stenhousemuir

Pie 170: The Annan Athletic Steak Pie

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It’s Annan Athletic Pie 2 and with the season ending and with the volunteers who run lower league social media accounts across the country taking a well earned break let’s not waste any time and get straight into this steak pie.

Without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Annan Athletic 2-0 Stenhousemuir, Galabank, Scottish League One Play Off Semi Final

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Price: £2. For a luxury pie that’s pretty much on the button for this level, for some it might be a little top heavy but anything under the two quid marker is usually pretty good going.

Presentation: Much like the scotch pie this was presented on an ample sized single white napkin.

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Meatiness: Now normally when you buy a steak pie you are met with a marriage of beefy gravy and chewy to meltingly tender chunks of meat dependent on ratios and overall quality of the pie. The Annan Athletic Steak Pie though was a different animal, the meat more stew like in texture with the strands of slow cooked meat melding with the gravy within. It tasted pretty good but was a little one note texturally and I found myself starting to crave a little variation from my next bite.

Pastry: There was a double layer of pastry used here. A harder outer layer with a softer inner layer that merged with the filling. This approach meant that there was no requirement for any metallic casing and also ensured a secure bite. There was also a nice little bit of decoration on the top, a rarely seen flourish on football terraces.

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Brown Sauce: Nada as this is a luxury pie but perhaps a little squirt might have been a good edition.

Overall: Generously portioned but perhaps lacking a little pizzazz.

Gravy Factor: I think I need to stew on this one.

The end of my pie season is near, and the fatigue is setting in just a little but there is still time for one more review from the junior scence as Kello Rovers took on Rossvale in a game where the visitors had to claim three points to earn promotion to the West Region’s top tier for the very first time.

However 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. Editor of Leading the Line, A member of the SWPL Media Team and a contributor to various football websites and publications he also currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert, hosting “The Isco Inferno” a weekly take on all things Spanish football. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ and part-time Madrileno with a passion for food and football that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

 

Pie 169: The Annan Athletic Pie

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Hello my meat filled muckers and welcome to the first of two reviews from Annan Athletic as I found myself taking the relatively easy 80 minute drive from Glasgow to Galabank for the home side’s SPFL League One play off first round leg tie against Stenhousemuir. I think the play-offs have been a great addition to the SPFL calendar and whilst Annan were ultimately unsuccessful in their promotion push despite their two-legged victory over Stenny an opportunity to bring in bumper crowds for some all or nothing football with the heightened coverage it brings is something that I hope continues to grow. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely entertaining.

Speaking of entertaining the Scottish Football season as a whole has been a pretty good one, yes a fairly average Celtic have coasted the league again but once you look by that you’ve seen a Rangers re-emergence, Kilmarnock claiming third, compliance officer shenanigans, Tartan Army travesties and of course Shelley Kerr and the girls qualifying for this summer’s Women’s World Cup with seven of her squad currently plying their trade in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. That’s a lot to take in, and so instead of me doing it here can I point you towards the How’s Your Touch? Kickstarter Project which will be providing a holistic look at all things Scottish football, including my end of season pie awards. This fully illustrated annual can be yours for just £10 so why not get involved by clicking here.

As I say my take on this season’s pies will feature, so without much further ado let’s see if this first effort from the Galabankies will turn out to be a contender. Let’s rate some pie!

Where: Annan Athletic 2-0 Stenhousemuir, Galabank, SPFL League One Play Off Semi Final

Price: Priced at £1.60 this is a fairly priced pastry in a Scottish League Two context, slightly more than your average junior pie but still a perfectly affordably treat when compared with prices further up the pyramid.

Presentation: A super large single white napkin. Plenty of layers to mop up any spillages from in and around your oral cavity.

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Meatiness: This was an interesting pie to eat. The texture was pretty good with the meat loose enough to give way as much as your bite dictated it should do. The first few bites though seemed pretty short on flavour. I knew what I was eating but it wasn’t until about halfway through that the those familiar scotch pie tastes became prominent. The end note was quite a fiery pepper kick, just on the right side of tasty. Decent but perhaps a little unbalanced.

Pastry: This pastry glistened in the early evening sun, adorned with a thin layer of gleaming fat that for some is a worry whilst for others a joy. The pastry did the job though, stayed in tact and was crisp all the way round with a good seal on the top and a little steam hole for a dash of artistic flair.

Brown Sauce: There was not just one type of brown sauce to chose from here but two. I plumped for a blob of Daddies which did the necessary in adding notes of sweetness and spice to the overall bite.

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Overall: A handy little pastry although the absence of flavour in the first few bites was a bit of a downer.

Gravy Factor: A pie of two halves.

That’s the first of two reviews from Annan Athletic in the books, with the second review of their steak pie following shortly, however 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. Editor of Leading the Line, A member of the SWPL Media Team and a contributor to various football websites and publications he also currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert, hosting “The Isco Inferno” a weekly take on all things Spanish football. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ and part-time Madrileno with a passion for food and football that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

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 32: The Dufftown ‘Mince, Beans and Tatties’ Pie

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A full dinner, in a pie!
‘There be beans in that pie!’

Hello again, and yes that is a bean peeking out of a pie but more on that in a bit.

As those that follow the exploits of Meat Filled Pastries know this Halloween instead of spending my time chasing trick or treaters away from my door I will be in the studio for the ‘Nugent4Nil’ Junior football show on Pulse 98.4 (http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/) from 8-9pm. In preparation for this I thought now would be as good a time as any to throw some pie stats at you:

Pies consumed: 32, this figures is taken from the start of the season, which for me began at Dundee North End on the 20th July a few weeks before the inception of the Meat Filled Pastries site you see before you know.

Pie Consumption Rate: 1.4 pies per game.

Pie Varieties Consumed: 4 (Scotch, Steak, Chicken & Haggis, Mince, Beans & Tatties).

Most Expensive Pie to Date: £2.60, Pie 18 ‘The Hampden Steak Pie’ (this is disregarding the Wembley ‘Bonus’ Pie which was a pie in name only)

Cheapest Pie to Date: £1.00, Pie 12 ‘The Rob Roy Pie’.

Biggest Surprise so far: Beans in a pie!

Biggest Let-down so far: That on my last 2 visits to Hampden they had NO BROWN SAUCE!

Those are the pie facts so far, and yes I am aware there is a particular type of chart that would be remiss of me not to use when discussing meat filled pastries but for that analytical beauty you will have to wait until the end of the season. For now though we are back in Dufftown, so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Westburn Park, Dufftown v Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Rd

Price: As with ‘Pie 31: The Dufftown Pie’ this was £2 and was part of the ‘one price fits all’ structure used at Westburn Park. As this can be deemed as a luxury pie the £2 price tag sits better than it did for the standard pie they offered.

Presentation: Simply presented in a medium sized white napkin much like its Dufftown contemporaries.

Meatiness: So this pie had mince, beans and tatties in it and therefore was only conceived with a 33% meat content in mind. That being said what was there was very tasty although I would question if it managed to reach that 33% level. On top of the mince was a single layer of baked beans, adding a tomato taste and an extra bit of texture and bite. It’s a shame that there was not a few more beans as I felt there should have been more of a satisfying ooze coming from the beans themselves once bitten into. The mashed potato on top was piped lovingly although not to the edges and as such some of the beans caught in the oven and were a little burnt. The mash itself was nice but could have done with a good knob of butter in it before piping for added richness. As traditional Scottish dinner’s in a pie go this was pretty good.

Pastry: Aaah the pastry, not really designed to add much other than to hold the smorgasbord (when it comes to pies 3 count as a smorgasbord) of fillings inside. It was a standard scotch pie case but what I can say is that parts of the base were well-fired enough that the smoke alarms must have been going off somewhere in the kitchen. That being said the burnt nature of the pastry underneath somehow worked really well with the pie filling itself. Now once again this is my personal taste and preference for pastry to be overdone than under of not done to perfection but despite this gastronomical faux pas the pastry did a sufficient job for what it was designed for, holding the rest of the pie together.

Overall: This pie definitely scores high on the novelty factor. It would have been better with a few more beans, a little more meat and the base a little less burnt but all in all it provided a satisfying match day snack. If I ever end up in Dufftown again I would certainly have this pie again and also consider a squirt of brown sauce on top as I think this would have added an extra zing to this meat, bean and tatties filled ensemble.

Gravy Factor: A gravy that’s a work in progress, you know you need the bones to make it tasty but you can’t figure out what to do with them. Potentially excellent, but not quite yet.

Well, that’s Pie 32 added to those condemned to the pit of my stomach as this journey of one man and his love of football and a tasty scran rumbles on. Next time out we go back to the SPFL as ‘The Stenhousemuir Pie’ is taken out of the oven and thrust into your faces courtesy of Meat Filled Pastries.

However until next time, 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.