It has been said that in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, on any given Saturday night you are never more than six feet from a Scotch pie!
But be that as it may! The Scotch Pie was an Industrial Revolution pie, intended for men going to work, since the hard crust of the pie enabled them to be eaten by hand with no wrapping.
Believed to have originated in Scotland, where it is often known simply as pie, the Scotch pie can be found in many other parts of the United Kingdom and is widely sold throughout Canada.
It consists of a shell of hot water crust pastry and the traditional filling of mutton is often highly spiced with salt, pepper, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce and onion, though many Scottish bakers will keep their precise pie recipes secret for fear of imitation!*
It is baked in a round, straight-sided tin, about 8 cm in diameter and 4 cm high and the soft top or ‘crust’ is kept about 1 cm lower than the rim to make a ‘bowl’ for adding accompaniments, such as a dash of brown sauce or gravy or with a meal like mashed potatoes or chips and beans, mushy peas or vegetables. They may be eaten hot, cold or deep fried!**
To avoid confusion they can also be known as mince pie, mutton pie, savoury pie, footie pie (due to it’s long association with food wagons in and around football stadia!) or shell pie to differentiate them from other varieties of savoury meat pies, such as the steak-and-kidney or steak-and-tattie pie!
* Every year, the Scotch Pie Club holds the World Scotch Pie Championship! Butchers and bakers enter their pies into this competition, and the maker of the pie judged tastiest by a panel of judges is awarded the title of World Scotch Pie Champion.
** In certain (undisclosed) chippies around Scotland it has been known for the pie to be deep fried!