The good news last week that the foot-and-mouth restriction on the export of
beef, lamb and venison to Europe has been lifted from most of Scotland must
have come as a welcome relief to hard pressed Scottish farmers. For those in
Europe who enjoy good quality meat this must also be good news, and quality
comes no higher than in the shape of the famous Aberdeen-Angus breed.
Aberdeen-Angus has become a by-word for quality world-wide. The story of the
breed goes back in time to a farmer, Hugh Watson, born in 1789, who had a good
eye for picking the best characteristics of the small black cattle ( the usual
Highland sort at that time ). During the first half of the 19th century, he
set out to build a champion herd at his farm at Keillor in Angus. He knew the
publicity value of the show ring and his animals built an impressive
reputation. The Aberdeenshire connection came from another farmer, William
McCombie of Tillyfour, who was pursuing similiar aims in breeding the highest
quality beasts from native stock. Though Hugh Watson in Angus did vital
pioneering work in bringing together the best strains it was William McCombie
who was to strengthen the strain and actually improved upon Watson's record in
the show ring. Indeed McCombie's work consolidated the new breed and by the
late 19th century the Aberdeen-Angus breed was world famous. In this century
the breed is still popular and a new Aberdeen-Angus Beef Club has just been
formed and is putting £150,000 into an integrated promotion campaign for the
breed over the next three years to ensure that Aberdeen-Angus continues to be sold
as top quality beef. This weeks recipe is steak pie which no Scot would ever
refuse to eat!
Ingredients: 1lb 8oz Stewing Steak, 1 onion
A little oil in a frying pan and gently brown the steak and soften the onion.
Put in a pan with 8 - 12 fl.oz. of gravy. Stew for 1hr 30minutes to 2 hours.
8oz Plain Flour : 4oz Margarine: 2oz Lard: cold water
Sieve flour into mixing bowl, add margarine and chop into small pieces. Add
water. Roll in a long strip and spread lard over evenly but not thickly. Fold
in three; roll out again and spread lard repeating the process three times.
Put steak and gravy in pie dish, putting a pie funnel (if you have one) in the
centre to release the steam. Roll out the pastry 1inch larger than the pie
dish and cut a half inch wide strip from edge. Lay this strip around the edge
of the pie dish first wetting the rim, press it to make it stick. Lay
pastry over the pie and poke a hole in the centre for the funnel. Press around
edge to make pattern. Any remaining pastry can be cut in leaves etc. to
decorate the top, and a cuff around the funnel. Brush with beaten egg. Cook
for 30 minutes approx at Gas 7-8; Electricity 450 - 475 deg. F.