1 Jan 2010

Hogmanay Steak Pie

Hogmanay is the most important holiday in Scotland, celebrated with more fervour than Christmas. The reports say that around 80,000 people crowded into Edinburgh’s Princes Street last night to bring in the New Year.

However, being the creative introverts that we are, my beloved and I cannot think of anything more angonizing than being surrounded by tens of thousands of people who have had far too much to drink. I have always preferred a quiet atmosphere, good company and rich food. Thankfully this year it was Maw Broon to the rescue yet again, with her recipe for Hogmanay Steak Pie.

I have read that along with songs and dancing, the eating of steak pies or stew at Hogmanay is traditional around Glasgow and central Scotland. It makes sense, as there is nothing like a slow-cooked stew or pie on a cold night to raise your spirits and see you through the long winter nights ahead.

Maw Broon’s recipe is a basic beef stew that is cooked for a long time, then set aside to rest for awhile (preferably overnight) so the simple flavours have time to deepen. Poured into a casserole dish and covered with puff pastry, it is baked for 30 minutes until the pastry is nice and brown. Easy peasy.

A whole new year awaits us. There are so many things I want to do this year, so many places I want to see and foods I want to cook and taste. A few of my Scotland-loving desires for 2010:

-Attend at least one dinner hosted by Slow Food Edinburgh and get to know more food producers
-Learn more about Scottish heather honey
-Visit several of the islands around Scotland, including Isle of Bute, Isle of May and Isle of Arran
-Finally read Magnus Magnusson’s Scotland, Story of a Nation (it’s more than 700 pages)
-cook more traditional Scottish recipes and try a few modern ones as well

If you could send me on assignment or have me cook something, where or what would it be? I'm always on the lookout for ideas.

Happy New Year everyone!

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