Musselburgh Pie, Edinburgh and the Lothians

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The oyster beds off Musselburgh have fed the people of the area – and incomers like the Romans – for millennia, albeit with a break in recent times as the beds were for a time exhausted. Dr Johnson and Boswell feasted on them in Edinburgh ; Adam Smith was such a fan that he organised an elite little club dedicated to the bivalve, David Hume a member. But they were not just for the well-to-do; as in England they were cheap protein for the poor.
Little wonder then that the oyster should have been part of a classic Scottish dish that is both filling and excellent; and that in the land of the legendary Scotch Pie that it should have taken similar form. Musselburgh Pie is made with small slices of steak beaten very thinly, into which an oyster (often itself wrapped in streaky bacon) is placed. These are floured then placed in a pie dish, some chopped onion added, a little stock poured over, then the lot covered with a shortcrust pie lid. This is glazed with egg and baked at medium heat for about an hour or even longer if needs be.
A version made with mussels in place of the oysters is also quite common, but it is the oyster and beef that is the classic.

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