Deliciously Easy Traditional Scottish Meat Pies


traditional Scottish mince meat pie cut open with garnish and served on a plate

Once a year, it seems like everyone pretends they’re Irish. But hey – St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a pretty cool day, so this ginger is not complaining. But what about all of those other odd holidays? They kinda get glossed over, which is a real shame. Because at our house, we use those days to celebrate all the different aspects of our family history. And, a few years ago, we got in the spirit of St. Andrew’s day with a delicious, easy-to-make traditional Scottish meat pies, or mincemeat steak pies.

No, we didn’t wear kilts while making this pie last time. Maybe next year – or while we’re making some other awesome Scottish recipes. We’d need to find the right family kilt pattern, anyway!

Delicious, Easy, Traditional Scottish Meat Pies

In any case, we wanted to try making a traditional Scottish meat pie, because why not? Now, if you’re going for a healthy meal, try this gluten-free pumpkin curry soup or some homemade wheat bread instead. Because this meat pie isn’t going to be winning any awards for being heart-healthy. It is delicious, though!

Now, we didn’t have a family recipe to turn to, so we did some Googling and found a recipe on Scotland.com’s forum that looked very promising. Sadly, the post has since been deleted. But that is still the source of this recipe, so I feel it’s important to leave the link for those who enjoy seeing the evolution of a recipe.

Even so, I’m glad I kept the recipe because it’s no longer there.

When we first made it back in 2013, we felt like contestants on the Great British Baking Show – thrust right into our first technical challenge!

You see, we’d never made this before. We’d never seen or tasted it before. And here we were, trying to make a delicious, homemade, traditional Scottish meat pie.

So we did our best, made a few slight changes, and the result was awesome. And even though it may not be 100% exactly right, we think it’s in the same ballpark. Because it sure looks good, doesn’t it?

This is me giving y’all a heads up that there are affiliate ad links in this post. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Yield: 8 people

Deliciously Easy Traditional Scottish Meat Pies

Deliciously Easy Traditional Scottish Meat Pies

Looking for an easy-to-make recipe for traditional Scottish meat pies? This mince meat pie is flavorful, fool-proof, flexible, and delicious. And even our picky eaters tasted it - and liked it!

Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours

Ingredients

Meat Pie Filling

  • 1.5 pounds stewing beef, cubed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 whole onion, large
  • 12-16 cups beef stock, organic
  • 1 sprig rosemary, fresh
  • 1 sprig thyme, fresh
  • 1 tbsp salt and pepper, to taste

Pie Crust

  • 8 oz flour
  • 4 oz butter, room temperature
  • 2 oz lard or Crisco
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

Brown the beef

  1. Cut stewing beef into 1-2" cubes (or buy it already cut).
  2. Salt and pepper the beef.
  3. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into the only stove-top cooking pot you'll ever need... Or skip the stove and use my other favorite pot.
  4. Gently brown the stewing beef.
  5. Remove the beef and set it aside.

Simmer the beef

  1. Dice 1 large onion practically into oblivion.
  2. Pour the onion into the pot, and cook it 2-3 minutes in the oil and juices left from browning the beef.
  3. Add the beef stock to the pot.
  4. Add rosemary and thyme.
  5. Add beef back into the only stove-top cooking pot you'll ever need OR the amazing, versatile instant pot and simmer for 1-2 hours. 

Make the Pie Crust

  1. Combine the flour and butter into a mixing bowl. Knead gently with the best pastry blender ever invented. It'll save you so much time, effort, and greasiness.
  2. Slowly add the water and lard until the dough forms a flaky pastry crust. Oh - and knead it as little as possible so that it stays flaky and delicious once it's cooked.
  3. Roll out the pie dough into a circular shape.
  4. Choose which kind of pie you want: a completely enclosed meat pie OR a top-crust only meat pie. Option 1 is my favorite, but option 2 is more traditional.

Option 1: Completely Enclosed Meat Pie

  1. Make a second batch of pie crust dough.
  2. Put the first crust into the tin and trim the excess.
  3. Fill the pie tin with the stewed meat and gravy - and be very generous with the gravy, as the crust will absorb some of the gravy.
  4. Cover the pie with the second pie crust. Then, cut vents into the pastry or use a ceramic pie bird.
  5. If you've got any leftover pastry strips, feel free to decorate the top of your pie

Option 2: Traditional meat pie, with the crust only on top

  1. Cut about a half an inch off the outside of the rolled-out pie crust.
  2. Place this strip along the rim of the pie tin and press it down firmly. It's to help anchor the top crust.
  3. Then add the stewed meat and gravy.
  4. Cover the pie, cutting vents or using your ceramic pie bird.
  5. If you've got any leftover pastry strips, feel free to decorate the top of your pie.
  6. Brush the top with some butter or a beaten egg. When it's done cooking, it'll look amazing.

Bake the Traditional Meat Pie

  1. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees for a gas stove, or 450 with an electric stove.
  2. The meat's already cooked, so you're just trying to bake that delicious, flaky crust. It will be a golden brown when it's done.
  3. Brush the top with some butter or a beaten egg. When it's done cooking, it'll look amazing.

Enjoy!

Notes

Caramelize the onion

Oh, and make sure you give that onion plenty of time to caramelize. It'll really bring out the flavor once you're eating that delicious mincemeat pie!

Why the 12-16 cups of beef broth range?

When I make the pie with just a single, top crust, then I use the 12 cups of beef broth. However, when I use a double (top and bottom) crust, then I use closer to the 16 cups of beef broth.

This is all with the homemade crust. If you use a pre-made, store-bought crust, you could probably go straight at 12 cups no matter which crust type (single or double) you decide to make.

If you're ever not sure, start with the lower amount. Then, if is too thick, it's easy to add another bit of liquid. Taking liquid out is harder - then you get to play with all sorts of cornstarch and thickeners!

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 slice

Amount Per Serving Calories 724 Total Fat 20g Saturated Fat 9g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 31mg Sodium 7965mg Carbohydrates 62g Fiber 1g Sugar 21g Protein 80g
This nutrition data was automatically calculated and they most definitely didn't show me their work.

More notes on the recipe...

As I’ve learned more and more about pastry, meat pies, and practiced baking this, I’ve learned a few more tips.

Tip #1: a hot water crust pastry is a great way to bake a meat pie. It’ll help seal all of the juice in without letting the bottom crust (if you do one) get soggy.

Tip #2: If you choose a different type of crust, do a blind bake first. A blind bake is baking the crust alone (usually with some ceramic pie weights to help the crust take shape) for a few minutes.

Tip #3: if you opt for a super juicy pie but still want to avoid a soggy bottom, put something that’ll absorb the juices in the bottom of the pie. Apparently, rice can be a great option, provided you like rice in your pies! It’s not quite as “traditional”, but it could add a new spin to things.

Tip #4: Make sure you’ve got a steam vent! If you don’t, then the steam will have nowhere to escape and your pie will get soggy. Not only that, but it may prevent the crust from turning that lovely golden brown color.

Tip #5: You can use a tin or hand shape your pie. Hand shaping a pie is much, much harder. So if it’s your first go at this recipe, please use a mold, tin, or something to hold the pie up for you.

Time to enjoy!

This pie was delicious!! It goes well with salads or steamed vegetables, too. And it easily fed three adults and two children; oh, and one boy and the adults all had second helpings. Even then, we had one slice of meat pie leftover and it tasted great as leftovers the next day.

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Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos.

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