food blog

Pie 188: The Rossvale Macaroni Pie

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Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Meat Macaroni Filled Pastries as we head to Glasgow’s southside for a piece of pasta pastry at New Tinto Park, current home of West Region Premiership side, Rossvale.

We’ve already reached that time of the season where the fixture list has taken a battering with ice, wind and rain all meaning that I have had to deviate from my usual match day routines at, or via Newlandsfield, and look for my football fix elsewhere. These deviations do however mean that I can go in search of new pastries, something I was able to do as the Vale took on Auchinleck Talbot in the Scottish Junior Cup with a bumper crowd in attendance given that it was one of only three fixtures across the grade to beat the weather on an icy late November afternoon.

Before we get to this latest pastry I need to give a wee plug to a podcast I appeared on whilst taking my now annual trip to Madrid. I spoke on Episode 5 of The Team on Tour – Real Football Stories pod about Scottish women’s football and of course pies and Roddy, your host, has done a fine job curating a wide range of guests for his debut podcast series so why not go have a listen and give him a follow.

Before I headed to Spain though I had time for one more Scottish match day bite and so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: New Tinto Park, Rossvale 1-2 Auchinleck Talbot, Scottish Junior Cup 4th Round

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Price: £1.50. When I started this site, seven years ago, £1 was very much the base to work from when pricing up your pastry however for this season I think it’s fair to say that £1.50 is the new standard of value in the Scottish Junior game.

Presentation: A large white napkin provided the layer required to keep the burn of the fresh-from-the-oven tin foil casing at bay. The foil itself a not commonly seen presence on the Scottish non-league pie scene.

Pasta & Cheesiness: This pastry had a nice cheesy ooze when squeezing it between your thumb and forefinger with the cheese flavour prominent enough throughout. The top was perhaps a little overdone adding a bitter note to the bite but at the same time there is some joy to be had from the crunch of a crispy grate of cheddar. Whilst the ooze was there the texture of the macaroni curls was lost a little meaning that the odd bite was a little samey.

Pastry: Just about on the right side of golden brown, the base and sides held well and were very crisp. Perhaps a little misshapen from a perfect round but did the job required.

Brown Sauce: As has been covered on many a previous review, it’s a nostalgia heavy blob of ketchup that goes on my macaroni pie, a sweet complement to the salty filling.

Overall: Good cheese flavour but perhaps a little off in terms of texture.

Gravy Factor: A decent wee mouthful of macaroni.

I have no idea when Pie 200 will come, but it is certainly starting to feel like it’s not far away. The numbers will be boosted in the next couple of weeks by not just one, but two pie reviews from Whitletts Victoria on what was a minging day at Dam Park. 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 187: The Linlithgow Rose CFC Pie (c/o Linlithgow Rose)

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It’s been a wee while since I’ve written one of these, it’s not been intentional, but just a consequence of a busy end to the Scottish Women’s football season, one that reached a final spellbinding conclusion last Sunday. I write this review a week after what was perhaps, the greatest Scottish Women’s Cup Final in history, most certainly in my recordable life time, and the night before the end of season SWF Awards. If you’re here purely for the pastries you might want to skip the next couple of paragraphs, although I hope you don’t.

Women’s football has been pretty good to me over the last few months, I’d like to think as much as I’ve tried to be good to it. There have been times, especially since the end of this summer’s World Cup in France, where rest has been an under-utilised aspect of my life and on more than one occasion I’ve probably needed to stop and take a moment. Instead though I ploughed on and, as the ticker tape parade that echoed round Tynecastle with Glasgow City claiming a first Scottish Cup triumph since 2015 came to an end, I felt a strange sense of pride and belonging.

Football is magic, no matter the level, venue or gender of those involved, I’ve always felt this way about it. I still remember a t-shirt I would wear religiously when I was nothing but a bairn that had emblazoned across it, “Football is life, the rest is just a game.” Of course that’s not strictly true, but it can be hard to deny the transformative effect a healthy relationship with the beautiful game can have for some. I include myself in that number but it’s only in these last couple of months that I’ve felt that maybe my relationship could be something more than just turning up for every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…

As I took in my surroundings on Gorgie, as the last few fans got their cards and programmes signed by their heroes, some of the most accessible and generous people you will ever meet, both in victory and defeat, I suddenly realised just how tired I had been. I headed back to Glasgow, having one last convenience for dinner before completing a quick edit and heading to bed where I slept, for as long as the alarm set for the day job the following morning would allow, and then the next night I slept and then I slept again but as I headed to my slumber each evening I did so content, content that I took a chance and put myself out there and that people in turn took a chance on me. I have only really done this in full for one season, for some of those I’ve met over the campaign this has turned into their life’s work. I will never not be in awe of that and the manner in which they continue to tackle the hurdles they need to overcome.

I recently turned 34, and more than ever I’m acutely aware of my own neuroses but I also like to think I’m more comfortable with exactly who I am and football, in particular the women’s game, has helped me feel that way and I can tell you, that, that feels smashing.

Meat Filled Pastries has always played a part in this too, a constant when the well was running dry or the enthusiasm wained and so it will be nice, for a little while at least, to get back to writing about these meaty marvels, and so, without much further ado let’s rate some pie!

Where: Prestonfield, Linlithgow Rose CFC 0-2 Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 3rd Round

Price: £1.50, a pie price point I think we can all get on board with.

Presentation: Classic presentation, handed over the counter on top of a medium-sized white napkin, exactly what you need.

Meatiness: This was delicious, which will not come as a surprise to anyone who has had the Curry Pie and/or the Steak & Haggis Pie at Linlithgow Rose, two standout pastries in their own right. The filling was moist with a texture that gave a little to the bite but still held itself well and was generously filled, seasoned to a tee with a light spicy linger as you ate. My disappointment that the two aforementioned were sold out was soon washed away by the flavours of this pie crashing over my taste buds.

Pastry: Well formed and round, the lid clearly having been pressed into the sides by the finger tips of its maker, a little cross on top to let the steam out. The pastry may have been perhaps a little thick for some but for me it’s sturdiness resulted in a very satisfying first bite.

Brown Sauce: HP, nothing to complain about with that as I adorned my pie with a swirl.

Overall: Linlithgow Rose have emerged over the last few months as a genuine contender as best matchday pastry provider around, with consistency of product and quality across the range being clear to see. This scotch pie is a very welcome addition to the Meat Filled Pastries scene.

Gravy Factor: Bangin’ Bisto.

A lovely return to the pie scene that, and a special mention to those involved with the Little Rosey Posey who really went all out for what would have been one of the biggest games in their short history in the junior game. There should have been a review from Firhill coming next but I’ve lost all my pictures and notes from that day so where next is as big a mystery to me as it will be to you, 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 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 184: The Irvine Meadow XI Macaroni Pie

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It’s another wonderful day to read about pie, and it’s the return of a personal favourite of mine in the form of the Macaroni Pie, this time from the West Region Juniors as Irvine Meadow took on Pollok in a top of the table Premiership clash.

Medda’ Park, or Meadow Park if you are a believer in the use of renounced pronunciation is one of the few venues in the West to have a seated stand and it is perhaps for money the most aesthetically pleasing, with it’s red brick base and the stylised writing on the near side wall advertising the presence of the Medda Lounge. They have also now installed a few more areas of cover around the ground and with the hot topic of how the juniors will eventually slide their way into the pyramid an ever present, spurred on further by the recent Scottish Cup exploits of former junior sides Penicuik Athletic and Broxburn Athletic, Meadow Park certainly has the feel of a ground gearing itself up for the bigger challenges to come.

They also have a pretty wide ranging, if a little short stocked on the day of my visit, pie hut and having reviewed the steak and scotch pies on offer many moons ago, when this site was still nothing more than an over elaborate bet, I was pleased to see a macaroni pie for me to feast my eyes upon.

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

Where: Meadow Park, Irvine Meadow 3-3 Pollok, West Region Premiership

Price: £1.50. A fair price for a non-league pastry.

Presentation: There was an interesting presentational differential on show at Meadow Park. If you got a steak pie you were afforded a plate to go along with your large white napkin, but for a macaroni offering the napkin alone was deemed to suffice, something which I probably agree with.

CheesyPastainess: This was very tasty. A squat little pie but was filled well enough with a macaroni mix that was heavy on the cheese and was well seasoned throughout. There could be an argument made to say that it was a little salty however I think that savoury tinge helped to add a moreishness to the bite. The integrity of the macaroni held up well and overall I would have quite happily smashed into this on a plate without the pastry surround.

Pastry: Not that there was anything wrong with the pastry. It was baked and held everything together amicably. The deep lip at the top suggested that maybe the pastry could have been filled a little more however to have done that may have compromised the integrity of the pie as a whole.

Brown Sauce: it’s a nostalgia dab for me once against so a squirt of Heinz Tomato Ketchup added a little sweetness to this savoury bite.

Overall: Good macaroni cheese inside a well baked pastry shell.

Gravy Factor: This pastry ranked very bechem-well indeed. (That pun is honking!)

This was a lovely mid-afternoon snack and once again show off the merits of a well made macaroni pie. Next up there will be a double dunt from Parklea, as Port Glasgow took on Greenock in the Inverclyde Derby underneath the Friday night lights.

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 182: The Forres Thistle Steak Pie

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Hello and welcome to Meat Filled Pastries, this latest entry to the Pie Hall of Fame comes to you on Non League Day, a day where, with Scotland’s international exploits causing optical bleeding across the country, fans are afforded the opportunity to seek relief and turn their attention to the lower leagues of Scottish football.

Meat Filled Pastries was set up with a view on shining a light on these clubs, the players who graft by day and then train hard at night, the coaches who become WhatsApp admins and fine arbitrators, the fans who stand in the wind and the rain, who share pints in strange little corner bars with their chosen travelling few, the volunteers who line the park, run the gate, bellow out the prizes on offer during the half time draw and of course, dish out sustenance to the ravenous hoards from kiosks of all shapes and sizes. Every one of whom are happy to call the beautiful game their mistress.

With the gap between the rich and the poor ever widening, with the relationships between those at the top and those in the terraces becoming more strained and distant I am forever grateful to the home that non-league football has provided me to embrace my fandom. If you’re reading this and still not decided to head to a game today then I encourage you to fire up your mobile and see what’s on offer near by.

Or, if you prefer, a bit further afield, something I found myself doing a couple of weeks ago as Pollok made the trip north to face Forres Thistle in the Scottish Junior Cup. There will be more on that journey in the next review but naturally, after having had a few beers, I headed to the hatch and made my order.

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

Where: Logie Park, Forres Thistle 0-3 Pollok, Scottish Junior Cup 2nd Round

Price: £2. An acceptable price for what was going to turn out to be an absolute belter of a steak pie.

Presentation: A double sheet of Kitchen roll. I assume more cost effective than a napkin but, having not yet fully investigated the finances behind this important part of the match day consumption process, an assumption is all that can be made. Either way those two sheets did the job required handily.

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Meatiness: Oh my, this was love at first bite. First the gravy, luscious and highly seasoned with a consistency that as you squeezed the pastry lid and base together gently let out a contented sigh of gravy, bulging the same way a full belly does after the belt has been loosened on a pair of trousers following a wholly satisfactory meal. The meat was tender and in generous sized chunks, toothsome, pleasingly tearing away from each other in strands exposing a wonderfully coloured steak still sporting a slight hue of pink. Multi-levelled deliciousness.

Pastry: Was it the prettiest pastry I had ever seen? No, the top was a little loose with the steam hole at the top showing signs of boil out as I peeled a salty sliver of what I like to call “gravy jerky” from the surface but it was beautifully baked. Thick enough to hold the filling but not too thick so that you end up with a raw inside coating with a lovely golden tinge all around.

Brown Sauce: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. No.

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Overall: Generous helpings of steak wrapped in highly seasoned gravy and held within well baked pastry. Lovely.

Gravy Factor: 24 carat gravy.

I’ll be back with another review from Forres as I share what was an interesting match viewing experience.

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 Scottish Women’s Football Media Team 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 181: The Hibs Ladies Mince Pie (c/o Spartans FC)

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Hello again and I’m back with another Leith laced pie offering as I headed to the north of Edinburgh for some Scottish Women’s Cup Quarter Final action as Hibernian Ladies hosted Hamilton Academical. For me, knockout football is the best form of the game that we all love. A game of all-or-nothing (yes, I know about replays you fun sponge!) with heightened stakes and no guarantee of ultimate glory, it may not be the definitive indicator of who the best team in a tournament is week in and week out but come final day you can almost always find a narrative, whether it be an underdog’s story, an unexpected hero, the dawning of a new era or the crowning moment of a successful dynasty.

It should be the thing that everybody wants to be in and nobody wants to be out of and in Scotland, I believe that we are fortunate to be in a position that all clubs still approach these tournaments in that manner.

That is no different in the women’s game and so I headed east in search of some piping hot cup action and of course a cheeky little pastry. So without much further ado let’s rate some pie!

Where: Ainslie Park, Hibernian 3-0 Hamilton Academical, Scottish Women’s Cup Quarter Final

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Price: £2 is a top end price for what some may view as a standard pie offering whilst conversely for those of you that would view this as a luxury item £2 is pretty fair. I’m somewhere in the middle.

Presentation: This pie came served on an off white paper plate, always a bit of a novelty, with some self service deep-blue coloured napkins. Sturdy base for peak pie consumption.

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Meatiness: This was really moreish but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. The filling, being a mince pie as opposed to scotch, was a lot looser with a more gravy like consistency with beef being the star of the show. It was well seasoned and there was a spicing to it that made my taste buds curious whilst also yearning for more. Enjoyable stuff.

Pastry: The pastry was fairly standard, held well and had a smooth top bringing pack memories of Bell’s pies of reviews past. This though was a level up.

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Brown Sauce: Wee sachets of HP. I always feel the wee sachets are a bit stingey in terms of the volume of sauce within but it was help yourself so I could dab aaway to my hearts content.

Overall: Decent pastry with a moreish meaty filling.

Gravy Factor: Goodness gravy me.

Next up I have a double dunt from the North Region Juniors and Logie Park, home of Forres Thistle.

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 Scottish Women’s Football Media Team 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 180: The SWNT Macaroni Pie (c/o Hibernian)

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There is a very Hibs heavy theme to this most recent tranche of reviews. It’s not deliberate, but with the women’s side being involved in the league, Scottish Cup and Women’s Champions League and the national side playing their most recent Euro 2021 qualifier at Easter Road, the fates have seen the north of Edinburgh become a hub of meat filled musings.

I’ve mentioned before that I now cover Scottish women’s football fairly extensively and in the last couple of weeks I have made the decision to move Meat Filled Pastries sister site, Leading the Line, to exclusively cover women’s football, particularly in Scotland. If you’re into that kind of thing I would highly recommend giving it a follow and of course subscribing to the podcast too.

Catering is still an evolving concept in Scottish women’s football but at Easter Road it has long been a staple so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Easter Road, Scotland 8-0 Cyprus, Euro 2021 Qualifying Group E

Price: After driving from west to east through the torrential rush hour rain and, having forgot that dinner is a very important part of the day, I share no shame in claiming this pie for free as part of my role covering the game.

Presentation: Presented in the press lounge in a couple of big silver catering trays with on-brand large green napkins for moping any residuals from the corner of my mouth.

CheesyPastainess: Pretty tasty. It was generously filled with the cheese sauce wrapped around well cooked macaroni curls. There was no flouriness to the taste or the texture and the additional sprinkling of cheddar across the top had bubbled to just the right level, the best side of crispy to ensure the colour had changed but there was no burning on top or the cheese all coming off in one bite.

Pastry: Unlike a lot of macaroni pies the pastry here had a good golden tinge to it. There was a little bit of boil out which can be expected with cheese such a key component of the filling. It held the filling admirably and could be relied on in the tilt, a hand position that needs to be taken with the unpredictable macaroni potentially ready to tumble at any moment.

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Brown Sauce: As always with a macaroni pie I mix things up on the condiment front with a dod of tomato ketchup straight from a bottle of Heinz.

Overall: Pastry that held well encasing a nicely flavoured and generously portioned macaroni filling.

Gravy Factor: There’s a touch upon my lips, and that touch is a tasty macaroni pie.

I did say at the start that Hibernian would be a recurring theme and that theme continues as next up is a Mince Pie (not a Scotch pie) from Ainslie Park as Hibs Ladies hosted Hamilton Academical in the Quarter Finals of the Scottish Women’s Cup. As well as another new pie you can also look forward to me shoehorning some more Proclaimers based puns into this piping hot content. 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 Scottish Women’s Football Media Team 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 179: The Workington AFC Steak Pie

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The August Bank Holiday Monday is braw. In my particular part of Scotland, for most, this is a normal working day with the September Weekend taking precedent but for the rest of the UK, including me, it is a day where everything truly shuts down. That is everything bar the football and as such I have now made a habit of firing up the Groundhopper App and seeing what’s within a comfortable day’s reach.

Workington AFC, situated towards the Cumbrian coast, has long been on my radar and on discovering that they were to be at home to the wonderfully named Pontefract Collieries I booked my train tickets to head south of the border on what turned out to be a wonderfully sunny day.

Being a city boy it always strikes me how much towns such as Workington completely shut down during these days with the ten minute walk from the station to the ground feeling like a cut scene from Shaun of the Dead, the streets empty and doors closed. To be a resident on days like this would certainly take some getting used to but I knew I had dealt with any concerns about not being able to get a couple of pints during some pre-match scouting which revealed that the Tony Hooper Bar located inside the ground would be able to provide exactly what I was looking for.

I was even more grateful when it was announced that the visitors had been delayed by 45 minutes as a result of traffic and so, as I sat down to my second fruity cider of the day I decided it was time to deal with the real reason I was here, so without much further ado let’s rate some pie!

Where: Borough Park, Workington AFC 2-1 Pontefract Collieries, Northern Premier League Division One North West

Price: Much like in the case of the Bohemian’s Pie there was an option to turn my single pie into a proper feast with a Steak Pie being served with chips, peas and gravy for just £5. A deal like that is an insta-take after a couple hours of travelling.

Presentation: This meal came in a long, rectangular, yellow polystyrene box with cutlery and napkins available on a table beside the service window located in the bar.

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Meatiness: I had a slight worry as I went in to consume this pastry driven by a conversation between the person ahead of me in the queue and the kiosk proprietor who had suggested that it would be better with the gravy as the steak pies had come out “a bit dry”. It was a concern rightly shared because as I pulled apart the pastry with my plastic knife and fork it became clear that there was indeed very little gravy held within.

The meat was nice enough, fine strands with a slight hint of ale on the tastebuds, but it was indeed pretty dry and I soon found myself dipping my forkfuls into the pastry’s gravy surroundings. Tasty but perhaps needing a little more filling and a little less baking.

Pastry: The pastry had a good colour on it and proved to be a robust foe against my brittle cutlery. There was some boil out, again hinting at the dryness within, but the gravy helped soften everything although the bottom was not forgiving and I ended up picking that up like a form of meaty biscuit to make consumption much easier.

Brown Sauce: No brown sauce needed here thanks to the generous ladles of gravy, and side of mint-tinted mushy peas. The chips, which I should probably mention here, were fine.

Overall: Bit dry but gravy saved the day whilst paying just a fiver for a full lunch is value that can’t be sniffed at.

Gravy Factor: Glad it had some.

A decent pie was accompanied by an enjoyable game at Borough Park, with the home side running out 2-1 winners, the last ten minutes being particularly entertaining as the referee totally lost control of the game.

Next up I’m in Scotland’s capital where the women’s national side started their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign against Cyprus at Easter Road. I was working, but I still managed to snaffle a pastry.

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 Scottish Women’s Football Media Team 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.