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Forfar Bridies

Many Scottish towns have given their names to foodstuffs and confectionery popular in their locale eg Aberdeen for Aberdeen Butteries, Dundee for Dundee Cake, Edinburgh for Edinburgh Rock, Moffat for Moffat Toffees, Jedburgh for Jeddart Snails, Selkirk for Selkirk Bannocks and this week the column enjoys a visit to Forfar, home of the Forfar Bridie. Forfar is the administrative centre of the SNP controlled Council of Angus. The Royal Burgh of Forfar is situated at the north-east end of the Howe of Angus, the site is said to have witnessed one of the last battles between the Picts and the Scots in 845. The Burgh was founded in the reign of David I whose father, Malcolm III, "Canmore", is said to have held a parliament in Forfar in 1057 at which he conferred surnames and titles on the Scottish nobility. Forfar has long been a centre of local government which continues to this day. The late Arthur Donaldson, National Chairman of the Scottish National Party, 1960-1969, gave many years service as a Forfar Councillor and sitting SNP MEP Ian Hudghton represented a ward in Forfar and served as SNP Council Leader in Angus prior to his election to the European Parliament. Incidently the Scots Independent has a close connection with Forfar as the Forfar-based Angus County Press prints the SI every month. No visit to Forfar would be complete without enjoying the local delicacy, the famed Forfar Bridie - a meal fit for a king!

Forfar Bridies


Shortcrust pastry:

4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound salted butter (2 sticks), cut into small pieces
Cold water


1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, peeled, ends removed, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
Nonstick cooking spray or 1/2 teaspoon shortening
1 beaten egg

To prepare pastry: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut into flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Mix in enough cold water to hold mixture together. Form into a ball. Wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.

To prepare the filling: In a large bowl, mix together the uncooked ground beef, onion, salt, pepper and water. Set aside.

Assembly: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or grease with shortening.

Remove pastry from refrigerator. Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll out pastry to about 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 6-7 circles approximately 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Evenly divide the filling among the 6 circles, placing the meat mixture on one half of the circle. Brush the edge lightly with the beaten egg. Fold the pastry over the filling and seal by lightly crimping the edge. Brush the top with beaten egg. Repeat with remaining filling and dough circles.

Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Makes 7 Forfar Bridies.

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