Sometimes on a cold wintery day you just need something hearty and chewy and full of fat and protein for your comfort food. At the Highland Games, people make individual size of these hearty treats and call them pasties (soft ‘a’ so you don’t confuse them with stripper garb). My Nana just called it meat pie. At the Games, you are more likely to find minced meat (hamburger and sausage,) cooked in oversized muffin tins with more gravy than meat. Some people add potato chunks to the meat and call it Cornish Pastie.
I don’t know how authentic any of these variations are. You could probably do it with mutton and have similar results. Can we hear from Chaz and Chris?
If you don’t know how to make a pie crust, or don’t care to, you can buy them now. Saves a lot of work.
You will need:
pie crust for a top and bottom crust on a 9” pie plate
1.5-2 lbs stew meat
1 onion chopped
Extra flour to make a gravy
Roll the meat chunks in the flour. Brown it with the onion in a heavy pan. Then either throw it in the pressure cooker with 1 C water and cook for 12 minutes under pressure, or put it in a crock pot/stew pot for 12 hours until fork tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Line the bottom of the pie plate with 1 crust, dump in the meat mixture. If you have a lot of left over liquid, add more flour to it and whisk over medium heat until it thickens. Dump that in too. Cover with top pie crust, pinch the edges together, brush with milk and make a couple of small slits to vent. Bake for 30 minutes at 375’ or until crust is brown on top and flakey.
Serve with mashed potatoes and tinned peas. Makes 4-6 portions (one if you have a teenager.)
If you want to get creative and aligned with modern diets you can add garlic, mushrooms, and thyme to the meat mixture. I don’t need more carbs than the crust so I forego the potatoes. A green salad on the side completes the meal and lightens the denseness of the pie.
Still, on a hot and sweaty afternoon on the field of the Highland Games having tossed the caber and thrown the hammer, or piped your lungs out, or danced your feet off, or just wandered the interesting vendor booths, nothing tops that first bite of the rich meaty mixture with gravy running down your chin to replenish the body, mind, and spirit.
Can you tell I’m in the middle of writing a cozy mystery set at a Highland Games?