A Bridie is the Scottish version of a meat pasty; since they don’t contain potatoes they are lighter in texture. But, boy are they ever rich! The flaky pastry is made using both butter and lard and is so incredible, so flaky, so very easy to make, and can be used for countless recipes. Make this Bridie Pie recipe, throw your tartan sash over your shoulder, and tuck into a Scottish tradition.
Similar to calzones, empanadas, pasties, and turnovers, the Bride Pie was said to have been popularized in Forfar, Scotland, so they are also often called ForFar Bridies. While they can be made with puff pastry, and with short crust pastry, the most popular amongst the Scots (and I quizzed a my Scottish friend, Richard) is the flaky pastry.
Flaky pastry is a step between normal pie crust pastry (like short crust pastry or pâte brisée) and puff pastry; the main differences being how the fat is incorporated and the use of both lard and butter. I wanted to be able to show you how to introduce the fat to the pastry and I found this amazing video that made the entire process simple. Additionally, the method Calso uses of rolling the dough, rather than folding it as is the more traditional method, adds many more layers of flake using the same number of turns. Note: My recipe for flaky pastry is different from what he states in the video and is published below; I wanted you to see his method for making it; I’ll be using his rolling method from now on.
Of course, you could use store-bought pie crust or puff pastry for these pies, but the flaky pastry is quite easy to make and absolutely delicious. I’m putting the recipe for the flaky pastry by itself in a printable format, since this pastry can be used for many, many other savory recipes.
The filling is simple, too! I used lamb for our pies, but you could use beef. The meat is “minced” which is a bit finer ground that what we find in our markets. To get a more authentic texture you could just chop your ground meat a bit with a chef’s knife. None of the other ingredients are difficult to find, but I did want to note that I used Colman’s brand mustard powder, which is an English mustard that is a bit hotter than typical dried mustard powder. It’s readily available at most markets in the U.S.
The marking of the Bridies is significant. Since you need to put a vent hole in the pastry, the vent holes in these signify whether there are onions used in the filling mixture. One hole means there is no onion; two holes means the filling does contain onions.
I served ours atop garlic smashed potatoes that were a blend of new red and russet potatoes; I also made a beef/brandy gravy. I hope you’ll try these delicious meat pies! You’ll be happy you did.
- 2 tablespoons lard (or butter, or olive oil)
- 1 small onion, minced (about ½ cup)
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
- 12 ounces lean beef, minced
- 1 tablespoon mustard powder (I used Colman's brand)
- 3 ounces beef stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 recipe flaky pastry (or two pie crusts or two sheets puff pastry)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- In a small skillet, over medium heat, add the lard and allow to melt.
- Add the onion and thyme, sautéing for 2-3 minutes, until the onions are softened.
- Place the minced beef (raw) into a bowl along with the mustard powder and beef stock.
- Add the sautéed onion mixture and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Mix well to combine.
- Divide the pastry into four equal sized pieces.
- Taking one piece at a time, roll out on a clean, floured surface to ¼ inch thick and about 6 inches in an elongated circle.
- Place a spoonful of the meat mixture just off-center of each pastry circle.
- Using a circular piping tip, cut out vents in the side of the pastry not containing the meat mixture.
- Brush the outer edge of each pastry circle with the beaten eggs.
- Fold over the pastry in half, to create a pasty shape and crimp or fold the edges together to seal.
- Brush the pastry with the beaten eggs and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and place into the oven to bake for 50- 60 minutes, or until golden brown and completely cooked through.
- These pies can be served hot, warm or cold.
- 8 ounces, by weight, all-purpose flour (this is about 2 cups MINUS 4 tablespoons)
- pinch of salt
- 1 ounce lard (2 tablespoons - you could use shortening)
- 7 ounces butter (1¾ sticks or 14 tablespoons), cut into cubes room temperature
- ice water
- Put flour in mixing bowl, add pinch of salt.
- Add 8 tablespoons of butter to the flour.
- Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour to lightly mix. Do not overwork this.
- Add the ice water, just a bit at a time, and using a fork or table knife, stir the dough between additions just enough that the dough STARTS coming together. Do not overwork this.
- Place the dough on a very lightly flour dusted surface and press the dough together, forming it into a rectangle.
- Using a rolling-pin, roll the dough into a rectangular shape. Do not overwork this. One roll should be enough to flatten the dough.
- Cut off small pieces of the remaining butter and lightly spread the pieces on the length of the rectangle on the sides.
- Cut small pieces of the lard and lightly spread down the length of the rectangle in the middle, between the buttered sides.
- Starting at the width of the dough, roll it up along the length.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees.
- Pat the ends to flatten and roll the dough out into a rectangle.
- Repeat the process of spreading the butter and lard, rolling the dough, turning 90 degrees.
- You should have enough butter and lard to incorporate that this process will be repeated a total of 5 times.
- After you have added the last of the butter and lard and rolled the dough, cover with cling-wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- When ready to use the dough, simply cut the dough to the size you need (this makes a two pie crust) and roll out on a lightly floured surface.