The steak pie became the national New Year’s dinner dish in Scotland because New Year’s Day was not traditionally taken as a holiday, (Western society has only been celebrating New Year for the past 400 years.) Families were too busy to cook and bought big steak pies from their local butcher instead. It was in 1871 that Scotland declared January 1st as a national holiday and then wasn’t until 1971 that Scotland got January 2 as another bank holiday.
Butcher-bought steak pie remains popular today, I suspect partly because most Scots are too hung-over to think about cooking on New Year’s Day. Hogmanay & New Years Day is about more than seeing in the bells with a dram of whisky and the best New Year street party in the world, the traditional celebrations continue well into the next day. In fact, it’s probably partly due to the over indulgence of alcohol that the ritual Ne’erday dinner continues to be such a vital part of New Year for so many Scots. The Traditional Steak Pie is round or oval in shape, which symbolises the end of one year with the seamless beginning of the next.
I do like to make my own steak pie and this recipe dates back to my Grannies and Aunties recipes. They key to a good steak pie is the meat, good quality Scottish Beef is key and it’s important to slow cook until it falls apart. I always make the night before too, this allows the gravy/juices to soak into the meat for an amazing flavour.
500g Braising or Stewing Steak (rump steak is also good)
1 Large Onion, Chopped
1 Carrot, Peeled & Sliced
400ml Beef Stock
1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Cornflour
1 egg beaten for wash
1 Ready to Roll Puff Pastry
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Pat dry the meat and coat with the cornflour and season. Brown the meat in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and add in the onions, cook for a few minutes to soften and brown. Add back to the pan the meat and the carrots along with the beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer (very low heat), cover with a lid and slow cook for about 2 hours.
With a slotted spoon carefully remove the meat & vegetables and decant into an oven proof pie dish, with the gravy still in the pan add the gravy granules and mix through on medium heat to thicken up the gravy slightly. (You don’t want it too thick as it will thicken overnight) Pour the gravy over the meat in the oven dish, allow to cool, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to bake, roll your pastry out and using a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the edge of your pie dish, take the pastry and lay over the dish, pressing the edges to seal. Trim any excess pastry. (which you could use for a wee design) Using a knife, make a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and bake in a pre heated oven at 200 deg C for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked.
O.M.G! This little dish was delicious, rich and very tasty. Saw this on a social media video, my salavating at the video simply meant I had to give it a go. Changed the recipe slightly to suit our tastes.
Makes for 2
2 sirloin steaks – sliced into 1cm strips
2 tbsp plain flour
Salt & pepper to taste
1 large red onion
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp chilli flakes
200ml beef stock
100ml red wine (I used shiraz)
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 large handfuls of grated cheddar
2 large handfuls of french fries
Heat a little oil in a fry pan to a medium to high heat
Place the steak strips into the pan and brown all over, add the flour, salt & pepper until coated and soaked up the juices then remove and set aside.
Place another tbsp of oil in the pan and cook the onion with the garlic until softened.
Add in the tomato paste, chilli flakes, beef stock & red wine, gently bring to boil then reduce to a very low simmer.
Add back to the pan the beef strips and cook slow for about 1 hour (pan covered).
Remove pan lid 10 minutes before serving and bring heat up a little to thicken the sauce if needed.
Meanwhile, cook the french fries as per packet instructions.
Place the fries on a plate, top with the cheese and melt under a hot grill for a few seconds then top with the beef strips….Serve. Oh so yummy!
It definitely makes a difference if you’ve got some good quality meat and cheese.