Scottish Recipes: Scotch Pie
Large numbers of Scotch Pies are sold in Scotland every day - they are an original "fast food" and are often sold at the half-time interval at football (soccer) matches. The pies are made in special straight-sided moulds, roughly 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter and about 1½ inches (4cm) deep. A pastry lid, inside the pie, covers the meat about ½ inch (1cm) below the rim. This leaves a space at the top of the pie which can be filled, if required - with hot gravy, baked beans, mashed (creamed) potatoes etc. The meat is usually mutton (sometimes of varying quality). Many bakers have their own recipes and add spices to give additional flavour - there is now an annual competition for the best Scotch Pie.
Grannie Black, in Candleriggs in Glasgow, was a character who had such a reputation for such good mutton pies that people came from far and wide - the pub named after her (pictured here) has, unfortunately, been demolished.
The quantities below should make roughly 8/10 pies.
Ingredients for the Meat Filling:
1 pound (500g or two cups) lean lamb, minced (ground) Pinch of mace or nutmeg Salt and pepper Quarter pint (150ml) gravy
Ingredients for the Hot Water Pastry:
1 pound (500g or four cups) plain flour 6 oz (175g or ¾ cup) lard 6 fluid oz (225ml or ¾ cup) approximately of water Pinch of salt Milk for glazing
You will also need glasses or jars, approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter to shape the pie.
Preparation Method:Create the filling by mixing the minced (ground) lamb, spice and seasoning. Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Melt the lard in a scant measure of water and, when it is bubbling, add to the flour and mix thoroughly. Take a small amount (remember the mixture should make 8/10 pies, with their tops) and form into a ball and keep the rest warm while making each pastry case. This is done by rolling a suitable amount for each pie and shaping the crust round the base of a glass or jar approximately 3-3½ inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry - you can trim round the top of the case to make it even. As the pastry cools and gets cool, remove the glass and continue until you have about a quarter of the pastry left to make the lids. Fill the cases with the meat and add the gravy to make the meat moist. Roll the remaining pastry and use the glass to cut the lids. Wet the edges of the lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to escape). Glaze with milk and bake for about 45 minutes at 275F/140C/Gas mark 1. If the pies are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the 'fridge but always ensure they are properly reheated before being eaten.
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