Forfar Bridies

Forfar is a place in Scotland and Bridie is the surname of a travelling food seller in the nineteenth century who is credited with making and selling minced meat and onion pies with a distinctive deep pasty shape and crimped edges. I discovered them when I was researching my little book Pasties. I remembered them again when I had leftover steak that wasn’t really enough to do anything much with, augmenting the steak and onion combination with diced potato to bump up the mixture. Stuffed in my favourite short crust pastry (butter with a small percentage of lard), they were a huge hit. Do give them a try; plenty of onion with a good seasoning of salt and pepper and knob of butter ensures the filling is nicely moist. Serve with mustard; English.

Makes 2
Prep: 35 min
Cook: 45 min

150g plain flour plus extra for rolling
75g butter
25g lard
3-5 tbsp cold water
1 medium onion
1 medium potato
75-100g steak
1 egg

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and cut 50g butter and then the lard over the top. Use your fingers to quickly rub the fat into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Using a knife (or fork, if you’re superstitious) and briskly stir 1 tbsp water at a time into the flour. Once it begins to clump together, use your hands to quickly pummel the mix into a ball. If it’s too wet, sift a little flour over the top. Pop in a plastic bag and chill for 20 minutes. Make the filling by halving, then peeling then finely dicing or grating the onion. Peel, finely chop or grate the potato, rinse and pat dry. Finely chop the steak into tiny scraps. Mix filling the ingredient and season with salt and pepper. Dust a work surface with flour, halve the pastry and roll into 2 oval pieces, turning as you roll to achieve the shape. The pastry will be about 2mm thick. Set aside a small knob of butter and use the rest to smear a baking sheet or shallow roasting tin that can fit the Bridies side by side. Quickly whisk the egg. Spoon half the filling on one side of each oval, flattening/spreading to fit, leaving a 2cm border. Add half the reserved butter to each filling. Using a pastry brush, paint the border with beaten egg then fold the empty half over to fit and press the edges, crimping to seal. Carefully lift onto the baking sheet and paint the exposed Bridie with egg. Make a small air hole in the middle of the pastry and bake in a pre-heated oven at 220C/gas mark 7 for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 180C/gas mark 4 and cook for a further 25 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden.