tatties

Pie 193: The Rangers Haggis, Neeps & Tatties Pie

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Hello and welcome to a slightly delayed jaunt to the land of meat filled mirth as we once again go into the breach with a pie in honour of our nation’s bard, Robert Burns, from the house that staunch built as Rangers took on Stranraer in Scottish Cup action.

Regular readers will know that I have had a tumultuous history with the “Pie of the Month” offerings of Ibrox visits past. The wonderful sounding Pie 147: Chicken & Chorizo Pie still haunts my weekly pie queue daydreams. A filling akin to an emptying of hot sick that somehow managed to turn the usual stampede of flavour that chorizo brings into a quivering new born foal. The lid coming clean off in what I can only assume was a last desperate attempt at freedom by the chicken that had been so cruelly sacrificed as part of this pastries misconception.

It’s still not the worst pie I have encountered of my now many years of travels though, that accolade belongs to Pie 126: The Queen’s Park Cheese & Onion Pie. A pie that I described at the time as both “bland and yet somehow offensive” with pastry saw raw that even the most discerning of play-doh eating toddlers would turn their nose up at smashing it into their face.

So yes, as I ordered my latest big venue luxury offering, I did so with much trepidation. Was that trepidation merited? Well without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ibrox Stadium, Rangers 2-0 Stranraer, Scottish Cup 4th Round

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Price: £3.10. The first of what turned out to be a number of pleasant surprises, on an evening devoid of much on-field entertainment, this pastry came in a full 40p less than the last luxury offering sampled in Glasgow’s Southside. For a captive audience the pricing is still more than plenty but the four pound coins resting in my hand were released with just a little more ease than they had been before.

Presentation: It was a little thin but sufficient in size to keep your pastry safe in hand and the mouth clear of debris once you had taken, and hopefully savoured, your final bite. It’s tin foil housing a little loose and perhaps, from my reckoning at least, superfluous for the need.

Meatiness: There was no fuss here with no melange to speak of, just a healthy dollop of decently flavoured haggis. There was a kick spicy enough to set off a few pin pricks on the surface of the tongue but the texture was just a bit too tight, almost claggy in the mouth once you had ruminated on it for a second or two. Not unpleasant but not quite good enough to dub it as the very best version of what it could be.

Pastry: A touch pale. I wouldn’t want to leave this sitting unattended during one of those rarely seen scorching Scottish days for fear of it turning a shade of crimson that would make it appear to be inedible, but structurally it certainly held well enough. There was a slightly clumsy swirl of smooth if a little under seasoned mashed potato whilst the final flourish, a dab of neeps on top was crushed, one can only assume from transit, but the flavour and colour contrast between the two was a welcome addition.

Overall: A significant improvement on Pie of the Month offerings of light blue concessions past. It wasn’t perfect, the pastry needed some more colour, the haggis a little less manipulation into the casing and the veg an extra notch or two of seasoning but overall this was a handy little pie.

I’ve stripped back this review. For a while now there has been things that have felt convoluted and it’s sometimes easy to forget that when you are both editor and scribe that you can improve things along the way as much by subtraction as you can with addition.

The next review is yet to be confirmed, but it will be on its way, we’ve got 200 pies to eat. 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 Scottish Women’s Football writer and a contributor to various football websites, podcasts and publications. 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 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.