Have you tried a Scotch pie, also known as a mutton pie?
These delicious little morsels are individual lamb pies made with spiced lamb mince.
The lamb is baked in a hot water crust pastry, which is deliciously crisp and very quick to make.
Perfect for picnics and get togethers, they are also delicious served hot.
These lamb pies are a traditional Scottish dish which were typically made with mutton and spices, all encased in a crisp hot water crust pastry.
The crust allows the pie to be eaten by hand, rather like a Cornish pasty pastry edge. This makes the pies popular at events, particularly football.
They are known by many names, such as mutton pie, football pie, pie, shell pie or even mince pie.
Today, the mutton pie is normally made with lamb mince or beef mince, sometimes with the addition of onions too.
The pies have a larger than normal lip around the edge, of around a centimetre, which was often used to hold a dollop of mashed potato, baked beans, sauce, egg or a pool of gravy.
Although still extremely popular in Scotland they are still found across the British Isles and are even sold widely in Canada.
Such is its popularity, it even has its own competition of the Scotch Pie Awards!
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Delicious hot for a meal or cold.
- Perfect picnic or buffet food.
- Traditional Scottish origins.
- Crisp pastry with a tender lamb filling.
- No fuss pastry, with no rubbing in or chilling.
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- Lamb - lamb mince, typically around 20% fat. The fat helps the meat to stay together in the pie when you bite into it.
- Stock - a small amount of beef or lamb stock keeps the meat moist in the pie. I used Bovril concentrate mixed with boiling water.
- Flour - plain or all purpose flour for the pastry.
- Seasoning - salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Lard - pork dripping, essential for a proper hot water crust.
- Herbs - dried mixed herbs, typically a mix of parsley, basil, thyme, marjoram and oregano.
- Egg - egg yolk to mix with water to glaze the pies before baking.
- Mace - this is the outer coating of nutmeg and usually comes in a yellow brown powder or as 'blades', the nane of the lacy coating. It is very similar to nutmeg but not quite as sweet, making it perfect in savoury dishes. It's not available in all supermarkets, but is easy to buy online. It is easier to buy ground mace for this or use nutmeg.
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- mixing bowl
- small saucepan
- 4 10 centimetre spring form pie dishes
- pastry brush
- clean tea towel to cover pastry
- rolling pin
- large oven tray
💭 Top tip
- To make a traditional Scotch or mutton pie, the sides need to be straight.
- For ease, I would recommend using either a spring form or loose bottomed tin about 10 centimetres in diameter and 6 centimetres high.
Put the lamb mince in a bowl with the seasoning, herbs and mace and mix together with a fork.
Divide the mixture in 4 and form into flattened balls.
Place into the fridge to chill.
The hot water crust pastry takes just a few minutes to make, with no chilling or rubbing in. However, you do need to work relatively quickly, as the pastry becomes unworkable if it dries out.
💭 Top tip
- Gather all of the pastry ingredients and equipment together before you start, including some extra flour for rolling.
- If you are not confident with pastry rolling, place the dough between 2 pieces of clingfilm before rolling. This will make it easier to transfer to the tins.
Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix.
Make a well in the centre.
Cut the lard into pieces and place in the saucepan over a low heat with the water.
Allow the lard to melt and then remove from the heat and pour into the flour.
Use a wooden spoon to mix to a dough quickly.
Initially, the dough will be very hot.
As soon as it is cool enough to handle, form the dough into ball.
Cut out a quarter of the dough and place back in the bowl. This piece will be used to make the lids.
Cover with the tea towel to stop it drying out.
Divide the remaining dough into 4 balls.
Flour the work surface and quickly roll out a circle about 20 centimetres diameter.
Line the tin with the pastry.
It doesn't matter if it cracks, or you need to patch it. Just work quickly. The pastry will magically mend as it cooks.
Repeat with the remaining tins.
Place a ball of lamb mince in each tin and flatten to fit with a fork.
Roll out the reserved dough to make the lids. Press gently to seal the mutton pies.
There should be a good gap between the lid and the top of the tin to produce the tall crust.
Mix the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and use a pastry brush to glaze the lids.
Next, use the handle end of a wooden spoon to make a steam hole.
Put the tins on an oven tray.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6 and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
💭 Top tip
- I like to put the oven tray in the oven when it's warming up. I add the pies, (or any other pastry dish), when the oven is ready, and this helps to get the heat into the bottom of the lamb pies and ensure a crisp base.
Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes and then remove the pies from the tins.
🥗 Serve with
Make a proper picnic spread, buffet or afternoon tea with some of these ideas.
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich
- Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
- Crab Pâté
- Smoked Salmon Pâté
- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
- Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps
- Tuna Pâté
- Derbyshire Oatcakes
- Cheese and Bacon Scones
- Jamaica Ginger Cake
- Chocolate Tiffin
- Congress Tarts
- Sultana Scones
- Fruit Loaf
- Cherry Madeira Cake
- Lard - use butter or vegetable shortening.
- Nutmeg - use freshly grated nutmeg if you can't source mace.
- Meat - use beef mince, but turkey, pork or chicken would also work if you prefer.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - wrap well in an airtight container or wrapping and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
- Reheat - eat the pie cold or warm in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare the lamb mince in advance, but the pastry needs to be made and used immediately.
More pies and tarts
- Turkey and Ham Pie
- Salmon and Broccoli Quiche
- Cranberry and Turkey Pie
- Steak and Kidney Pie
- Chicken and Leek Pie
- Mushroom Tartlets
Scotch Pie or Mutton Pie
- Mixing bowl
- Small saucepan
- 4 10 centimetre spring form pie dishes
- Pastry brush
- Large oven tray
- clean tea towel to cover pastry
- Rolling Pin
For the filling
- 500 g lamb mince
- 4 tablespoon lamb stock or beef
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs dried
- ½ teaspoon ground mace
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
For the pastry
- 360 g flour plain or all purpose
- 120 g lard
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 160 ml water
- Put the lamb mince in a bowl with the seasoning, herbs and mace and mix together with a fork.
- Divide the mixture in 4 and form into flattened balls.
- Place into the fridge to chill.
- Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix.
- Make a well in the centre.
- Cut the lard into pieces and place in the saucepan over a low heat.
- Allow the lard to melt and then pour into the flour.
- Use a wooden spoon to mix to a dough quickly.
- Form the dough into ball.
- Cut out a quarter of the dough and place back in the bowl and cover with the tea towel to stop it drying out.
- Divide the remaining dough into 4 balls.
- Flour the work surface and quickly roll out a circle about 20 centimetres diameter.
- Line the tin with the pastry and repeat with the remaining tins.
- Place a ball of lamb mince in each tin and flatten to fit with a fork.
- Roll out the reserved dough to make the lids and press gently to seal the pies.
- Mix the egg yolk with a teaspoon of water and use a pastry brush to glaze the lids.
- Next, use the handle end of a wooden spoon to make a steam hole.
- Put the tins on an oven tray.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F / 180 FAN / Gas 6 and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes and then remove the pies from the tins.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
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- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
Do you have a question or did you make the recipe?
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First time making hot water crust pastry, but I was really pleased with the result. Definitely sturdy enough to hold the filling, but also flaky and soft enough to eat! Delicious filling too! Thanks for another great recipe 🙂
I think I could easily eat a tone of these pies. They are so good!
These sound so savory and delicious! And that crust looks amazing. I've never worked with lamb before, looks like I'm going to have to just put on a brave face and do it!
I made this mutton pie for dinner last night and my whole family loved it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
I love reading about traditional recipes and these look great! Thanks.
I remember eating these as a kid! Such a great recipe and so full of flavor. Thanks for sharing!
I love meat pies and this one did not disappoint! Thank you so much! Can't wait to make them again.
This was such a cozy recipe! My husband loved it and asked it to go on the rotation. Thanks for the idea!
Oh yum! Definitely perfect for picnics. These mutton pies look so good, especially with that flaky pastry.
I love savory pies! Thanks for this recipe, you make it seem so approachable can't wait to try it out!
Love the combination of flavors in this mutton pie. Thanks a lot for sharing.
I love meat pies, especially with lamb. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for the recipe! So easy to follow and detailed! Can't wait to make it!
What a wonderful recipe! These hearty little pies are so tasty and filling. I always love discovering new recipes and flavors on your site.