Located just at the top end of the Grassmarket district in Edinburgh is Auld Jock’s Pie Shoppe. I am not going to lay claims as to whether it is an establishment selling gourmet treats, that was not why I walked in through its door, no I was looking for a Scotch Pie and I was pretty sure that Auld Jock’s would be the place to find one. When it comes to the Scotch Pie my previous experiences have been that the greasier and cheaper the place the better the pie. I wasn’t sure that this place was dingy enough but I was still hopeful.
Inside I was in luck, I could see a pie in the glass counter and up on the menu board too it was listed, just in case my pie eye had been decieving me. I was almost tempted into a haggis pie or a Bridie, but no a Scotch Pie it was to be, I must not be distracted from the mission in hand.
So what is a Scotch pie and why was I seeking one, well essentially it is a small, double-crust meat pie usually filled with minced mutton. The pastry casing is baked twice so it is solid and can be eaten easily by hand and it doesn’t collapse when you bite into it, so it is great hand held food and good for munching on as you wander around the streets. I first fell in love with this particular pie when I lived in Aberdeen and our lifestyle was so healthy that we often had a scotch pie for breakfast washed down with a can of Irn Bru. Sadly I am not even slightly ashamed to admit that. In those days the pies came from the Toon Cafe in Old Aberdeen. The grease slid down your chin and the pastry flakes stuck to your sweater. But now then back to Auld Jock’s effort. It was a pretty good pie, it looked good was solid and the meat was quite peppery and not at all dry. I could have added some ketchup to flavour it, but I was sticking to tradition and eating my pie dry. It did bring back some happy if unhealthy memories, but I am glad that my breakfasts have moved on since those days as I dont think I could eat such a dense pie everyday anymore.
Auld Jock’s Pie Shoppe is located at 118 West Bow, Old Town, Edinburgh just in the Grassmarket district.