We try the pie, seize the cheese and take the steak from this New Longton Farmer’s Market

Posted on - 22nd June, 2024 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, Longton & New Longton, Opinion, Preston News, Reviews, South Ribble News, Takeaways, What's On in Preston
Nobody expects the Scottish Inquisition

My last review featured a surprisingly excellent cheese pie from Alston Pub and Dining, and there were a couple of recommendations in the comments telling me to try a cheese pie from Chorley based pie makers: The Busy Food Company.

I saw on their website that they would be at a monthly Artisan Crafts and Farmers Market held in New Longton Village Hall until 3.30 that day, so I zipped back from the Lakes in the hope that I’d get there in time to buy one.

Of course I didn’t. When I wheezed over to the pie stall they’d sold out of everything except for one butter pie, two Scotch eggs and an asparagus and brie pie which I’m sure sounds delightful for anyone who likes asparagus and brie.

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I bought a pork and stilton Scotch egg for £1.75 and the lonely butter pie for £2.75, and then panic bought a frozen fillet steak from the “Wyredale Dexter’s Beef” stall for £7.60, plus an aged Red Leicester and a herb and garlic soft cheese from the Mawbray Cheese Company counter beside it.

Scotch Eggs have been keeping a low profile since they were thrust into the spotlight during the Covid “You can only buy alcohol in a pub along with a substantial meal” debate with questions such as “Is a Scotch Egg a substantial meal on its own? And, “Can customers leave some or do they have to be detained in the pub until they’ve either finished it or are taken away by the government’s specially trained “Covid Marshalls.”

In fact, didn’t a couple of “Marshalls” visit one pub that was offering a free Scotch egg with the purchase of a pint, find nothing incriminating, then raid it again a few hours later in a surprise second visit, like they’d expected to find some kind of Scotch egg Speakeasy in full swing?

I’d avoided them ever since in case they still taste like far overreaching governmental control, but this one also contained Stilton which drowned it out nicely without overpowering the egg. The sausage meat to egg ratio was about 50:50 and the egg was hard boiled so there was no gooey surprise for those who can’t cope with a runny yolk. I gave one to my mother Yvonne on my way home and she said it was “delicious,” but she wasn’t aware of any Stilton so either the flavour was quite subtle, or she just necked it whole like the pelican I once watched eat a seagull.

We hadn’t got much in for tea, so I decided to showcase my Lancashire produce to my Scouse assistant in the form of a two course meal, without scaring him with any veg.

For our starter, and to get past my crushing disappointment over missing the cheese pies, I decided to kill two arteries with one pie by crumbling Mawbray Cheese Co’s aged Red Leicester on top of The Busy Food Company’s” butter pie.

The pie was fine reheated in the oven for ten minutes and, once cut open, the aroma took me straight back to school dinners in the P.E. hall at my old primary school. It didn’t matter what was on the menu, those rooms always smelled like butter pie. Fortunately, this pie smell wasn’t accompanied by the lingering rubbery whiff of sweaty plimsolls, and we were able to fully enjoy the crisp, thin pastry and the buttery potato that was in that perfect state between mashed and sliced.

It’s a balanced meal when 80% of the plate is taken up with veg

The cheese was sharp and crumbly, although not as nutty as other aged cheeses I’ve had. Nevertheless, it added an extra dimension to an already great butter pie and was a hit with the Liverpudlian.

Finally, I had a go at not ruining a fillet steak. I did everything I was supposed to, including letting it get to room temperature before I cooked it and allowing it to rest afterwards, and was quite proud of the medium rare results. Apart from a couple of small chewy bits the meat was beautifully soft and tasty, but whilst I was happy with the way I’d cooked it, it wasn’t as nice as I’d hoped because I’d under seasoned it. However, I’d done as the  Mawbray Cheese Man (the stallholder from earlier, not a beguiling mythical monster that tries to lure vegans into fondues) advised and melted his intensely garlicky and herby soft cheese into the pan juices with some cream to make a sauce.

A fillet steak baguette before I made a right mess of it with my garlic cheese spread

It turned out to be way too lumpy and thick to be a sauce and I couldn’t be arsed to sort it out, so I just added loads of freshly ground black pepper and spread it onto my steak baguette like butter. I have no regrets.

Read more: Samlesbury Hall’s first-ever food and drink festival moved to 2025

It was a belter of a sandwich so I was a bit offended when the Scouser, having become wildly too big for his “trainees” since he started accompanying me on my reviews, commented that it could do with a bit of sweet balsamic vinegar reduction. Annoyingly, Mr Chicken, Mash And Scouse was right; it needed the sweetness.

Steak with impromptu garlic cheese spread

I’d hoped to buy some dessert from “Pud Pud Cakes,” another stallholder at the Farmer’s Market, but all that was left was a beautiful array of cupcakes with buttercream and frosting that looked like flowers. I only like the sponge part of cupcakes so they’re wasted on me, but I had a sample of the sponge and it was gorgeous. They also do entire bouquets of cupcakes which would be a magical gift for a cupcake fan.

Say it with flour

Lastly I treated my dog, Archie/Tragic Eddie, to a snack from the Height’s Farm Pet Food stall. After trawling through a multitude of dog treats that he’d already turned his nose up at, I asked the stallholder if he had anything that didn’t smell or go slimy once it had been sucked by an ancient chihuahua and, ironically, he recommended a white, puffed-up pig’s nose that looked like polystyrene for £1. He was right- it didn’t smell.

When I presented it to Archie he reluctantly took it and walked outside, looking at me over his shoulder like I’d handed him a parking fine, but still managed to be outraged when he was mugged by a massive magpie. I’ll never know if it would have received a toes-up from my dog, but anyone who wants a corvid sauntering into their kitchen, eating their birthday cake and cacking on their clean laundry every time they open their bifold doors should buy one.

Has a Scouse magpie ever pooped in your clean washing? Grass it up in the comments

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