west of scotland

Pie 84: The Ardrossan Winton Rovers Pie

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Hello and welcome to the last Meat Filled Pastries of 2014. What a year of pie it has been. I’ve managed to score a couple of freebies, spread my gospel of meat and pastry in a couple more match day programmes and, perhaps most significantly, got my taste buds around some of the best (and worst) football pies around at the 2015 World Scotch Pie Championships Judging Day.

This adventure just keeps rolling on and just when I think that the pastry laden path I meander along has made things as surreal as they could possibly be it has me hurtling down the rabbit hole like a pie starved Alice in a wonderland of mutton, mince, onion, pastry, steak and gravy. Thank you to those of you that have shared, printed, spoke about and, quite frankly, indulged me on this journey over the last 12 months. I hope you continue to do so in 2015.

Sentiments aside, the reason why you are all here is to once again dive head long into a wonderfully meaty treat. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Winton Park, Ardrossan Winton Rovers v Glenafton Athletic, West of Scotland Cup 2nd Round

Some Retro Signage
Some Retro Signage

Price: Priced at £1.20 this is perhaps a little more expensive than you would expect at an Ayrshire District League ground but the good folk at Ardrossan are packing a secret as the pie they stock is none other than the 2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner. Therefore making an apparently premium junior price seem like a bit of a bargain.

Here's the sign to prove it
Here’s the sign to prove it

Presentation: After a slightly strange array of offerings recently it is almost fitting that the last pie of the year should not only be a champion but also presented in the ever classical medium-sized white napkin leaving the pie neither over or under dressed. You know I’ve always wondered if Coco Chanel would approve of such paraphrasing when the subject matter it relates to is so big and meaty.

THE PIE

2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner
2014 World Scotch Pie Championship Winner

Meatiness: As I stared at the placard on the side of the pie stall that proclaimed the presence of a world champion pie my expectations were immediately raised. A reward for jumping in my car and seeing where the footballing gods wanted to guide me. It did not disappoint. The pie was moist but not greasy. There was a peppery hit that as opposed to being sharp and acrid was smooth and lingered long in the pallet. Once the pepper had dissipated you were left with a mutton finish that did indeed have you biting down for more. It was clear to me why this was considered a pie of the highest order.

Pastry: This is going to sound a bit odd but when reviewing my notes of this pie I’ve described the pastry as meaty. As I rack my brain trying to get my taste memories past Christmas Dinner I remember thinking that the pastry had managed to retain some of the juices from its meaty insides. It also had a light buttery finish with a nice crumble and sufficient enough to hold the filling as I munched my way through.

Brown Sauce: A sweet and tart offering from Spar presented in a squeezy bottle. If I’m being honest I felt the sauce, on this occasion, detracted from as opposed to enhancing the flavour of my pastry.

Overall: I would have like to have tasted this pie without knowing of its prestigious history just to see if it really was as good as it appears as I can’t help but feel a blind tasting would have brought a truer review unaffected by the fame of it all. That said there is no doubting that this was a belter of a pie.

Gravy Factor: King of Pies, for now. A contender for the 2015 crown we’ll have to wait and see but for now Michelin gravy.

Pie 84 is where this year’s tally will end, but there is no doubt in my mind Pie 100 will come to us all in 2015. I had planned an additional review from Ardeer Thistle however they had, rather upsettingly, ran out of pies when I finally reached the front of the queue 15 minutes after kick off. Whilst disappointed my sorrow was tempered when I was greeted with the same World Scotch Pie Championship Winner sign that had greeted me at Ardrossan just a couple of weeks earlier. I assumed they must be the same.

Anyway, here’s to 2015, go forth and eat pie!

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Pie 30: The Beith Pie

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Not for the faint hearted: No, seriously!
Not for the faint hearted!

 

Word up pie fans! Straight from the meat filled ghetto I am happy to present to you Pie 30 of Meat Filled Pastries: Tour of Pies ‘The Beith Pie’. As promised in my last review I have a couple of announces to make. I have been doing Meat Filled Pastries for 3 months now and I am delighted that people seem to like this little project. To be fair if people didn’t like I’d probably still be here wittering on about pies but I would just like to take the opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has read, liked, tweeted, commented and shared with their friends in what ever way you have. I hope this is the start of something that I will keep going for many a pie to come.

On the back of all your support I am delighted to announce that Meat Filled Pastries will be live on air between 8-9pm on Thursday October 31st on Pulse 98.4FM, available on your radio’s in the South of Glasgow and East Renfrewshire area or by the ‘Listen Live’ function on the station website http://www.pulseonair.co.uk/.  I will be a guest on ‘Nugent4Nil’ a programme focused on Scottish junior football (on Thursday night) the pies provided by these teams. It will be my first appearance on the radio for over 4 years and it’s safe to say I’m looking forward to it. If you have a bit of free time give it a listen.

Secondly I am proud to announce that Meat Filled Pastries now has on offer MeatFilledMerch. Dedicated to all your pie based fashion needs, whatever they may be. You can find the store at http://meatfilledmerch.spreadshirt.co.uk/ and the link is on the right hand side of the site. This is very much in it’s infancy but I hope over the coming weeks I’ll items you may actually want to wear and buy! I would also like to make you aware that any personal profit made on anything bought from ‘MeatFilledMerch‘ will go straight to ‘The Grambler’s Kick Arse Fund’, the full story of which can be found at the following link, http://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3, if you could take a look it would mean a lot.

So yeah, busy times at MFP HQ, but now back to the main business of the day, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith v Pollok, West of Scotland Cup 1st Rd

Price: At £1.10 about par for a junior football scotch pie.

Presentation: As previously mentioned in ‘Pie 29: The Beith ‘Chicken & Haggis’ Pie’ this came wrapped in a local bakery branded large napkin by the name of Irvine’s. There was however no tinfoil case, of which I approve, as a good scotch pie should be able to hold itself up securely in the safety of a suitably sized napkin.

Meatiness: The meat was moist and quite flavourful, not particularly peppery but pleasant enough. Unfortunately though this is where the good times end as once the first bite is taken your mouth is subject to a tidal wave of hot grease. A tidal wave !?!? An exaggeration too far you say. Well I counter your act of flippancy at my suggestion by confirming that on tipping the pie to a 90 degree angle a continuous stream of grease came dripping out for just over 19 seconds before subsiding. That’s right, it was that greasy that I thought it worthy enough to get a timer out. Now I should say if you love a greasy pie, then you will love this one but for me every bite left a greasy film that covered every corner of the inside of my mouth. It washed away any of the meaty goodness inside and left my arteries feeling more clogged up than a San Marino’s defence whilst 1-0 up against Scotland with 5 minutes to go. It was such a shame after the highs of the previous Beith based pie.

Pastry: The pastry for what it’s worth was good, although as can be seen from above came with a glistening puddle of fat atop of it meaning that it got soft very quickly, it held well when a bite was taken but was victim to the same gush of grease that put paid to the taste of the meaty filling.

Overall: Part of the tag line of this site is ‘Let the grease hit my elbows’, the grease within this pie though not only would have hit my elbows but made it down to my knees and into my toes. I’m just here to give one man’s honest opinion on pie and If you like your pies greasy then this will be right up your street but for me unfortunately it fell short of the mark. The short taste of meat I managed to get suggested there is a good pie waiting to get out but until the grease is reduced considerably I’ll continue to wish for another one of those beautiful ‘Chicken & Haggis’ offerings.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that started off using bones and scraps for a flavoursome stock but then forgets to skim the fat off the top before leaving it to sit out for a few days. Greasy Gravy.

So another pie review done, and a decidedly mixed bag from Beith. All going well next week’s review will be fresh from the ovens of Moray as Meat Filled Pastries hit’s the Scottish Junior Cup trail to Dufftown but until then 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 on Thursday 31st October for some live pie and visit ‘MeatFilledMerch’ for all your pie fashion needs.

 

 

Pie 29: The Beith ‘Chicken & Haggis’ Pie

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Yes, that really is mashed potato on top of a pie!
Yes, that really is mashed potato on top of a pie!

It’s been a while since my last Junior pie review, so I am happy to report that this week I will again be bringing you not one, but two pie’s for your mental consumption. My regular attendance of Junior football games is what started this particular little project, and so it gives me great pleasure to bring you more meat filled pastries from the places most of you would never even consider going to, let alone think a football team is there selling pies. This week we start with a special treat, a pie that has a reputation as being one of the best around. So much so, that I had to forgo the usual routine of starting my pie tastings with a scotch mince pie, and instead go straight into the lap of luxury such was my concern that the pie shown above would be sold out before I had a chance to smack my lips right around it.

I also have a bit of exciting ‘Meat Filled Pastries’ news but you’ll have to wait for the aforementioned second Beith pie review later in the week before I reveal this latest development, let’s just say my mouth is going to be doing more than just eating pies in a couple of weeks time.

So with that rather cryptic statement out the way, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Bellsdale Park, Beith v Pollok, West of Scotland Cup 1st Rd

Price: £1.50 for a luxury pie is a price not to be sniffed at, especially considering it is a pound cheaper than some of it’s SPFL contemporaries and with a far more interesting filling waiting inside.

Presentation: Presented in a silver tin foil case, something that I would be thankful for later, and a large branded napkin for ‘Irvine’s Baker and Coffee Shop’. I liked this touch a lot, not only is it smart for a small business to promote itself and hopefully continue to be a success, but it also gives you the pie consumer a point of origin. In fact it also give’s me as a reviewer a fair chance to point people in the right direction if a pie is worthy of the Meat Filled Pastries stamp of approval.

Meatiness: As can already be seen this pie is not mince nor steak, but the heady combination of chicken and haggis. As I write this I wonder if someone somewhere has thought to christen this the ‘Balmoral Pie’ after that dish commonly found at many a Scottish sit down function. If they haven’t then I will happily allow it’s use on the condition that I get a lifetime supply of these beauties. Firstly it was bursting with meaty goodness! The chicken was cut into rough 1cm cubes, perfect size to provide texture without resulting in you pulling large bits of meat out the centre of your pie when biting. The haggis added a creaminess and that all important hint of pepper and spice that makes a truly great pie which, when coupled with the chicken gravy inside, left you craving that second bite almost as soon as you had dabbed the corner of your lip from taking the first.

Pastry: The pastry was as close to perfect as I’ve had yet, it was sealed with the kind of precision that would have Paul Hollywood stroking his nipples with glee. A golden top with a thin crisp layer and the pastry round the sides soft enough to bite straight through. Then there was the mashed potato, that’s right mashed potato, on a blinkin’ pie, madness I hear you say? Not at all. Although not a world beating mash it provided a lovely contrast to the pastry that surrounded it. My only minor criticism would be that the moistness of the filling did mean that after a few bites the insides fell out the bottom a bit, but I’m not really caring as it was well worth the messy fingers.

Overall: I created the term ‘Luxury Pie’ initially to cover any pie that wasn’t your standard mince pie, however this effort has raised the bar considerably. Fully worth the extra expense and the title of ‘Luxury Pie’ not only for its taste but also its originality.

Gravy Factor: The ‘Balmoral’ Pie would be the kind of gravy that Prince Charles would have at a royal visit and immediately get onto the marketing men at Duchy Originals to buy get it bought out and trademark it as their very own gravy. Lovely, lovely gravy.

The first poultry pie is in the books, and I think you’ll agree that it has done rather well for itself, I’m aiming to get the mince pie review up on Wednesday night, will it fair so well? And perhaps more importantly what is the big announcement from MFP HQ?

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. Finally if you could take some time to visit ‘The Grambler’ or make a donation to ‘The Booby Moore Fund’ it would be most appreciated.