groundhopping

Pie 191: The BSC Glasgow Steak Pie

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Hello and welcome to the latest review from Meat Filled Pastries, I hope this finds you well and that your start to the new year has been everything that you’ve wanted it to be and that your first game of the 202 has been an absolute rip-snorter.

After an hour or so at the artitist-formerly-known-as Recreation Park my first foot adventure to Clackmannanshire was looking like being anything but as BSC Glasgow and Bonnyrigg Rose cancelled each other out in this crucial Lowland League title clash. By the time the full time whistle had rung though my appetite for entertaining football had been suitable sated as the visitors from Midlothian let slip a two goal lead before snatching victory at the death, sparking wild scenes from a healthy travelling support and on the touchline, where the exuberance from Rose boss Robbie Horn and his staff saw the manager shown a second yellow card.

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Piehopping, or ground hopping if you don’t like pies (you maniac!), where you have no team to call your own can be a bit of a lottery in the entertainment stakes so to have a Friday night like this one in Alloa was a wonderful little treat.

But was the steak pie on offer a wonderful little treat too? There’s only one way to find out and so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Indodrill Stadium, BSC Glasgow 2-3 Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic, Lowland League

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Price: £2.50. Quite expensive for a non-league pastry but just about within range for a luxury pastry in what are currently Scottish Championship surroundings.

Presentation: Laid upon a large white napkin and uncased, a rare occurrence for a steak pie. Plenty of space to manoeuvre it on as you ate.

Meatiness: This was a well-filled pastry packed with lots of bite-sized pieces of steak, some requiring a little bit of a chew but in the main nice and tender. The gravy had the viscosity required to coat the meat, a good thing, without spilling from the shell unwillingly, also a good thing, and had the balance of salt and savoury just about right.

Pastry: The top was a little squashed at the sides meaning it didn’t look quite as neat as you would want by the puff pastry lid was well baked, golden and added that crunch on top along with a meld of sauce and soft pastry on the under layers. The botton half of the pastry was a little soft that meant a little juggling was required to ensure no mass meat departures to the ground below but all in all a pretty solid housing of pie here.

Brown Sauce: Luxury, there is none, and I think going forward I’ll just skip this section for luxury pies going forward.

Overall: Very tasty steak and gravy with pastry that was perhaps a little soft underneath but still sturdy enough nonetheless.

Gravy Factor: A steak pie worthy of a football first footing.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the second of my match day meals in Alloa here in the shape of a cup of piping hot homemade stovies. Slices of potato and onion in a gravy populated with chunks of mystery meat, a Scottish classic. Add in a blob of brown sauce and at £1.50 it was the perfect way to warm you on the terraces.

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Unfortunately Meat Filled Pastries sponsored player for the season, Ross Smith, was out injured but I did get a chance to speak to a couple of behind the scenes faces at half time. For some it’s easy to be dismissive of clubs such as BSC Glasgow and Caledonian Braves but for their supporters and those that devote a significant amount of their free time on keeping them going you can only hope for success and a sustainable future. Both of the sides mentioned above are amongst the most innovative at the level when it comes to fan engagement and content creation and they bring yet another dynamic to the Scottish game.

Next time out we will be back in Glasgow as Benburb take on Pollok in the West Region Premiership, 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 190: The Whitletts Victoria Onion Pie

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Welcome to the first new pie review of the roaring twenties, the roaring of course coming from the well stoked fires of pie hut ovens across the land as we continue on our quest for Pie 200. We’re back at Dam Park for a second review from the home of Whitletts Victoria where, on this afternoon, the home side who usually play in red and black played in blue and the away side, Darvel, who usually play in blue, played in red as the eccentricities of modern football showed no discrimination irrespective of the grade.

The first review from the Vics earned an honourable mention in The 2019 Meaties published on New Year’s Day where, as well as crowning Meat Filled Pastries best Non-Pie Pastry, Meatfree Pastry, Luxury Pie and Scotch Pie of 2019, the first ever Outstanding Achievement Award was issued so why not go take a look.

For now though let’s head back to the windswept terraces of South Ayrshire, and without much further ado, rate some pie!

Where: Dam Park, Whitletts Victoria 1-4 Darvel, West Region Championship

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Price: Exactly the same as the Whitletts Victoria Scotch Pie coming in at a wholly reasonable £1.50.

Presentation: A rinse and repeat when compared with it’s scotch sibling, in fact, let’s just copy that same text “Presented on a large white napkin, ample for the pasty provided and for dabbing the lips.”

Meatiness: Much like the scotch offering this was a well filled pastry with a texture that was easy on the bite. There was a little peppery kick but to be honest if I hadn’t been called an onion pie by name I might not have known it at all. There was a couple of little slivers on inspection within but the sweetness that the onion usually brings to pastries of this nature wasn’t really there. It was tasty, just not quite what I was expecting.

Pastry: This pastry was well baked with a golden edge on the crust, the two steam holes that were the present the identifier that this should be an onion laced pastry. The bottom was sturdy and held the filling whilst the top was well sealed although not quite perfect in its presentation.

Brown Sauce: In a break from tradition when it comes to an onion pie I devoured this offering without going condimental. I reckon wee a blob or two of brown sauce wouldn’t have gone a miss though in retrospect.

Overall: Tasty enough but not very oniony.

Gravy Factor: A decent ladle full perhaps just missing that extra dimension.

It was a pretty decent double header from The Dam and I have high hopes that the 200 marker will come round in the not too distant future. What happens from there? Well we’ll have to wait and see as I have a couple of big changes coming up in my life soon that I suspect are going to take up quite a bit of my free time.

However until next time, and there’ll always be a 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 189: The Whittlets Victoria Pie

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I hope everyone has had/is having a wonderful festive period, celebrating in whatever way leaves you with that warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

The Christmas and New Year tends to be a boom time for the fixture schedulers at the top end of the Scottish game with the games coming thick and fast ahead of a winter’s break in January. The lower leagues and non-leagues plough on through though, when weather allows of course, and it was a combination of that ability to plough through and a miserable Saturday afternoon that saw me forced to divert away from my original plan and head to Ayr to take in Whitletts Victoria v Darvel in the West Region Championship.

The wind and rain lashed across Dam Park for the near duration of the game with even the back of the large concrete stand providing little shelter and even some of the visiting substitutes decided it would be wiser to shelter under the steps in the terraces than shiver on the uncovered bench acting as dugout.

It’s a credit then to both sides that they managed to serve up an entertaining encounter with the visitors coming out 4-1 victors before heading to Dublin for their team Christmas night out later that day.

Days like these are when a tasty pie really comes into it’s own, but was it tasty? Well without much further ado let’s rate some pie!

Where: Dam Park, Whitletts Victoria 1-4 Darvel, West Region Championship

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Price: £1.50. I’ve said it a few times now but a quid and a half is excellent value for your matchday treat.

Presentation: Presented on a large white napkin, ample for the pasty provided and for dabbing the lips.

Meatiness: This was indeed a tasty treat. The pie was well filled with a distinct peppery linger throughout. A couple of people around me passed comment that they thought it was a bit strong but for me it was judged just right. It held well in the bite and had a little grease to ensure the filling was suitably moist.

Pastry: The top was crispy as were the sides and base. A very good bake with the shaping suitably round although the colour maybe was a little bit dull.

Brown Sauce: Daddies. The great pretender to the HP condiment crown, very much does the job.

Overall: Well baked, well filled with a nice peppery kick. Wonderful on a chilly winter’s day.

This is the first of a double header from the Vics with their Onion Pie next to come under the pie-croscope with the review preceded by the 2019 Meat Filled Pastries Awards which is always exciting. They’ll drop on New Year’s Day.

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 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 186: The Port Glasgow Pie

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Hello pie pals and welcome to the second of two reviews from the Inverclyde Riviera. I shared a little of my experience from that game last time out in Pie 185: The Port Glasgow Steak Pie, so go check that out as I write this fresh off another round of Friday Night Junior football. I continue to believe that it is a concept that junior sides with the capability to make happen explore.

I am now just two weeks away from World Pie Championships Judging Day and so with that in mind I thought I’d share a short audio piece I did at this year’s awards dinner. It’s a bit rough around the edges but it still tells a good wee story and features some of the biggest names in the Scottish pie making world so why not check it out.

 

I’m also still smashing out the content over on Leading the Line, so if you enjoy women’s football or are keen to learn more than go have a look and give it a subscribe as the season hurtles towards its close.

For now though and without much further ado, let’s get back to the pastries with review number two from Parklea, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Parklea Stadium, Port Glasgow 1-0 Greenock Juniors, West Region League One

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Price: £1.50 is a fair price for a scotch pie in the world of junior football. No complaints here.

Presentation: It was presented on a single sheet of white kitchen roll, fairly standard. Weirdly though, as was the case with the steak pie where it made some sense, I was offered a fork, a first in seven seasons of pie consumption. I politely turned it down but if you enjoy a fork to consume a scotch pie on the terraces with then please get in touch.

Meatiness: This was a good scotch pie. It had a strong pepper kick, a sensation I hadn’t felt for a while in a pie, with a long spicy linger that provided a strangely warming effect on a cold October evening. It was well formed and safe to the bite. Well filled, well seasoned, tasty, spicy and just a little bit moreish.

Pastry: There was a slight chew to the pastry but overall it was a well baked shell which held the filing securely with the top edges of the rim golden and crispy and the base sturdy.

Overall: A very good scotch pie with a nice pepper kick.

Gravy Factor: Aaaaah, bisto.

So it was not only a double dunt review from Port Glasgow but it was also a double dunt of tasty pastries too. Next time I head east once again to Linlithgow, the home of many a tasty pastry, as Pollok face Linlithgow Rose CFC in the Scottish Junior Cup. 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 185: The Port Glasgow Steak Pie

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Ahoy my meat filled mateys, are we all ready to set sail on another voyage of pie. I’ve written nearly two hundred of these intros now, and I’ve just realised that this one – in linking sailor patter to the fact the team’s pie in question has the word “Port” in its name – is perhaps up there as being one of the most tenuous to date.

It had been a pretty full on week both work wise and in the world of Scottish women’s football and so I made the decision to take advantage of some Friday night junior football and head along the M8 to take in the Inverclyde Derby, the second of the season and the second to be played on a Friday night, a rare but increasing occurrence on the Scottish junior football scene. It’s something that I am very keen to see more of, especially in derby scenarios such as these, and there is no doubting the attendance at Parklea on what was a cold, but clear night, was considerably larger than it had been if it was competing with a full Saturday card. The atmosphere was good accompanies by a good media presence and with the return fixture earlier in the season being equally well received I hope to see more like this in the future.

Having dashed to the game straight from work, via home to pick up my car, I headed into the ground hoping to find a tasty pie or two to double as my dinner. But were they tasty? Well there’s only one way to find out, without much further ado let’s rate pie number one from the home of the Port.

Where: Parklea Stadium, Port Glasgow 1-0 Greenock Juniors, West Region League One

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Price: I was a little surprised at the £2.50 price point when told of the options available to me but on presentation of the pastry I felt like I was getting a decent amount of bang for my buck.

Presentation: This was very substantial indeed sitting within a large tin foil tray on top of  a single sheet of kitchen roll. The most interesting thing though, in a section of these reviews where I know things can be a bit samey, I was also given a little wooden fork. A utensil that I was initially sceptical of before being happy to receive.

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Meatiness: I initially tried to eat this pastry without using my new wooden companion, however after a couple of bites it became apparent that there’s a reason it was there. The steak was well chunked, tender to the bite and generous enough to ensure (as previously intimated) you felt like you were getting your money’s worth. The gravy was smooth with a consistency the right side of both runny and thick to ensure it wrapped round the steak without causing an early explosion which was a relief because this meat and sauce combined made for a very tasty bite.

Pastry: A puff pastry case here the top golden with a lovely flake to the layers with the underside meshing with the filling exactly as you would want it to. The bottom was a little underbaked, a common challenge of putting your pie in tinfoil but it was solid enough to be lifted out the case clean and it was baked well enough to add the desired contribution to the overall taste profile.

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Brown Sauce: Luxury pies mean no brown sauce. I don’t think it was needed here either.

Overall: Substantial with a golden flaky top, with well cooked and seasoned meat and gravy.

Gravy Factor: I’ll take a gravy boat-full please captain. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Strong start. This is the first of two reviews from this game and next up is the more traditional scotch pie, the bastion of the scottish football catering scene, 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.