Today’s recipe features Forfar Bridies, a Scottish favourite. Bridies are pastries filled with minced beef. Originating in the town of Forfar, Scotland, in the 1850s they became very popular everywhere.
I got the idea for these bridies from my sister in Canada. She bought one during a visit to a recently opened British store near her. Upon hearing about her enjoyment of the bridie, I decided to try making some myself.
Bridies, similar in some respects to pasties, encase a filling in pastry with crimped edges. Shortcrust pastry is traditional. But puff pastry works well too. The main ingredient for the filling is minced beef, often with grated or minced onions. Traditionally, suet is used, but in my recipe, I use butter. The other ingredients include a little of beef stock, mustard powder, salt, pepper, and a pinch of mace, a spice from the protective coating on nutmeg seeds.
The method for making bridies is straightforward. Make the pastry (though shop-bought is fine). Chill the pastry for at least an hour. Then mix all the filling ingredients into a paste. Divide the pastry in four equal parts. Roll out each portion to a rectangle (about 11 inches/28cm by about 5 1/2 inches/14 cm). Place equal amounts of the filling onto the lower half of the pastry, leaving a border. Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling, press down around the edge. Crimp the edge with a fork. Chill again as the oven preheats.
Before baking make two holes in the top of each bridie to allow steam to escape. However if you aren’t using onions make only one hole. Brush each bridie with beaten egg. Bake at 180C/160C Fan/350F for about 50 minutes to cook the filling. The pastry will colour well and become firm and crisp. The internal temperature should reach at least 75C/167F.
My Forfar Bridies
Commonly chips and baked beans accompany a bridie. But they also make great hand pies, eaten warm or cold. Indeed you can serve them just as you wish. However I prefer just chips and beans with mine. My bridies baked up nicely with lovely crisp pastry and a wonderful, richly flavoured filling featuring onion, mustard, pepper, and a hint of mace. Altogether, they were very good indeed.
Another great recipe is Easy Cornish Pasties.
Forfar Bridies – A Scottish FavouriteCourse: Pastries, Pies, TartsCuisine: ScottishDifficulty: Easy
400g(2 2/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour in to a 250ml cup) plain flour
140g(10 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed – see note below
60g(1/4 cup+1 tsp) cold lard, cubed – see note below
230ml(1 cup minus 2 tsp) cold water
500g(1.1lb) minced beef
150g(3/4 cup) finely grated onion
40g(scant 3 tbsp) softened unsalted butter
3g(1 tsp) mustard powder
45ml(3 tbsp) beef stock
2g(1/2 tsp) white pepper
pinch of mace
1 beaten egg
- Mix the salt into the flour.
- Rub the butter and lard into the flour until it all resembles fine breadcrumbs(you can do this in a food processor).
- Gradually add the water, stirring, until the mixture clumps into a dough(you may not need all the water).
- Form the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- Place all the ingredients for the filling into a large bowl and use your hands to squeeze everything until fully combined into a thick paste. Then set aside.
- Divide the pastry dough into 4 equal parts.
- Roll out each part, on a floured work surface, to a rectangle of 11 inches/28 cm by 5 1/2 inches/14 cm.
- Take one quarter of the filling and place it on the lower half of the rectangle, leaving a border around the edge.
- Brush all around the edge of the pastry with beaten egg.
- Fold the top half of the pastry over the filling and press down to seal the edges.
- Transfer the bridies to a tray and chill in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven and heat two baking trays at the same time.
- Remove the bridies from the fridge and make two holes in the top of each.
- Brush the bridies all over the top with beaten egg.
- Carefully remove the heated tray and line with parchment paper and the place the bridies on them.
- Bake the bridies for 50 minutes, until the pastry is fully cooked on top and bottom and the internal temperature has reached at least 75C/167F.
- Serve hot, warm or cold, as desired.
- You can use all butter (200 g/14 tbsp) of butter if you prefer not to use lard.