Red Dragon Pie

by Elizabeth Atia -

A popular recipe from the 1960's St. Magnus Bay Hotel kitchen.

Last Autumn I had the pleasure of travelling around Shetland exploring The Shetland Food Trail. You can read more of my adventures in the Winter Issue of Promote Shetland's 60 North magazine which is free to view and download online.

While on this grand foodie adventure I paid a visit to the St. Magnus Bay Hotel, in Hillswick. The wooden premises, originally built in Norway, have been a hotel since July 1900. You can even view the original hotel register at the Tangwick Haa museum, where the names of customers are listed. It was first built as a resort, where croquet was played on the lawn and customers could have a game of golf or go fishing.

In 2007, Andrea Manson and Paul Bird took over and breathed new life into the old building.

They have great plans for refurbishment, so it could look vastly different from this photo I took back in October 2014, but rest assured, the food currently being served will be just as fantastic as it was when I taste tested what they had on offer.

"The St. Magnus Bay Hotel Sunday lunch has been an institution forever", Andrea recalls, "I mind being a little girl of four years old coming for our Sunday lunch."

Five roasts are prepared: beef, honey roast gammon, lamb, chicken and pork. Turkey is also available, if in season. You can choose what you like - have a little of all five if you want! No one leaves hungry: thin slices of meat are absolutely forbidden. Under 10's eat for free too.

The cooks at the St. Magnus Bay Hotel kitchen like to serve local produce whenever possible. The open Shetland salmon sandwich is another popular dish, served with salad and home made bread.

Scones served with jam and cream are another popular dish. Served in the brightly lit dining room with tea and coffee you could quite easily find yourself whiling away the hours chatting!

There is always a vegetarian option on the menu, and they are open every day of the year except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Tea, coffee and home bakes are always available.

In the 1960's the chef used to make an extremely popular Red Dragon Pie - named so because of all the red ingredients and its fiery kick. Use extra chilli if you dare!

You can find the St. Magnus Bay Hotel on Twitter and Facebook.

Red Dragon Pie

Course: Main

Servings: 4 very generous servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

  • Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
  • Stewing beef - 1 lb (cubed)
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red onions - 2 (diced)
  • Red pepper - 1 (diced)
  • Carrot - 1 large (diced)
  • Fresh red chilli - 1 ((optional))
  • Chopped tomatoes - 1 400g tin
  • Beef stock - 1 pint
  • Ready made puff pastry - 1 packet
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large saute pan over a medium-high. Add the stewing beef and chilli powder and brown on all sides.
  2. Add all the diced vegetables and fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add the beef stock, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and you have a nice thick gravy.
  4. Spoon the mixture in a pie plate and top with puff pastry. Using a knife poke some air vents in the top of the pastry.
  5. Bake for the time specified on the puff pastry packet, usually 220 C for 15 minutes.
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