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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Forfar Bridie with Spiced Flaky Pastry

Forfar Bridie with Spiced Flaky Pastry.

Forfar Bridie with Spiced Flaky Pastry

As a child I loved nothing better than spending my Summer Holidays in St Andrews and whilst we were there we would always visit Forfar, home of the Bridie. Similar to the Cornish pasty but larger.

I have taken the classic recipe and added a couple of twists. Replacing half of the minced beef with Haggis and adding some spice to the crumbly flaky pastry. These are the normal size but they can be reduced in size to produce a snack sized version.

Forfar Bridie with Spiced Flaky Pastry


– 350g lean minced beef

– 350g good quality haggis ( MacSweens)
– 50g suet.
– 2 finely chopped onions.
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder.
– quarter cup rich beef stock
– salt and pepper to taste.
– 750g flaky pastry

(325g strong plain flour

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp Garam Masala

½ Tsp Nutmeg

¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon

½ Tsp Chilli Powder

325g butter, at room temperature, but not soft

about 150ml cold water)


  • Remove fat or gristle from the meat .
  • Cut into half-inch pieces (1cm).
  • Place pieces in a mixing bowl and add the haggis, mix well combining both together.
  • Add salt/pepper, mustard, onion, suet and stock – mix well.
  • Sift the Flour and spices into a large bowl, rub in the butter to a rough crumble texture, add the water and work into a loose dough. Roll into a thick rectangle and fold into 3 then chill for 20 minutes then repeat and chill for 1 hour prior to use.
  • Divide the pastry into six equal portions.
  • Divide the meat mixture into six equal portions.
  • Roll each pastry portion to a six inch circle about quarter inch thick.
  • Place a portion of the meat mixture in the centre of the pastry circle.
  • Leave an edge of pastry showing all round.
  • Brush the outer edge of the pastry circle with water and fold up to the top.
  • Crimp the edges together well.
  • The crimped edges should be at the top of each bridie.
  • Make a small slit in the top to let out any steam.
  • Place the bridies on a square baking tray brushed with oil.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven at GasMark8/450F/230C for 15 minutes.
  • Then reduce the temperature to GasMark4/350F/180C and cook for another 45 minutes.

The Bridies should be golden brown.

10 Beers ( Part 2)

10 Beers ( Part 2).

10 Beers ( Part 1)

10 Beers ( Part 1).

Pea & Ham Soup with Cardamom & Coriander

Turkish Delight Drink

Turkish Delight Drink.

How to eat Thistles ( Chicken with Thistles & Haggis) Scotland on a Plate.

How to eat Thistles ( Chicken with Thistles & Haggis) Scotland on a Plate..

How to eat Thistles ( Chicken with Thistles & Haggis) Scotland on a Plate.

Following on from a random conversation on Twitter about the common Thistle, i have decided to post how to prepare, cook and eat them.

The first thing is to find nice healthy thistles in soft ground. There are 2 edible parts, the head; which is similar to an artichoke ( they are related) and the root and preparation is almost the same for both and can also be eaten raw.

Wearing some thick gloves, hold the leaves back and with a pair of scissors or secateurs lop of the heads, trim the excess flowering head and cut away the spiny outer to reveal a pea sized heart.

In a pan of lightly salted water with 1/2 a lemon drop in the hearts and cook for 2 minutes then remove with a slotted spoon, these can be eaten now tossed in a little butter with a twist of pepper.

To dig up the root you will need a gardening fork and release the earth around then folding back the bottom leaves wriggle the root from the ground, trim off the leaves and you are left with a hairy root. Give these a good wash, split the root gentle at the top and peel back to expose a second more tender root inside, cook and serve as you did for the head or just eat raw, it should have a slightly nutty taste with a hint of parsnip.

Thistles grow just about everywhere and are packed with vitamins and carbohydrates, easily accesses, simple to prepare and FREE.


4 boned out chicken legs

100g MacSweens Haggis ( I prefer MacSweens for a real traditional taste.

6 Thistle Roots ( prepared as above)

50g Scottish Salted Butter

1/2 l Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper

1. Lay the boned out chicken legs between 2 sheets of oiled clingfilm and batten out slightly.

2. Chop up the blanched Thistle roots and fry till golden in 1/2 the butter and a little seasoning, remove from the pan and add to a bowl with the broken up Haggis and mix well.

3. Lay the chicken legs flat in a piece of clingfilm and divide the haggis mix between them, making a sausage. Roll up the chicken then roll in the clingfilm tying off the ends.

4. Bring the chicken stock to the boil and place the legs in, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25mins. Remove and allow to cool completely.

5. Melt the remaining butter in a heavy sauce pan over a medium heat. Remoove the clingfilm from the chicken legs and fry in the butter, add a little seasoning, finish in the oven @ 180oC for 10 minutes.

6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the legs to rest on a plate. To the pan add 1 teaspoon of Arran wholegrain mustard and 100ml of single cream, simmer for 5 mins.

7. Place a spoonful of the sauce on a plate, slice the leg and lay on top of the sauce. Accompany with Creamed potatoes and neeps.

“Scotch Pie” with spices.

This is just a great little pie based on a Scottish favourite. Same amount of work involved better finished product. Voila Och Aye.


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Corned Beef “Scotch Egg”

This is variation of a corned beef hash and a Scotch egg. With a regular hash the choice of either a fried or poached egg is served on top, with this version it is inside.


4 fresh free range eggs
150g corned beef
150g cold mashed potatoes

100g fresh breadcrumbs
50g seasoned plain flour
2 fresh free range eggs ( beaten with a little milk)

Oil for frying

1. Place a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Whisk till spinning and crack 1 egg at a time into the middle, cook for 1 minute and drop into a bowl of iced water, repeat with the other 3.
2. Take the dray mashed potato and corned beef and mix well together, season with a little salt & pepper, divide into 4 equal portions. Take a portion and flatten in the palm of your hand then enclose one of the (dried) poached eggs carefully in the middle. Chill well in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
3. With 3 mixing bowls place the seasoned flour in the 1st, beaten egg mix in the 2 nd and the fresh breadcrumbs in the last. Now pass each hash through numbers 1, 2 then 3.
4. Heat your oil in a deep fryer to 180oC, place the hash in the basket and lower into the oil, fry till golden and crisp, 2-3 minutes. Remove and drain on some kitchen paper.
5. Serve with some HP sauce.