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Scotch Pie


These pies are traditional to all parts of Scotland.

Ingredients: (Makes 4)

PASTRY:
Lard - 110g (4 oz), or dripping or butter
Hot water - 300 ml ( pint)
Plain flour - 450g (1 lb)
Salt
Milk - a little, to glaze

FILLING:
Lean minced lamb - 450g (1 lb), free from fat, bone or gristle
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Ground mace or nutmeg - pinch
Worcestershire sauce - dash
Salt and pepper
Stock or gravy - 4 tbsp

METHOD:
Prepare the meat and onion, then add the spice and Worcestershire sauce, season it well and reserve. To make the pastry all the ingredients and the room should be warm.

Put the fat and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Sift the flour and salt into a basin, make a well in the centre and pour the hot liquid into this and mix quickly with a spatula until cool enough to handle, then form into a ball. This must be done quickly before the fat hardens.

Put on to a floured surface and pat flat. Divide it in four and keep the rest warm, then roll out three-quarters into a circle, putting a small jar about 7.5 cm (3 inches) across in the middle. Mould the pastry around the jar and when it stands well remove the jar and do the three others the same way. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out the lids.

Fill up the pastry cases with the meat mixture and add a little gravy or stock to each pie. Dampen the edges and put the lids on, making a small slit in the centre of each and brushing the top and sides with a little milk. Bake on a baking sheet at 130 C / 250 F / Gas for about 45 minutes.


Scotch Pie
Large numbers of Scotch Pies are sold in Scotland every day - they are an original "fast food" and are often sold at the half-time interval at football (soccer) matches. The pies are made in special straight-sided moulds, roughly 3-3 inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter and about 1 inches (4cm) deep. A pastry lid, inside the pie, covers the meat about inch (1cm) below the rim. This leaves a space at the top of the pie which can be filled, if required - with hot gravy, baked beans, mashed (creamed) potatoes etc. The meat is usually mutton (sometimes of varying quality). Many bakers have their own recipes and add spices to give additional flavour - there is now an annual competition for the best Scotch Pie.

Grannie Black, in Candleriggs in Glasgow, was a character who had such a reputation for such good mutton pies that people came from far and wide - the pub named after her has, unfortunately, been demolished.

The quantities below should make roughly 8/10 pies.

Ingredients for the Meat Filling:
1 pound (500g or two cups) lean lamb, minced (ground)
Pinch of mace or nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Quarter pint (150ml) gravy
Ingredients for the Hot Water Pastry:
1 pound (500g or four cups) plain flour
6 ounces (175g or cup) lard
6 fluid ounces (225ml or cup) approximately of water
Pinch of salt
Milk for glazing
You will also need glasses or jars, approximately 3-3 inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter to shape the pie.
Method:
Create the filling by mixing the minced (ground) lamb, spice and seasoning.
Make the pastry by sifting the flour and salt into a warm bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour. Melt the lard in a scant measure of water and, when it is bubbling, add to the flour and mix thoroughly. Take a small amount (remember the mixture should make 8/10 pies, with their tops) and form into a ball and keep the rest warm while making each pastry case. This is done by rolling a suitable amount for each pie and shaping the crust round the base of a glass or jar approximately 3-3 inches (7.5-8.5cm) in diameter. Make sure there are no cracks in the pastry - you can trim round the top of the case to make it even. As the pastry cools and gets cool, remove the glass and continue until you have about a quarter of the pastry left to make the lids.
Fill the cases with the meat and add the gravy to make the meat moist.
Roll the remaining pastry and use the glass to cut the lids. Wet the edges of the lids, place over the meat and press down lightly over the filling. Pinch the edges and trim. Cut a small hole or vent in the centre of the lid (to allow the steam to escape).
Glaze with milk and bake for about 45 minutes at 275F/140C/Gas mark 1. If the pies are not eaten immediately, they can be stored in the 'fridge but always ensure they are properly reheated before being eaten.


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