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Forfar Bridies

Introduction & method

Scotland's answer to the Cornish pastie, these meat-filled pastry treats are easy to make and delicious. Bridies have existed since the early 19th century, and dubious theories about the name suggest it's to do with their popularity at weddings.

Forfar Bridies Recipe


Bridies can be made with shortcrust or puff pastry, the choice is yours. You can use bought pastry if you like but I prefer to make my own. To make shortcrust pastry, cut the cold fat (lard, butter, shortening) into small chunks. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the fat with your fingertips. You'll end up with a mixture that looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the water a bit at a time. You may not need all of the water - you only need to use enough to make the dough come together in a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour.


Finely chop or mince the onion. Mix it in with the meat, salt and peper, mace and mustard. If you're using butter rather than suet, cut it into very small pieces (or grate it if it's cold enough). Make up beef stock with one cube to three tablespoons of boiling water. Add the butter or suet to the meat mixture along with the stock. Mix it all really well - you'll probably need to use your hand for this.

Assemble the Bridies

Sprinkle some flour on your worktop. Grab about a quarter of the dough and roll it out into an ellipse 4-5mm (quarter of an inch) thick. Your finished bridies should be about 10-12cm (4-5 inches) wide and long, and they are horseshoe-shaped rather than the half moon or the Cornish pastie. If you can find an oval dish to cut round, that's great, otherwise cut the pastry into an oval by eye. Take about 100 grams (3½ ounces) of filling, form it into a flattened ball and place it on the bottom half of the pastry oval. Make one or two steam holes in the top half of the oval - traditionally, bakers would make one hole to indicate no onion, or two if there was onion in it. Moisten the edge of the oval with water, fold the top half over and press it down against the edge of the bottom half. Crimp the seal with a wet fork. Make up some eggwash by beating together one egg and a splash of milk. Place the bridies in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

Bake the Bridies

Heat your oven to 180°C (356°F) for a fan/convection oven or airfryer, 200°C (392°F) conventional, gas 6. Place the bridies on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 45-55 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 70° Celsius (158° Fahrenheit). Let the baked bridies cool on a wire rack. They can be eaten hot or cold.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Forfar Bridies on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 300 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
 150 grams lard, butter or a mixture
 175 ml water
 half a tsp salt
 500 grams lean minced beef
 1 medium onion
 40 grams butter or suet
 1 tsp mustard powder
 half a tsp mace
 3 tbsp beef stock
 half a tsp salt
 1 tsp white pepper


1 egg and a splash of milk for eggwash.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 4 -5
Prep time: 15 minutes.
1 hour time: Resting.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours.