I would put money on your mind going straight to haggis here. Am I right? After all, it’s the most famous of all Scottish recipes, so I don’t blame you.
But the Scots are known for so much more, including traditional shortbread, crumpets, and rich, hearty stews.
As with many cold countries, expect a lot of filling meals with comforting ingredients. However, there are a couple of yummy desserts on this list, too.
If I had to suggest just one recipe to make today, it must be the scotch eggs. They’re crazy-delicious and such a classic!
Mince is the British name for ground meat, and it usually refers to beef.
If you’ve ever been to England or Scotland, you may have seen simply “mince and potatoes” on pub menus.
It’s cheap to make and very filling. When you break this recipe down, it’s sort of like a deconstructed cottage pie.
The filling is ground beef with veggies and a nice dark gravy, and it’s served with yummy mashed potatoes.
The only real difference is that they’re made and plated separately rather than baked in layers.
This fantastic, vegetarian-friendly side (though it could be a main, too) is super affordable and makes a nice change from the usual mashed potatoes.
The name is thought to come from the sound the ingredients used to make against wooden bowls during preparation.
Who knows for sure?
Start by boiling and mashing potatoes, then sauté onions and cabbage until tender. Mix in some mature cheddar and stir everything together.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish, cover with the rest of the cheese and bake until golden.
I like to use leeks for color and taste, but any white onions should do the trick.
Bubbles and squeak can be made and served as a side with roast chicken or pork, but it’s often made the day after a big dinner with leftovers.
Similar to the recipe above, it typically uses potatoes, cabbage, and onion, though I’ve had it with everything from broccoli and carrots to leftover chicken.
It’s a great way to make a new-ish dish and keep from wasting food.
Unlike the recipe above, where everything is mixed up and baked, bubbles and squeak is mixed and fried like pancakes or a Spanish tortilla.
Oats are a huge part of Scottish cuisine, and these rolls are no exception. They’re light but have a distinct oaty texture, which I think you’ll fall in love with.
The first thing you need to do is pour boiling water over the oats, then add brown sugar, salt, and oil.
As it cools, the oats will soften, so don’t worry about this feeling grainy.
The oats get broken down further after you add yeast, water, and flour. As you knead the dough, the oats will almost melt into the mixture.
I like these smaller with lots of butter, but you can make them larger and use them for bacon sandwiches too!
We’ve all heard of haggis, but how many people know what it actually is? I have to admit, I’ve tried it, and I wasn’t 100% sure what I was eating at the time.
Haggis is a type of savory pudding (food that’s boiled or steamed) and usually consists of sheep’s stomach casing filled with all kinds of offal or sheep pluck.
This sheep pluck includes lungs, hearts, and liver. To that, you’ll add onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, salt, and stock.
It takes quite some time to prepare, as you need to thoroughly wash the sheep’s stomach and par-cook a few ingredients before mixing everything together.
Once mixed and kneaded into a soft mass, you’ll stuff the stomach, and then it needs to boil for a few hours.
Flummery can be traced back to royal feasts in the 15th century, so you know they must be doing something right here.
Flummery is a simple dessert made with starch and milk; in this case, it’s oats. That said, since this is jelly-like, plenty of recipes skip the grains altogether.
For the most traditional version, you’ll need to soak the oats for around 48 hours, which means you need to be well prepared for this dish.
This is vital as it’s the starch in the oats that make this thick.
Shortbread was invented in Scotland, so if you want the best recipe, look for something with Scottish in the title, like this recipe!
If you only take one thing away from this post, let it be this: shortbread should only contain butter, sugar, and flour.
Some recipes might add vanilla and, of course, there are extras, like chocolate chips or candied citrus peel.
But in general, it’s a super simple blend of three key ingredients.
If you see a recipe with eggs or milk, it’s not traditional shortbread.
The reason vanilla is counted as an “extra” is that shortbread should be buttery.
That’s the flavor you’ll want (so get top-quality butter), and vanilla can distract from that if you’re too heavy-handed.
Scottish crumpets are a little different from English, which typically use yeast and require resting time.
The batter is pretty thick, and they’re made with metal rings, so they stay perfectly round and rise like a dream.
In contrast, Scottish crumpets don’t use a ring, and they look more like pancakes.
Also, since they’re made with baking powder rather than yeast, the batter doesn’t rise the same way.
When making English crumpets, you need to cook them super low and slow so the heat will gradually cook in the middle, leaving pickets of air for the butter to sink into.
Scottish crumpets, though, are fried and flipped like regular pancakes. They’re also fluffier in texture and faster to make.
Spend a little time in the UK or Australia, and you’ll soon learn that their pie culture is pretty intense.
And by pie, I mean meat pie. They don’t make fruit or sweet pies as often as we do, but their meat pies are to die for.
If you take a look at the ingredient list for this pie, you might think it looks kind of like beef stew, and you’re right.
This is more or less beef stew topped with pastry.
Veggies are optional, though the most authentic recipes are pure meat.
You’ll also notice that it calls for puff pastry, which adds such lovely buttery flakiness to the mix.
Since the filling is so thick, it’s nice to have that lighter crust.
I adore beef stew! It’s the most comforting food, and when it’s done right and the meat is super tender, I can’t stop at just one bowl.
Always start by searing the meat after tossing it in flour. It adds a crust on the outside, and the flour helps to thicken the stew as it cooks.
After that, you’ll cook the onions until tender, then add carrots, potatoes, swede, beef stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Finally, for the best melt-in-your-mouth meat, it needs to bubble away for around 3 to 4 hours.
This dessert is similar to the one above as it also calls for cream, whisky, oatmeal, and honey. But instead of orange, this is made with raspberries.
Pronounced ‘kran-akan,’ its most basic version was actually a breakfast dish. It consisted of toasted oatmeal, cream, and local honey.
Raspberries were only added to celebrate the big June harvest, though these days, it’s almost always an indulgent dessert.
Once again, you need to be prepared for this dish as the toasted oats need to sit in the whiskey overnight, so they’ll absorb all the liquid.
I think every country has its own version of this. For example, the French like to make it creamy, and the Spanish confit the potatoes in olive oil for maximum flavor.
This version is easy, salty, meaty, and wonderfully cheesy. It’s not creamy, but that doesn’t make it any less decadent.
Start by lining the baking dish with bacon. This acts like a crust and helps to season the potatoes as the fat seeps in and infuses everything as it bakes.
Next, layer the potatoes and cheese before covering the edges with the excess bacon.
Stovies are like little hot pots full of yummy leftovers and stewed potatoes. Like bubbles and squeak, they were created to use up leftovers and reduce food waste.
The basic idea is to use the beef drippings from your Sunday roast to cook onions, then add leftover roast potatoes, some raw potatoes, cut up roast beef, and stock or gravy.
Make this in a large pan with deep sides and cover. It should simmer for around 45-60 minutes.
Add whatever veggies you have left, or throw in chopped raw carrots if you don’t have enough.
Where leek and potato soup is thick and creamy, this chicken and leek soup is much thinner and loaded with homemade broth and veggies.
If you have leftover chicken, you can use that. Or cook a whole (small) chicken or bone-in chicken thighs for maximum flavor.
Along with the chicken, you’ll need the greens of a few leeks, celery, bay leaves, carrots, and an onion.
Remember to start with cold water for the stock and cook until the chicken juices run clear.
Scotch eggs are as synonymous with British buffet food as sausage rolls and pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon).
You can get them in grocery stores, but the yolk is never runny. So, it’s best to make them yourself.
Essentially, this snack is a soft-boiled egg wrapped in sausage meat, coated in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried until golden and crunchy.
Use large eggs and only boil them for four minutes before plunging them into an ice bath to stop them from cooking further.
I think I’ve had a variation of this. It was more like a traybake, and there was only pastry on top. Still, it was scrumptious.
But the traditional recipe is a fruit loaf filled with raisins, currants, almonds, citrus peel, and plenty of warm spices that are wrapped and baked in a pastry case.
Like any good fruit loaf, it should be made weeks in advance so the flavors can mature.
This might be the most famous Scottish meal you’ve never heard of.
It’s a tasty soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes, and onions, and it comes together pretty fast.
It was named for the coastal town, Cullen, and an old term used for a shin, knuckle, or hoof of beef.
It’s richer than chowder and much smokier thanks to the haddock, which is pleasantly meaty.
Bannock is a type of skillet bread that’s made without yeast and includes plenty of delicious oats.
It tastes a little bit like a scone, though I find it much denser.
Instead of using white flour, or even whole wheat, you’ll grind oats into a powder, adding a crazy amount of fiber and flavor.
Toast the first for even more amazing taste.
The trick to making this is patience. Since it’s made on the stove, it needs to cook slowly, so the middle doesn’t turn soggy, and the edges don’t burn.
Scottish scones are a lot closer to our biscuits in that they’re light and fluffy, but a lot less sweet than their southern counterparts.
English scones are usually on the sweeter side and have lots of sultanas in the mix.
In contrast, these have no sugar at all, so they can be used with sweet or savory toppings.
The method is similar, though, and you need to be very gentle with the dough, otherwise, they’ll be hard and dry.
In case you haven’t guessed by now, ‘tatties’ are potatoes. They’re satisfying, cheap, and super versatile. They’re also a staple for many traditional British meals.
This soup is about as simple as it gets. You just need carrots, leeks, onion, stock, and potatoes, preferably something starchy.
Just toss everything in a pot and cook for an hour or so until the veggies are soft and the potatoes are starting to break apart.
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