No.150 Scotch Pie

The humble scotch pie is a Scottish classic that looks simple, but is super tricky to make at home. Now a days they are mostly eaten at football matches. They have a history going back over 500 years and were adapted from hot water pastry pies of England with Scottish produce.

When making these pies:

  • Use either mutton or lamb. Mutton is traditional but can be hard to find.
  • You will need four 4 inch diameter pie or cake tins with a push up bottom. This is essential as otherwise they are impossible to remove from the tins.
  • You need to cure the pastry – as it is traditionally done. Otherwise the pastry will crack and leak the filling. Preferably do this for 3 days.

Serves: 4

Time: 2-4 days total (2×40 minutes)

Difficulty: Pernickety 

Shell

400g of Plain Flour

80g of Beef Dripping

200ml of recently boiled Water

½ teaspoon of Salt

Filling 

400g of Minced Mutton or Lamb 

4 tablespoons of Breadcrumb 

2 blades of Mace

½ teaspoon of Salt 

1 tablespoon of Black Pepper

150-200ml of Lamb Stock

2 tablespoons of Milk

Before

  1. Set up a heat proof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Add the beef dripping and water. Leave the dripping to melt.
  2. Once melted add the flour and the salt. Mix until a warm dough has formed.
  3. Remove the dough (careful as it will be warm) and place on scales. Return 2/3 of the dough to the bowl. Roll out the 1/3 to a thin sheet and using the base of the push up bottoms of the tins cut four circles to make pie lids. Remove a centre from the lids about a 1cm diameter circle. Return any spare dough to the bowl.
  4. With the remaining dough divide into 4 balls. Turn off the hob but keep the bowl over the pot of water (the residual heat with keep the dough workable).
  5. Roll out a ball into a thin sheet and drape into the pie tin (ensuring the bottom is in) and push down into the tin. If you get any holes patch up with some of the extra pastry coming over the side.
  6. Repeat this with the remaining dough balls and pie tins. If you only have one tin you can freeze the tin with the dough for 10 minutes to rapidly cool the dough and let you take the cooled dough out of the tin. This will enable you to use the tin again keeping the dough in the bowl over the water to keep it warm.
  7. Leave the pastry to cure for 1-3 days at room temperature.

On the Day

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. In a large bowl add the mince, salt, pepper and breadcrumb together. Thinly slice the mace (or pass though microplane) and mix.
  3. Add the stock slowly to the bowl whilst softly pounding the mince mixture with a wooden spoon until a soft mixture forms that can slide around the bowl.
  4. Evenly add the mince mixture to the pie cases. Add the pie lids on top inside the moulds. You may need to slightly trim the lids.
  5. Carefully (you’re almost there) push the bottoms of the pie moulds until the rim is about 2 cm over the lids on the pie. Trim the excess pastry. If not using a mould carefully with scissors trim 2cm off the top.
  6. Now push the pies out of the mould and brush the lids with milk.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry has slightly browned in parts.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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