Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Traditional Scottish Steak and Sausage Pie with a Twist
There are a great many people in Scotland for whom New Year would simply not be New Year without the traditional steak and sausage pie, as pictured above. Steak pie in Scotland is very often considered to be as much of a New Year tradition as whisky. Around the world, of course, there are a great many different foodstuffs associated with New Year and a very popular one is pork. In many countries and cultures, pork is considered to bring good luck for the coming year when it is eaten as part of a New Year meal and this gave me an idea. Steak pie in Scotland is usually comprised of beef steak and beef sausages. What I have done here, however, is a piece of blatant fusion cooking, by making the steak pie with leg of pork steak and pork link sausages.
Steak and sausage pie is frequently served with any of a great many different accompaniments. It can be served with roast potatoes, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, or even chips as in this instance, as well as a wide and varied choice of vegetables. In this post, I am focusing on how to make the steak and sausage pie only but if you want to know how I prepare chips, you can find the full instructions by clicking here. The dwarf green beans which I am also serving as an accompaniment are simply washed and blanched in boiling water for five minutes.
1lb leg of pork steak
4 pork link sausages
1/2lb puff pastry
2 pints fresh chicken stock
1 small beaten egg for glazing
Salt and pepper
If desired, you can have your butcher fully prepare the leg of pork steak for you by chopping it in to bite sized pieces. Alternatively, cut it yourself but do not discard any remaining fat. This is required to keep the meat moist. Put the steak only in to a dry pot and bring it up to a medium heat. This will cause the fat to begin to melt and allow the pork to seal and brown in its own juices. Stir the meat constantly during this process. It should only take two or three minutes.
When the pork is sealed, add the heated chicken stock and bring to a simmer for one hour. After this time, add the pork links for a further half hour's simmering. In order to minimise the chances of the sausages bursting, position them round the edges of the pot and ensure that the stock does not boil. Note that you may be required to add a little boiling water to the pot at this stage to ensure all the meat is covered.
After what will have been a total of one and a half hours simmering, turn off the heat, cover the pot and set it aside to cool for at least an hour. Building the pie when the meat is hot will cause steam to make the underside of the pastry soggy before it has a chance to start cooking.
When the steak and sausage is cool, add it to a 10" by 7" ashet or similarly suitable dish. Add enough stock to almost cover the meat and come within about an inch of the lip of the dish. Put the oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
On a clean, dry, floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it is large enough to cover the dish and slightly more. The excess is used to crimp the pastry in place around and over the edges. Beat the egg and use it to lightly glaze the pie, before making two or three slits in the centre to allow steam to escape during cooking.
The pie should be placed on a baking tray and in to the oven until the pastry is risen and golden. This will vary from oven to oven but will generally take anything from thirty to forty minutes. When the pie is cooked, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool slightly for around ten minutes, while the finishing touches are made to the remainder of the ingredients.
A pie of this size will provide two very generous servings or up to four smaller servings. I hope that you will try either my alternative steak and sausage pie this New Year, or the original version, and add a little bit of Scottish Hogmanay to your New Year celebrations. You may even wish to follow it up with the traditional Scottish malt whisky, raspberry and cream dessert, Cranachan, and a Gaelic coffee!