Friday, March 5, 2010
This recipe is from an old issue of The Baking Sheet. I have been wanting to make it since the issue came out (Autumn 2006)—and I finally got to it. I don’t know what took me so long to try these—they are actually very quick and easy to make. Susan Reid (from King Arthur Flour) learned about Bridies—a grab and go meat pie—while she was a college student in Scotland. Bridies are named after Maggie Bridie of Glamis, a travelling food seller who began selling these portable meat pies. This version calls for a hot water pastry crust. It is very easy to make and quite sturdy—thus making it easy to hold the pies to eat them. However, the crust isn’t very tender—so if you’d rather have a tender crust than an easily portable and sturdy crust, substitute your favorite pie crust pastry.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ¼ pounds ground lean lamb (traditional), beef, or turkey—I used beef
1 cup (1 medium) minced onion or shallot
1 ¼ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry thyme
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup (1 1/8 oz.) old-fashioned rolled outs
½ cup (4 ounces) beef stock or gravy (I used brown gravy)
3 cups (12 ¾ oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (6 oz) water
6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted beef suet, or lard
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
To make the filling: Place the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meat and onion and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the lumps, until the meat is cooked through and the onions are translucent. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, nutmeg, oats, and stock. Cook for 3 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat and set aside to cool while you make the pastry.
To make the pastry: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Dig a well in the center. Bring the fat and water to boil in the saucepan, then pour into the well in the flour mixture. Stir the mixture together until its evenly moistened and cool enough to handle comfortable (it will feel as comforting as warm towels out of the dryer). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a few times, then cut off 1/3 of the dough and place it to the side under the mixing bowl to keep warm. Divide the remaining dough (the 2/3 piece) into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-inch diameter circle.
To assemble the pies: Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment or a Silpat. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place 6 English muffin rings on the prepared baking sheet. Tuck the 6-inch circles of dough down into the rings. You should have half an inch of dough sticking up around the edges; fold this over the rings. You’ll need it to seal up the bridies after they’re filled.
Place ½ cup of the cooled filling inside each lined muffin ring. Divide the reserved dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle the size of the muffin rings. Place the circles over the meat filling, and fold the outside edges back over the tops, pinching them to stand up around the edges. Cut a slit in the center of each pie to serve as a vent for steam.
Brush the tops with the beaten egg mixture, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and serve warm, or cool and refrigerate to tuck into lunchboxes later.
Yield: 6 Bridies.