John W McGraddie’s Butchers Scotch pie

Scotch pies are popular in the central areas of Scotland. They have a distinctive tin shaped side to them and a loosely placed top crust. They are usually made with mutton and heavily seasoned with salt and other spices. In some senses, they are not dissimilar to the pies of my youth in North west England and originate from working class roots.

I’ve got four of these and I have been advised that they should be eaten with Beans or Marrowfat peas on top but this one is going to be done au naturelle, so that I can actually examine and review the pie closely as to what it tastes like.

Firstly, I am eternally grateful to Paul aka @NorthernCasual for picking these up for me on a trip up North, and also to Glaswegian @BarcaJim for the recommendation. The only downside to me not being there myself, is that I don’t get to savour the on premise ambience of a traditional butchers.

According to Jim, they are not hugely famous, just a very well respected local family butcher. Their steak pies are exceptionally good and hugely popular around New Year when it’s the traditional Hogmanay scran. As you’d expect, they do square sausages, indeed the full lorne, which Jim used to get imported to Barcelona when he lived there (I had to ask for the picture below….LOOK AT IT!!!!)

Back to the Scotch pie and as I pull the pie out of the oven, I get a glorious waft of buttery pastry. The pie is a bit on the smaller side but as mentioned, standard protocol is to double up and add your choice of topping.

I love the look of the pie, with it’s uneven top and sides, and razor sharp crust lip. Probably not the best idea to stick your teeth directly into that, I reckon, if eating by hand, it is best to approach it at a right angle.

Even if it is made in a tin (and I’m not sure to be honest), that lack of uniformity shows something that is traditional, home made and unique.

Inside there is a healthily thick slab of minced mutton, pinkish grey in cover and the meat is rich, chewy and juicy, with a slightly salty aftertaste. Easily eaten by hand, though it is best to turn on the side to get a bit of the crunchy side crust.

Obviously, I have gone a bit off track by not adding sides or condiments, but there is plenty moisture inside to not need that at all, and a gentle sprinkling of salt on the top crust and inside.

My biggest regret is not putting two in the oven as my mouth is watering for more as I polish the first one off. Just as well, I’ve got three more in the fridge then really.

The finer details

Price: As I didn’t buy this myself, I’m not sure of the exact price, but I am told that most standard sized pies retail between £1.00 and £1.50 each

Address: 8 Minard Rd, Glasgow G41 2HN



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