Monday, May 2, 2011

Things Scottish -- Food to be Precise

I'm sure some of you have noticed that in the course of my life, I've spent some time in Scotland. In the course of that, I've eaten a fair amount of Scottish food--and no haggis is not made out of sheep's intestines. Like sausage, intestines serve as a casing.

However, it was other dishes that were daily fair on my granny's table, so I'm going to share a few recipes that I learned from her. They mostly were not eaten in medieval Scotland in the days of James, Lord of Douglas, the hero of A Kingdom's Cost, but they're pretty tasty and very authentically Scottish, except that I changed the measurements and temperatures to US.

Forfar Bridies

1 package of puff pastry (or make your own)

1 pound finely chopped lamb (ground beef may be substituted if you don't like lamb)
1 large onion, finely diced
1/4 cup beef broth (or enough to moisten meat)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 egg white, lightly beaten

In a heavy skillet brown meat and onion. Drain fat. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cool thoroughly! (Don't fail to cool)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Roll pastry to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into about 6 inch rounds. This should make 6 to 8 rounds of pastry. Divide the cooled meat evenly in the center of the rounds. Leave an edge of pastry showing all round. Brush edges with water and fold over. Crimp the edges, make two slits in the top (traditionally bridies with onion have 2) and brush the top with egg white.

Oil a baking sheet and place bridies on it being sure they don't touch. Bake for 15 minutes, lower temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for another 55 minutes or until golden brown.

Yummy! Just like my granny made me.

My granny knew I couldn't get enough of her shortbread and since I was a skinny kid she always had a good stock on hand. (If I weren't off gluten, I'd still eat it by the truckload)

Burrebrede (Scottish Shortbread)

1 pound unsalted butter
5 cups flour (pastry is best but all-purpose works also)
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
(You can add a teaspoon of vanilla but I prefer it without which emphasizes the butter flavor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Cream butter. Add sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Use hands to thoroughly mix. Chill for 15 minutes and then press into a jelly roll pan. Prick closely all the way through.

Bake for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes and cut into bars. Finish cooling in pan before removing although the delicious aroma may make that difficult. Smack hands as needed.

Even thinking about them makes me nostalgic for my granny's kitchen.

To celebrate the release of A Kingdom's Cost the price of Freedom's Sword is reduced to 99 Cents through May 14! Take advantage of the low price now!


Monica said...

Thanks for sharing the recipes. I will try both of them! Have you tried using a homemade puff pastry without gluten? It's not as yummy, but will do :)

J. R. Tomlin said...

I'll have to look for a recipe for that. I've never tried it. Thanks for suggesting it.