The Pies Have It!

Jack scrapes through – – –

People often ask me if I miss anything about Scotland. Well, of course. But when I go back every year the thing I really go straight for is the food.

Full Scottish breakfasts with bacon, eggs, black pudding, haggis and baked beans – great Indian curries – steak bridies (think calzone, but Scottish) – fish and chips – and Scotch pies.

I do my best over here to get close to all these. Recently I learned how to replicate Indian restaurant base curry sauce and make a big batch to freeze regularly. I can manage an occasional full Scottish breakfast. Fish and chips requires the secret batter and lard, but I can do that when the planets align.

A steak bridie would be the ultimate challenge though – imagine a savory turn-over with small chunks of steak in a delicious brown sauce, a bit of savory onion in the mix….mmmmm. The only folk I know who make them are Stephens of Dunfermline and they are rightly famous for their recipe. My next big challenge will be to try and replicate it.

What about the pies, I hear you ask?

Over here pies are usually sweet – in Scotland these would be called tarts. Over there a pie would have meat of some kind, and a ‘Scotch pie’ would have minced beef (ground beef) along with onion and a variety of (secret) herbs and spices.

Just recently my friend Trevor finished a year at St Andrews University and came home with the recipe. He made a batch while I was bunking at his place, and I was instantly back there. Of course I had to give it a try, and with some guidance from him I managed to do no’ bad.

It’s messy and time consuming, and there’s no guarantee of success, but I’ve made two lots now and they’re worth the effort.

The pastry is flour, frozen butter, ice water and egg. Freezing the butter is key. The filling is a secret. We will be having them along with haggis and other delicacies at the Burns Supper on January 25th at Oracle Books here in Wytheville.

pies

 

4 Comments

Filed under between books, bookstore management, crafting, folklore and ethnography, Life reflections, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

4 responses to “The Pies Have It!

  1. jp

    You are teasing us! You first hinted at a flavorful curry recipe and then— the pies. Might we expect a Christmas gift in the form of a couple of recipes?

  2. bex

    Perhaps of interest: https://ackroydsbakery.com/ My family has been going to Ackroyds for.ev.er. My grampa was not much on their mealie, but I cried the first time I went after his death – to get meatpies, bridies, fern cakes, and currant squares for my aunt. Oh, and oatcakes (but I make my own now). It’s hilarious to go at Christmas time: the eyebrows (!) and always multi-generational groups.

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