Forfar Bridies

These traditional Scottish Forfar Bridies orignate from Forfar in Scotland. They are a traditional meat pastry which is thought to date back to the 19th century and thought to be served to the bride on her wedding day, hence the horseshoe shape. Another story is that they were made by a lady called Margaret Bridie and got the name from her. I guess we may never know the true origin of the name but they sure are delicious!

These meat pastries are traditionally made with finely chopped beef steak which is steamed in an enclosed pastry. Sometimes they are made with onions traditionally and sometimes they are not. I like mine with onions and have included them in the recipe here. You can make them without onions if you prefer but I find the onion works really well in this recipe.

You can watch the full recipe in the video below or use the printable version at the bottom of this page.

Traditionally they are made with shortcrust in many recipes but I used a puff pastry. If you want to be authentic go with shortcrust. The reason I used puff is because the kids love puff pastry and it worked really well using the puff so either will do. I also used a pre-made pastry (I know I know! one day I will learn how to make puff pastry properly) and find it saves so much time in the kitchen.

Equipment you might need for making this recipe:

This recipe would also work really well with the following two recipes as part of a Traditional Scottish themed meal. The delicious Hotch Potch soup would work well as a starter and if you have any space left the wartime rhubarb pudding would be a delicious finish.

Tips for making this recipe:

  • you can freeze these pastries pretty well just make sure they are cooled after cooking before doing so.
  • I used topside for this recipe but you can also use a few other cuts. Something tender and not too fatty would work great.
  • I used a wooden rolling pin to hammer away at the meat in the video but you could also use a meat mallet . It’s something I definitely need to invest in.

Forfar Bridies Recipe

  • 450g of beef (topside or similiar cut)
  • 75g of beef suet
  • 2tbsp minced onion
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 rolls of premade puff pastry (approx 600g)

Recipe Instructions:

  1. Cut the beef into small cubes and lay out across a chunky wooden chopping board. Place a piece of greaseproof paper across the top of the beef.
  2. Pound the meat with a wooden rolling pin or a meat mallet until tenderised. Remove the greaseproof paper.
  3. Slice the beef up into small strips about an inch long and fairly thin.
  4. Place the beef in a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the beef suet and the minced onion and mix together well until fully mixed through.
  5. Roll out the pastry or unroll the pastry if you are using premade pastry on a floured surface.
  6. Cut out large discs as per the images using a bowl or large cookie cutter and place all discs to the side. I made about five but you could make more by making them smaller.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180oc and grease up a large flat baking sheet or tray with butter.
  8. Place one disc on the wooden chopping board and fill half of the disc with the meat mixture.
  9. Fold the pastry over the meat filled half and seal using a fork to crimp the edges. Brush a little water on the edge to seal even further.
  10. You can also brush with milk or egg at this point too.
  11. Make a hole in the top of the pastry to let the steam release from the pastry when cooking.
  12. Bake in a hot oven at 180oc for 15minutes and reduce the heat to 140oc and bake for a further 1hr. These temperatures are for a fan oven. You may need it slightly higher.
  13. Serve fresh out of the oven with some hearty vegetables.

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like to pin it to your favourite pinterest board using the pin below:

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