starks park

Pie 70: The Raith Rovers ‘Steak’ Pie

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Hello and here we are once again ready to delve headfirst into another meaty morsel. It’s the second of two reviews from Starks Park home of Raith Rovers and Meat Filled Pastries first step into the luxury market this season.

The consumption of multiple pies at one venue is something that will be far less common this season, with this ritual being reserved for places where I am really unlikely to be visiting again, not due to disdain for my visit but due to the distances involved. Being based in Glasgow means that there is a plethora of clubs within an hours drive of home and so restricting myself to one pie at these venues will not only help my waistline but also ensure I will never run out of pies to review. Well that’s the theory anyway.

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

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Starks Park, Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, Pre Season Friendly. Entry Fee £10. Programme £1.50.

A Good Old Fashioned Looking Main Stand
A Good Old Fashioned Looking Main Stand

Price: At £2 this was 20p more expensive than the scotch pie offering from Kirkcaldy but given some of the prices that were flung at me when down south over the summer for luxury pies this seemed a relative bargain. I think by season end this will turn out to be one of the cheaper luxury pies to pass my lips.

Presentation: Unlike most steak pies this did not come with an aluminium foil cae wrapped around it instead trusting the structural integrity of the pie itself to hold firm once the first bite was taken. As is the case in the majority of pies this was served with a medium-sized white napkin.

THE PIE

Luxury awaits...
Luxury awaits…

Meatiness: Before I get into the meat of this pie matter a wee reminder that a luxury pie should be untainted and such none of the acetic brown sauce that nearly obliterated my scotch pie at Starks Park will be present on this pastry. Luxury comes at a premium price and with that comes greater scrutiny, the pie alone should provide all the flavour you need. So how flavoursome was this pie? It was not bad, not bad at all. First of all as football pies goes it was a generous handful, the meat was in large chunks but had a good mouth feel, coming apart as you bit off the tender strands of steak. It was seasoned well enough to give a strong savoury flavour although it lacked a little depth. Part of this could have been caused by the pie being a touch on the cool side. I also noticed that although there wasn’t a great deal of gravy within I at no point felt that the pie was dry which is once again testament to the precisely measured time it would have spent in the oven. This was a solid effort, perhaps a few tweaks short of something special but not a pie-saster by any means.

Pastry: As previously mentioned there was no tinfoil case to support this pie and as such that burden fell on the pastry something that it coped with more than admirably. The sides were slightly thicker than you would usually have on a pie but this meant that you could take a good-sized bite without worrying that your pie filling well end up splattered on the terrace floor below your feet. It had a puff pastry top which flaked as it should and although not particularly buttery or flavoursome it provided a suitable accompaniment to the pies meaty interior.

Overall: A solid if unspectacular start to the 2014/15 luxury market, it was a large pie with large meaty chucks and a substantial pastry case. Won’t be the best of the season I’m sure but certainly won’t be the worst.

Gravy Factor: Sturdy Gravy.

So that’s two reviews down and I feel I’m getting back into the swing of things. Next stop, Wishaw, and a return to Meat Filled Pastries spiritual home, junior football. Planning to cover UEFA’s week of football concept at some point over the weekend but until next time…..Go Forth and Eat Pie!

Remember to follow Meat Filled Pastries on twitter @MFPTasty and for any enquiries or feedback, and a thank you to those who have already, you can email meatfilledpastries@hotmail.com.

Pie 69: The Raith Rovers Pie

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Jings! That World Cup was rather good wasn’t it, although I don’t know if I would have fancied a roasting hot pie in the afternoon heat of Fortaleza or Salvador. That’s right folks, despite the doubters who thought this wouldn’t last a month Meat Filled Pastries is back for the 2014/15 season and I believe that this year the pastry is destined to be crisper, the gravy even messier, the meat oh so tender and the grease at a level that will mean I can keep my morning routine down to 1 cholesterol reducing yoghurt drink a day. I’m a season down and my standards have never been higher.

Before we get started on today’s review a few pieces of housekeeping for the new season:

  • For ease of communications you can now follow Meat Filled Pastries on Twitter @MFPTasty, also for any queries you can now contact pie HQ directly by emailing meatfilledpastries@hotmail.com. I want to spread the word of pie even further than before and by whatever medium I can so I am open to all offers.
  • The classic one bite expose will also this season be accompanied by a couple of pictures of my pie eating surroundings, whilst I’m sure larger venues like Ibrox, Hampden and Tynecastle will be familiar to many the aim of this ‘project’ is to shed some light on those venues where only the few will ever go, raise the profile of these clubs and spread the love about the beautiful game.
  • After a successful test towards the end of last season each week as well as a slice of pie based punditry there will be my take on whatever is prominent in the footballing world, perhaps there may be the odd match report and interview thrown in to but bear with me as I am just one man with a sizeable appetite for pies and live action football.

I will refrain from going on any longer at present and get on to the pastries, so without much further ado, say it loud and say it proud, LET’S RATE SOME PIE!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Starks Park, Raith Rovers v St Johnstone, Pre-Season Friendly, Entry Fee, £10.00. Programme, £1.50.

This may be the best looking picture I take all season..
This may be the best looking picture I take all season.

Price: Priced at £1.80 this will be the standard-bearer for pricing of pies towards the top end of the Scottish footballing pyramid. Instinct suggests to me that this may be about average for the season to come but we shall wait and see what the future brings.

Presentation: It may be a new season but its good to see that the medium-sized white napkin that I so often lauded as the little black dress of the football snacking world is still looming large over the humble pie, it was good to feel that soft paper between my fingers again.

THE PIE

I've missed you my friend.
I’ve missed you my friend.

Meatiness: I made a massive mistake with my first pie of the new season which both helped and hindered this review. Now as you all know all scotch pie tastings must be adorned with a splodge of brown sauce and as daft as this sounds but I probably could write a blog totally devoted to the different types of brown sauce you get at football grounds across the country but even I think that’s a step too far. Anyway to get back to my point such is my familiarity with this most delicious of condiments I often know exactly how much sauce to place on my pie. If I see a label or bottle I don’t recognise I’ll tread carefully as I’m not sure what version of this spice laden sauce is about to be bestowed upon my pastry. In this instance however I forgot about this rule and gaily smothered two-thirds of the pie lid with a few squirts of Bobby Brown probably in excitement more than anything else. This was my massive mistake.

The sauce was perhaps the tangiest thing I have ever put in my mouth, causing my cheeks to instantaneously suck themselves inwards resulting in pulling a duck face that 20-year-old lassies everywhere dream of putting on their Instagram accounts. It certainly added flavour but boy I wish I hadn’t been so generous, that said once I managed to find an area not so sauce laden I was slightly disappointed. The meat was a little under seasoned and that kick of pepper I had waited all summer for was nowhere to be found. I ate it pretty quickly as hunger was in full force after the drive to Kirkcaldy so my disappointment was only heightened when there was no discernible flavour left lingering in my mouth apart from the sting of the sauce. As a return to pie it was a little underwhelming.

Pastry: The pastry was soft which made it easy to eat. The softness was due to a well made pastry as opposed to it being underdone but I feel like it missed those crispy edges that I have a penchant for tearing off and dipping into the saucy pool above. Although I would have refrained from doing so on this occasion anyway. I had also noticed that on some of the pies around me there were small glistening puddles of grease that had leaked through but on mine the lid was dry and intact.

Overall: Starting the season with a Bog Standard Bisto offering was not what my heart desired but in truth this was nothing better than average although the good folk at Starks Park may be able to use their brown sauce to wake up any players knocked unconscious during the season. One sip of that bad boy and you’ll be wired to the moon.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto with a half pint of vinegar thrown in for good measure.

So there we have it your 2014/15 pie virginity has now been broken. Let me know what you think of the new format, I like it but I welcome all feedback good or bad. Once you’ve finished reading please remember to share it with your friends and spread the gravy.

The next review will be a second offering from Starks Park as the luxury pie makes it’s season debut whilst this week’s non pie piece will be in relation to the SFA’s interesting taking on ticket pricing for the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and how UEFA’s ‘Week of Football’ philosophy only helps to compound the error in judgement made.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!