The concept of a hand pie is popular all around the world, from British pasties to Latin American empanadas to Haitian beef patties. Each one has the same core concept: a filling (often of meat) is wrapped in dough and then baked. In that same vein these Scottish hand pies, called forfar birdies locally, have a filling of beef and onions and a simple, homemade flavor that will have you reaching for a second or even a third pie. The lore of the unusual name isn’t fully known, but they hail from Forfar in Angus, a couple hours north of Edinburgh.
To make these little pies the best dough wrappers are the empanada discs that are sold in the freezer section of the grocery. And, for the best taste and texture make sure to get the ones that are made specifically for baking.
The discs made for frying aren’t as delicate and will end up slightly tough if you bake them since they are really different in texture. You can also use our shortcrust pastry recipe if you want to make the entire recipe from scratch.
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