Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Quirky Scotch Pie on a Roll Modern Serving Suggestions

Scotch pie and duck egg roll

I can't honestly remember who it was that first introduced me to the idea of putting a Scotch pie on a bread roll. I know that I was in early High School at the time as I remember asking for it in the local shop one lunchtime and receiving the most curious of looks from the lady serving. At that time, though, the only addition I ever made to the roll was maybe some HP sauce or Heinz tomato ketchup. Recently, I was thinking about pies on a roll and decided to do some experimenting with quirky additions to the pie before the roll was closed over, bringing the combination perhaps in to the twenty-first century. The ideas below are just some of the ones I came up with. Why not try these out or see what ideas you can come up with yourself?

Scotch pies

Scotch pies (usually just referred to in Scotland as pies) are hugely popular throughout Scotland but if you're reading this elsewhere, you may not know exactly what they are. They are made with hot water pastry and the meat filling is traditionally lamb or mutton with onion and spices. Nowadays, beef will often be used as a cheaper option. There is a definite rim left running around the top of the pie and the idea is that the space consequently created should be filled with gravy. I've used this characteristic to incorporate my varied alternatives.

Large soft supermarket baps

While Scottish morning rolls were what I enjoyed my pies on as a teenager, I quickly found while conducting this food experiment that larger soft baps from my local supermarket worked better as they closed fully over the pie and topping. This is of course, however, merely personal preference.

Butter is optional with a pie on a roll

Buttering the roll or bap is optional. The truth is that sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, largely depending upon what if anything else I am adding to the pie.

Although I sometimes eat a Scotch pie cold, I always reheat it before putting it on a roll. I preheat my oven to 190C/350F/Gas Mark 5 before adding the pies for fifteen minutes.

Scotch Pie and Garden Peas on a Roll
Scotch pie and peas on a roll

Pie and beans is a popular combination in Scotland but I think they go equally well with peas. While mushy peas may be the preference of some people, I prefer my peas with more defined substance so always buy frozen garden peas. A few minutes before the pie is due to come out of the oven, add a couple of tablespoons of frozen peas to a pot of boiling water and simmer for three minutes.

Drain the peas at your sink through a colander and while swirling the peas gently in the colander, season with black pepper and malt vinegar. Lay the pie on the bottom of the halved roll and fill the space on top with the peas before closing the roll over.

Peas are seasoned with malt vinegar and black pepper

Scotch Pie with Cheese, Onion and Tomato on a Roll
Scotch pie, cheese, tomato and onion on a roll

When the pie is removed from the oven, carefully arrange a few slices of tomato and onion on top.

Tomato and onion slices laid on hot pie

Lay some cheese slices on top of the tomato and onion and melt the cheese either by putting the pie briefly back in to the oven or on to a tray under a hot grill/broiler. Season with black pepper and add the pie to the roll to eat.

Cheese slices laid on tomato and onion on Scotch pie

Scotch Pie and Spicy Salsa on a Roll
Scotch pie and spicy salsa on a roll

This idea came about as a means of using up some leftover salsa but you could make it specially, perhaps while the pie is heating in the oven. It's equal quantities of seeded and finely diced cucumber and tomato, one peeled and grated garlic clove, finely sliced basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper but you can easily devise your own variation. All I did was spoon the salsa on to the heated pie on the roll.

Scotch Pie and a Fried Duck Egg on a Roll

Fried duck egg and chives top a Scotch pie on a roll

You could of course simply use a chicken egg for this option but I think duck eggs lend a little bit something extra to so many egg recipes. Simply be aware that it takes a little bit longer to fry than a chicken egg as it is a bit bigger.

Five minutes before the pie was due to be ready, I wiped a non-stick frying pan with a little oil and brought it up to a medium heat. I then broke the duck egg carefully in to a small bowl before pouring it in to the hot pan. After twenty seconds or so, I reduced the heat slightly and fried the egg on the first side for three minutes before turning it to fry for two more minutes.

Sit the hot pie on the roll, lift the egg on top and garnish with chopped chives.

Biting in to a Scotch pie and fried duck egg on a roll

Chicken Curry Pies
Scottish chicken curry pies

There is a variation of the Scotch pie which has become increasingly popular in Scotland over the past couple of decades and that is the chicken curry pie. The pastry of the pie is usually the same but the filling is of a simple chicken curry. The next two ideas use these pies, which were heated exactly the same way in the oven as the Scotch pies above.

Chicken Curry Pie and Indian Spiced Onions on a Roll
Scotch pie and Indian spiced onions on a roll

The spiced onions used here were supermarket bought but they are really easy to make at home. Experimenting with slightly different quantities of the spices will let you find your own favourite combination. All you do is spoon the onions on to the heated chicken curry pie on the roll.

Chicken Curry Pies with Spicy Beans on a Roll

Scotch pie and spicy beans on a roll

You can prepare and heat the beans while the chicken curry pie is in the oven. A small (eight ounce) can of beans will be enough for two pies on a roll. Pour the beans in to a small saucepan and add a seeded and finely diced small green chilli, half a teaspoon of ground turmeric and some black pepper. Heat the beans on a very low heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.

Put the hot pie(s) on to the roll (s) before spooning on the spicy beans.

Spices are added to beans in tomato sauce before they are heated

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