To make the pastry
325g plain white flour (plus a little extra for rolling)
75g salted Scottish butter
75g shredded beef suet
¼ tsp. table salt
3 – 4 tbsp. cold water
1 egg, beaten, for brushing the finished bridies before baking
- Sieve the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Dice the butter which should be just coming to room temperature, but not too soft. Add the butter and suet to the bowl. Rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, lifting the mixture as you rub, to aerate it.
- Add cold water a little at a time and mix to form a soft dough, using the rounded blade of a table knife.
- Bring the dough together with your fingertips, until it forms a pliable ball and leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
- Sprinkle a little flour on a board or work surface and knead the dough very gently for a minute, to form a smooth ball. Place inside a polythene bag, or wrap in cling-film and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour, or overnight.
- Before assembling the bridies, divide the dough into four equal pieces and shape into a smaller ball, slightly egg-shaped. Set aside.
To make the filling;
450g lean rump steak, best Angus Scotch beef if possible
1 large onion, very finely chopped
75g shredded beef suet
Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tsp. old-fashioned mushroom ketchup, or Worcester sauce, or English mustard
- Remove visible fat from the beef and slice it into long, thin slivers. Chop the slivers of beef into small pieces approximately 1cm wide.
- Place the beef in a bowl together with the finely chopped onion and shredded suet. Season liberally with salt and black pepper. Add the flavouring of your choice, as listed. Mix together with your fingers, cover and set aside until ready to assemble the bridies for baking.
To bake the bridies
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C, Gas mark 7, and grease a large flat baking tray.
- Dust your work surface and rolling pin with a little plain flour. Roll out each small bowl of dough into an oval shape, approximately 21cm long x 15cm at the widest.
- Weigh the rump steak mixture and divide into four equal amounts. Place one portion in the centre of the pastry shape, leaving a good margin on each side and an even greater margin top and bottom.
- Brush the whole rim of the pastry with a beaten egg using a pastry brush. Fold over the pastry and crimp around the rounded edges to form a tight seal. Lift the pastry parcel on to the prepared baking tray and repeat the process until you have completed all four bridies.
- Gently ease the prepared bridies into more of a horseshoe shape, once it is on the tray. Make a few small cuts in the top of the bridie to allow steam to escape while baking. Brush the whole bridie all over with the beaten egg, making sure that the crimped edges are sealed well.
- Place the bridies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill before putting in the centre of the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Cover the pastry lightly with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment or greaseproof paper. Turn down the heat to 180°C, Gas mark 4, to cook slowly for a further 30 minutes. Remove the paper and allow to finish browning until well golden, for a final 5 – 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire tray unless you are serving them immediately as a hot main course. Wrap each bridie in a greaseproof paper parcel for a picnic meal-in-one.
*Note that this is Shirley’s own take on the traditional Forfar Bridie