Monday, December 1, 2008
THE SCOTCH PIE
This post comes a day late but felt I wanted to go ahead with it anyway. Yesterday 30th November was St Andrew's Day, St Andrew being the patron saint of Scotland. It has always bemused me as to why the whole world parties on St Patrick's Day but our own patron saint day goes, for the most part, bye without a blink of the eye. Of course in Scotland there will be some celebration dinners but nothing on the scale of Irish celebration in March, when as I said, the whole world seems to party. To me it seems the Americans are always seeking their heritage and seem eager to claim any Celtic connections. So once again why not celebrate St Andrew? No one even seems to be aware of this day. Maybe it is a movement I could start up and in a few years it will take on St Patrick Day proportions, or maybe not. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we have big celebrations, as does the world, for our celebrated poet Robert Burns, perhaps one Scottish celebration a year is enough?
I thought I would include one of Scotland's most popular snack foods, the pie. A meat pie. Traditionally made with mutton, but unable to buy mutton, or even ground lamb here last week I went ahead and used ground beef. This was the first time I had ever tried to make this particular recipe and the results did surprise me a little, in a good way. The end result was tasty and not too far from what I remember the original tasting like, especially when served with British Heinz Baked Beans, the traditional accompaniment. I had an added seal of approval from another Scottish family living close by and think I may have a regular order for this most Scottish of dishes. I warn you this is not the prettiest, or indeed healthiest of dishes and not one I will regularly cook, but there will be the occasions when getting together with fellow Scots, reminiscing of the old country, that this recipe will once again be the requested food for the table. A little of what you fancy and all that!
4oz/110g lard or butter(lard is traditional)
1/2pint/300mls hot water
milk to glaze
1lb/450g lean minced lamb or beef
1 small finely chopped onion
pitch ground nutmeg
dash Worcestershire sauce
4tbsp stock or gravy
Mix the meat & onion, add spice, s&p and Worcestershire sauce and mix well.
put hot water and lard into a pan and bring to a boil. Sift flour and salt into a bowl leaving a well in the centre. Add hot liquid into flour and mix quickly until cool enough to handle. Form into a ball. Work quickly before mixture hardens.
Divide into 4 pieces and put on a floured surface. One at a time roll into flat rounds, keeping the rest warm. Using a 3" jar mold the pastry around the jar with 2" overhang. When it hardens repeat with other 3 pieces. Re roll pastry to make lids.
Fill pastry cases with meat mixture and add a little stock to each one. Put on lids, brush with milk and make hole in middle to allow steam to escape. Bake on baking sheet in 350f/180c oven for 40 mins.
Serve with Heinz baked Beans and/or HP brown sauce. A Scottish delicacy, well maybe not, but certainly a tasty reminder of home.
"Here's tae us,
Wha's like us?
Damn few, and they're a' deid"
A traditional Scottish verse.