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Pie 113: The Linlithgow Rose Steak Pie

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So a few weeks ago I went to Madrid with a couple of friends and I fell in love with it a little bit. With it’s party vibe, great (great!) food and passion for football it was the kind of place that makes me realise how much I missed out on whilst spending my younger years on the strips of Magaluf.

We visited almost every museum the city had to offer, drinking and eating our way through many tabernas and restaurant’s. We also made our way to, not just one, but two La Liga matches and I thought this is where I should focus my pre-amble today.

First up was Rayo Vallecano v Celta Vigo, the Partick Thistle of Madrid against that team John Guidetti now plays for. The day before the game we had to go and pick up some tickets and on arrival were treated to an open training session at the Estadio Vallecas. A funny 3 sided stadium slap bang in the middle of suburban Madrid. My Spanish lessons were of varying use throughout the trop but when it came to purchasing football tickets they were at their most potent. On match day we took the metro round to the stadium and as we walked up the steps you were greeted by an audible buzz, something far different from a game in the UK. It was loud and busy but safe feeling with stalls selling flags, scarves and perhaps most relevant to this website food. For this game I plumped for a bag of Chicharrons, deep fried pork rinds and a bottle of coke. The game itself was entertaining and the atmosphere was amped up by Rayo scoring a couple of early goals. Throughout the game it was near incessant even from the Celta fans just a couple of rows away from us bouncing, as they did, all the way through the game and the banter was good natured even with rival fans so close together.

The facilities were rather basic but for me it exemplified why the atmosphere was so great. There was no messing about here, you took to your seat, you watched the game and had a fiesta we even tried singing along a couple of times! It had got me excited for our trip to the Vicente Calderon the following day.

Game two was god awful. Truly, truly bad. Atletico Madrid known more for their stinginess at the back than their tacking prowess played a Sevilla team with exactly the same game plan. In truth, the most exciting thing to happen was when a Sevilla player getting set off prompting the home crowd to go as wild as if they had scored a goal. Amusement followed as we subsequently watched them go beserk as Sevilla went about wasting time in every way imaginable. It was also a pretty hot day and as we were sat halfway up the nonshaded side of the stadium an unexpected bout of January sunburn befell my body in the afternoon sun. My snack of choice for this game were, Pipas (Sunflower Seeds). I had noticed these all over the place at the Rayo game and ever one for a culinary adventure I took the plunge and proceeded to bite, spit and suck my way through these salty treats. I’m still not sure the risk of choking is worth the taste but as an authentic match day meal I think I nailed it.

I really enjoyed my La Liga adventures and I’ve already got Espanyol v Athletic Bilbao lined up for March whilst in Barcelona, the fans are passionate although incredibly biased and the atmosphere moves along even in the less glamorous of games. That said in Spain the empanadas are not a match day specialty, in fact, they didn’t even exist and as this site is called Meat Filled Pastries let’s return to our meaty home with pie review two from Linlithgow Rose.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Prestonfield, Linlithgow Rose 3-3 Forfar Athletic, Scottish Cup 4th Round

Chucking it down and near freezing but still queued out the door. It can only be the Scottish Cup.
Chucking it down and near freezing but still queued out the door. It can only be the Scottish Cup.

Price: At £1.60 this was only 10p more than the scotch pie offering from the same venue, meaning by comparison this was a relative bargain although I would still say the pricing of the scotch pie is a little bit dearer than the equivalents found in the west region of junior football.

Presentation: I should really do a copy and paste job from my last review here as it was identical, in fact, I’m going to: “Medium sized white napkin. It may be the first (now second) pie of 2016 but even as I enter my 4th year of pie some things in the pie game never change and honestly I don’t think it needs to. Does the job.”

THE PIE

Steak Daft!
Steak Daft!

Meatiness: I ate this pie quite a while ago now so my memories of it are somewhat distant, however my expertly crafted notes (which as always I had texted to myself) have helped jog the memory.

This steak pie was different from many others that I had encountered before. Usually they are a mix of chunks and gravy but in this instance the meat was stewed and shredded creating an effect similar to pulled pork except with steak, I was a fan. That said I thought it was a little bland and lacking a smidge of seasoning. The filling was pleasant enough although it was lacking the punch that would truly elevate to a pie of the highest order.

Pastry: The bottom of this pie was rather burnt, enough to give a bitter note as I chomped my way through and I’m almost certain it was down to living to long in the oven. It did mean that you didn’t run the risk of the soggy bottom often caused by a moist pie such as steak but it did ultimately impact on the taste overall. The top, as can be seen, was a little loose meaning it would hit my nose as I took each bite but the puff pastry was golden and crisp. I think without the ‘well-firedness’ this would have been a pretty solid pastry effort from The Rosey Posey.

Overall: I liked the pulled steak texture and the filling was pleasant if perhaps lacking a bit of imagination. The pastry was a bit of a let down and as previously stated burning the bottom did add a bit of unwanted bitterness. Personally I would rather the bottom was a little softer and I had to do a bit of juggling over sturdy and burnt.

Gravy Factor: Well fired Gravy. Get your fish slice right under that bad boy!

I have no idea where my next review is coming from, this winter has been terrible for your favourite pie reviewer but I will come back with something soon I promise.

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.

Pie 112: The Linlithgow Rose Pie

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This weather is absolutely brutal for trying to write pie reviews as weekend after weekend of lower league and non league football gets decimated by wind, rain and snow. This coupled with my local team visiting some familiar venues mean that I’ve had to resort to rationing the reviews I have stored in the bank. It’s been heavy going. Two weekends ago I watched in horror as my first, second and third choice alternative games all fell foul of the Scottish winter. Now, I love winter football when it gets played. There’s a sadistic pleasure in freezing your giblets off on a January afternoon, your toes going so numb they feel like Lego bricks and your breath doing it’s best Thomas the Tank Engine impression.

I’m not for summer football (it will be the death of the pie for a start) but I am for a winter break, some kind of provision that ensures thousands of fans are not left staring dead-eyed into the distance as their significant other asks if that is the right shade of terracotta for the dining room when all their heart yearns for is to cheer their team forwards to glory. That said I’ve managed to get about a bit and as such I bring to you today’s review from East Superleague heavyweights Linlithgow Rose.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Prestonfield, Linlithgow Rose 3-3 Forfar Athletic, Scottish Cup 4th Round

2150 hardy souls in attendance, and I mean hardy, it was well dreich!
2150 hardy souls in attendance, and I mean hardy, it was well dreich!

Quick note before I start. What a game this was! The kind of thing you dream of when you turn up to a match as a neutral. Controversial officiating, red cards, penalties, an underdog comeback and a ground rammed with people having good natured banter. I was so glad I went. It could have been a wee bit drier but for me that just added to the magic.

Price: A solid £1.50, about par for the top end of the junior game and a blessed relief from the burger disaster that occurred during my last review from Broadwood.

Presentation: Medium sized white napkin. It may be the first pie of 2016 but even as I enter my 4th year of pie some things in the pie game never change and honestly I don’t think it needs to. Does the job.

THE PIE

FINALLY!
FINALLY!

Meatiness: Finally! After what felt like a lifetime a new pie at a football match was sitting in my paw. I would have been lying to myself and everyone who reads this site if I hadn’t made my first review of 2016 a scotch pie and this was a solid effort in the meatiness stakes. There was a strong mutton flavour present in this pie distinctive from lamb however it was perhaps just a little greasy. Not offensively so for this pie guy but enough for a dribble or two to be coming from this pastries meaty core. However as any good cook will tell you, fat means flavour! As long as it’s not too much. That said, despite the grease, the meat held together well and all in all this was a nice ‘welcome back’ to the world of football pastries.

Pastry: The pastry is perhaps where this pie was let down a little. The bottom was, in yer granny’s terms, well fired or, in layman’s terms, a bit burnt and it did add a bitter note to your bite which I’m not overly keen on. The top was interestingly the complete converse to the base. Almost chewy in texture, like the pastry you would find on a perogi or dumpling and when you bit into it some of the pastry you weren’t quite ready for came away too. A little bit crisper on top and a little bit softer on the bottom and this would have been spot on.

Overall: A solid effort. Nicely flavoured meaty centre slightly let down by the bake on the pastry around it.

Gravy Factor: It was my first football pie in a month, it tasted amazing even if it wasn’t the best example I’ve had. Nostalgic Gravy.

This is the first of two reviews from the Rosey Posey as I am forced to take the stack them high approach to my pie visits whilst the weather refuses to play ball. Next time out their steak pie will be under the microscope plus an insight into my trip to Madrid and my La Liga matchday experiences.

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. 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 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 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.

Pie 53: The Ayr United Pie

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It's a pie, honest!
It’s a pie, honest!

Happy British Pie Week everyone! That’s right, a week devoted entirely to pie and here at Meat Filled Pastries we are fully embracing the festive period with a plethora of pie lined up for your delectation over the coming week. This review is the first of two from the home of Ayr United, Somerset Park one of the few remaining senior grounds in Scotland with a proper old school feel to it. With a main stand that I swear hasn’t been touched since it was built and three sides of proper terracing. The home end, when even half full, can generate a proper atmosphere that only a pitch level terrace can. It will be a sad day when the inevitable move to a one or two-sided, Lego brick special in the middle of an industrial estate somewhere transpires and as such if you’ve never been I highly recommend a visit before that fateful day arrives.

As I say this is the first of two reviews from Ayr and as always in the case of double reviews we start with the humble scotch pie, the number one snack of choice across all of Scottish football.

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

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

Price: Priced at £1.50 this pie falls snugly into the price range found at grounds across the lower divisions in Scotland’s professional set up.

Presentation: After our flowery diversion at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy last time out (Pie 51), it is a return to the medium-sized plain white napkin, that classic pie look that will never go out of fashion. I should note here that this pie was roasting on receipt and as such my napkin was halved in my hand to prevent the potential disaster of a pie lying prone upside down on the floor beside me.

Meatiness: This pie was filled with mutton to near perfection, there was a small gap between meat and pastry to help cool the meaty innards as you ate. The meat held together excellently on first bite and continued to do so as I munched my way through. There was a definitive hint of spice in this pie but not through a big kick of pepper as normally would be the case but instead from something much sweeter. If you asked me to pinpoint it to one flavour I would speculate on a hint of smoked paprika but at the time of consumption I found it hard to really nail down exactly what I was tasting. What I can definitely confirm though is that this was a very tasty pie indeed and the flavour lingered all the way until pie number 2 was ready for consumption.

Pastry: The pastry was a lovely and golden in colour that managed to be just crisp enough to added a nice crunch at the top of the crust but soft enough that the pie could be gobbled up in two or three bites if the mood took you. It tore off from the main body of the pie with ease and as such at no point did I fear that a meaty dribble would cascade down my arm and fall heartbreakingly onto the floor below. One of the better pastries I have tasted on this journey.

Overall: This was an excellent scotch pie and a cracking way to start British Pie Week, it was a near perfect taste combination of meat and spice with a slight sweetness to be found the further you ate while the all important meat to pastry ratio was pretty much spot on too.

Gravy Factor: The kind of gravy that you would stick in a mug and drink while everybody around you pretends to enjoy their cup of tea that was handpicked by a spider monkey.

As you should be able to tell I liked this pie, and if it had been the only meat filled delight on offer I would have quite happily had another but I already had my eye on something far more luxurious, A Steak & Ale Pie and if you want to see what I thought of Pie 54 then tune in later in the week as Meat Filled Pastries celebration of pie continues to rumble on.

But until then 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.