugly debate to the fore.

Anyway, there’s my two cents, I’m not going to visit it again until somebody actually does something meaningful, so without further ado let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: The Excelsior Stadium, Airdrieonians 3-1 Forfar Athletic, Scottish League One

Pay What You Can Pie Days!
Pay What You Can Pie Days!

Price: At £1.70 this was a reasonably priced pastry treat from North Lanarkshire. Around average.

Presentation: Ensconced in a shiny silver foil container with a large white napkin that was plentiful in all its softness, something I was extremely greater for as the consumption process began.

THE PIE

Pay What You Can Pie Day

Meatiness: This was a really well-flavoured pie, it had a strong savoury streak however there was no peppery kick present. It was quite greasy as evidenced by the small shimmering pools that glistened on top of the pastry which meant that the mixture inside was very loose. In fact its looseness meant that there was a great deal of juggling required as I went through it meaning I was grateful for the heat retaining silver container below catching the dribs and drabs of meat as they fell. I was very near tempted to do the puddle test and tip the pie towards the ground but a group of young ruffians behind me had beaten me to the punch. Tasty but greasy.

Pastry: The pastry was a little anaemic in colour but that could be attributed to the grease on top and in actuality it held together well as I took bigger and bigger bites whilst the filling crumbled all around it. The base was slightly soft but nowhere near the soggy mess that sometimes hinders a foil wrapped pie.

Brown Sauce: A small sachet of Lichfields brown sauce, did the job but nothing fancy.

Overall: A tasty pie but a greasy pie. Not one that does many favours for your arteries.

Gravy Factor: Full Fat Gravy. Not one for the dieticians.

A decent effort from Airdrieonians in the pie stakes and an excellent effort in the fan stakes with their pay what you can offer for a Saturday evening kick off. Smart thinking like this should get the crowds in when maybe you don’t expect them. Next time out we’ll have a luxury offering from the home of golf St Andrews, 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.

Pie 69: The Raith Rovers Pie

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Jings! That World Cup was rather good wasn’t it, although I don’t know if I would have fancied a roasting hot pie in the afternoon heat of Fortaleza or Salvador. That’s right folks, despite the doubters who thought this wouldn’t last a month Meat Filled Pastries is back for the 2014/15 season and I believe that this year the pastry is destined to be crisper, the gravy even messier, the meat oh so tender and the grease at a level that will mean I can keep my morning routine down to 1 cholesterol reducing yoghurt drink a day. I’m a season down and my standards have never been higher.

Before we get started on today’s review a few pieces of housekeeping for the new season:

  • For ease of communications you can now follow Meat Filled Pastries on Twitter @MFPTasty, also for any queries you can now contact pie HQ directly by emailing meatfilledpastries@hotmail.com. I want to spread the word of pie even further than before and by whatever medium I can so I am open to all offers.
  • The classic one bite expose will also this season be accompanied by a couple of pictures of my pie eating surroundings, whilst I’m sure larger venues like Ibrox, Hampden and Tynecastle will be familiar to many the aim of this ‘project’ is to shed some light on those venues where only the few will ever go, raise the profile of these clubs and spread the love about the beautiful game.
  • After a successful test towards the end of last season each week as well as a slice of pie based punditry there will be my take on whatever is prominent in the footballing world, perhaps there may be the odd match report and interview thrown in to but bear with me as I am just one man with a sizeable appetite for pies and live action football.

I will refrain from going on any longer at present and get on to the pastries, so without much further ado, say it loud and say it proud, LET’S RATE SOME PIE!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Starks Park, Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, Pre-Season Friendly, Entry Fee, £10.00. Programme, £1.50.

This may be the best looking picture I take all season..
This may be the best looking picture I take all season.

Price: Priced at £1.80 this will be the standard-bearer for pricing of pies towards the top end of the Scottish footballing pyramid. Instinct suggests to me that this may be about average for the season to come but we shall wait and see what the future brings.

Presentation: It may be a new season but its good to see that the medium-sized white napkin that I so often lauded as the little black dress of the football snacking world is still looming large over the humble pie, it was good to feel that soft paper between my fingers again.

THE PIE

I've missed you my friend.
I’ve missed you my friend.

Meatiness: I made a massive mistake with my first pie of the new season which both helped and hindered this review. Now as you all know all scotch pie tastings must be adorned with a splodge of brown sauce and as daft as this sounds but I probably could write a blog totally devoted to the different types of brown sauce you get at football grounds across the country but even I think that’s a step too far. Anyway to get back to my point such is my familiarity with this most delicious of condiments I often know exactly how much sauce to place on my pie. If I see a label or bottle I don’t recognise I’ll tread carefully as I’m not sure what version of this spice laden sauce is about to be bestowed upon my pastry. In this instance however I forgot about this rule and gaily smothered two-thirds of the pie lid with a few squirts of Bobby Brown probably in excitement more than anything else. This was my massive mistake.

The sauce was perhaps the tangiest thing I have ever put in my mouth, causing my cheeks to instantaneously suck themselves inwards resulting in pulling a duck face that 20-year-old lassies everywhere dream of putting on their Instagram accounts. It certainly added flavour but boy I wish I hadn’t been so generous, that said once I managed to find an area not so sauce laden I was slightly disappointed. The meat was a little under seasoned and that kick of pepper I had waited all summer for was nowhere to be found. I ate it pretty quickly as hunger was in full force after the drive to Kirkcaldy so my disappointment was only heightened when there was no discernible flavour left lingering in my mouth apart from the sting of the sauce. As a return to pie it was a little underwhelming.

Pastry: The pastry was soft which made it easy to eat. The softness was due to a well made pastry as opposed to it being underdone but I feel like it missed those crispy edges that I have a penchant for tearing off and dipping into the saucy pool above. Although I would have refrained from doing so on this occasion anyway. I had also noticed that on some of the pies around me there were small glistening puddles of grease that had leaked through but on mine the lid was dry and intact.

Overall: Starting the season with a Bog Standard Bisto offering was not what my heart desired but in truth this was nothing better than average although the good folk at Starks Park may be able to use their brown sauce to wake up any players knocked unconscious during the season. One sip of that bad boy and you’ll be wired to the moon.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto with a half pint of vinegar thrown in for good measure.

So there we have it your 2014/15 pie virginity has now been broken. Let me know what you think of the new format, I like it but I welcome all feedback good or bad. Once you’ve finished reading please remember to share it with your friends and spread the gravy.

The next review will be a second offering from Starks Park as the luxury pie makes it’s season debut whilst this week’s non pie piece will be in relation to the SFA’s interesting taking on ticket pricing for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and how UEFA’s ‘Week of Football’ philosophy only helps to compound the error in judgement made.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!

 

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 55: The Queen of the South Pie

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A pie with no hands
A pie with no hands.

 

It’s the last day of British Pie Week so obviously the best thing to do would be to squeeze in one more review before the midnight hour strikes. The original plan was to give you a review from Arthurlie from the junior ranks but as anticipated weather put paid to that and as such I bring you my latest review from Dumfries in the form of Pie 55: The Queen of the South Pie. As I have mentioned before by eating a lot of pie, I see a lot of football and as such I thought it beneficial to have some kind of secondary purpose in this never ending journey of pie. That purpose is to visit every senior ground in Scottish football and was part of the reason as to why I found myself in Dumfries and not far closer to home. It is a goal that I am very close to completing and with the help of this site those long journeys that I used to shy away from are now far more palatable. That said this will never turn into a blow-by-blow account of my travels but I will be sure to let you know when my journey is complete.

For now let’s get the focus back on the meat filled wonders that have brought you here and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Palmerston Park, Queen of the South v Hamilton Academical, SPFL Championship

Price: £1.50, once again priced at an equal level to those other scotch pies found at SPFL clubs out with the Premieriship. In my eyes this standardisation of price means that it is even more important for each club to find a pie that stands out from the rest of the crowd. Will this one manage to do so?

Presentation: A picnic blanket sized white napkin, almost too large as ridiculous as that sounds. On a windy day  I often found it wrapped around my pie and smothering brown sauce all over my hands at a time which wasn’t the most convenient for me. That said, thanks to its size, there was still ample tissue to dab my mouth corners with after consumption.

Meatiness: This was a nice pie, nicely textured meat, nicely flavoured with a hint of a pepper that did linger a little after the final bite was taken but that was about it. It was just kind of there, a perfectly acceptable meaty morsel that filled the breakfast shaped hole within but once again that was about it. If truth be told it was actually a little cold with the kind of temperature that would have wee Betty behind the counter in Greggs dubbing it as having a little heat in it and then following up with the question. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to wait five minutes for a warmer one?’ It was nice but a little bland and I would be doing an injustice to some of the other pastries on this journey if I was to smother it with praise.

Pastry: The pastry had a little bit more to it. It was lovely and crisp around the top edges and soft underneath although the top could have been fired for an extra couple of minutes for my taste as it looked a little anaemic. This combination of textures however meant that each bite was easy on the mouth with no risk of catching a jagged edge. There was a hint of butter in the pastry which is something often lost in the humble casing and as such boosted the overall flavour of the pie with a touch of added richness. The pastry certainly helped enhance the meat inside.

Overall: This pie was nice but not particularly memorable and also a little cold. A healthy squirt of some super tangy brown sauce was needed to really get a zing of flavour in the mouth. It did the job but you won’t find me beating a path down to Palmerston for yet another helping.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto.

After the highs of Ayr United it was a bit of bump back to earth with this offering. With all the ‘wild’ cattle signs I passed on the roads down I maybe should have expected that my pie life would have been better if there was a steak offering but alas none were on show. This however does not stop my thirst for pie and a new review of the luxury variety will be on its way to you from Ibrox Stadium, home of Rangers, at the start of next week, most likely Tuesday.

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 54: The Ayr United ‘Steak & Ale’ Pie

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There be booze in this here pie!
There be booze in this here pie!

I’m back and it’s still British Pie Week so that means that once again Meat Filled Pastries is delving headfirst into a meaty masterpiece. You may think I’m being presumptuous, I mean I haven’t even reviewed this offering yet, but let us not forget that a pie no matter how beautiful or tasty is still a masterpiece. A story of man’s struggle to create a crisp but soft pastry golden to the eye and flaky to the touch. To find the finest cuts of meat, to chop or mince them whilst seasoning them sympathetically to enhance the flavours inside whilst providing you, the luck recipient, with an extra dimension of spice, sweet or savoury at the behest of the artist’s moods and tastes. A pie is indeed a masterpiece and one day Meat Filled Pastries will be their Louvre.

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

Where: Somerset Park, Ayr United v Forfar Athletic, SPFL League One

Price: This was priced at £2 and much like the Ayr United’s Scotch Pie (Pie 53) it is priced slap bang in the middle of the range most applicable for luxury pies in the Scottish lower leagues.

Presentation: Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a new leader in the presentation stakes. Look at this, that’s right I’m about to drop a second picture on you.

Just Wow!
Just Wow!

I mean wow, just wow, what is this!?!? Well in its simplest form it is a cardboard sleeve in which the pie was sitting comfortably, but to look at it in its simplest form would be a total waste of a pie review. Is it the front cover of a pie themed trance album that never quite took off? Is it a full-grown version of Sooty’s best friend forever Sweep after an acid trip? Or is it simply a felt tip and highlighter portrait of the first nun who decided she was quite fond of a meat filled pastry every now and again? Either way this provided plenty of entertainment during the pre match build up. Underneath the sleeve the pie was in a simple tin foil case but there was no napkin provided, a first in this journey of pie and could be considered by some as a pie eating faux pas.

Meatiness: Just like the presentation, the meaty filling inside this luxury pie was super fancy. It was a dark, stormy concoction of steak and thick unctuous gravy. Far darker than your normal steak pie which I can only assume was a result of the ale that the meat was cooked with adding a depth of colour and a lovely malty back note to each bite. A common flaw in ale based gravies is that there is no hint of the specially crafted ale that a brewer had spent weeks and months sweating over so it was a delight to taste its presence in this offering. Then there was the meat, not only wonderfully tender with a good mix of shreds and dice but it also had some wonderful crispy bits where the meat had obviously caught in the pan. It really helped to add a homemade feel to the pie whilst adding another dimension of this flavour. I know I’m gushing a bit but wowzers this was good pie!

Pastry: The pastry was lovely and golden. Soft and crispy with a small hole to let the steam out the top. The most impressive part though was that there was no soggy bottom and no catching on the tin foil case just a lovely layer of crisp soft pastry from top to bottom. It may appear, when looking at it, that it was a little pale but in reality this was the crowning glory on this belter of a pie.

Overall: This pie came with a lot of hype and before consumption I was nervous that it would be nothing but a disappointment. I am delighted to report that I had no need for nerves as this was delightful from first bite to last. Great Meat. Great Gravy. Great Pastry. And the kind of presentation that requires 3D glasses and a time machine back to the sixties. If you go to Somerset Park this pie is a must. Well played Boaby, whoever you are!

Gravy Factor: Bathe me in this gravy, wash me down with a towel and then ring it dry straight into my wide open gob!

This pie definitely made a midweek drive to South Ayrshire a trip worthwhile. A review this good only goes to encourage me to go further with these pie adventures and as such my next stop on Saturday will be Dunterlie Park home of Arthurlie, let’s just hope the rain eases up a bit.

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.