For this part of our UK regional recipe exploration we’re going to venture into the north with a few Scottish recipes to tempt your taste buds.
In years gone by people had to make do with what they could forage or get on home ground, long before the big supermarkets came and promised everything one could wish for. Some areas of Scotland are harsh barrren lands where living day to day would prove to be challenge enough for our northern friends and ancestors, and this is of course reflected in some of the recipes from the area.
For example many Scottish regional recipes make use of oats which were hardier than many other cereal crops and could withstand the harsh conditions the harsh conditions, and some of these oatmeal recipes can be found in my new regional recipe ebook that I hope to complete by Christmas, look out for it.
Scotland is famous for it’s shortbread and whisky so in the meantime lets look at a couple of recipes that feature them and a couple more besides.
WHISKY TEA CAKE
Makes 1 small loaf
1 tablespoon lemon juice
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
175g dark brown raw cane sugar
1½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Soak the dried fruit in the whisky and lemon juice for a few hours, the longer the better.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 900g loaf tin with baking paper.
3. Put the flour, spice, sugar and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Mix in the soaked fruit (do not over work the mix or the cake will be chewy). Gradually stir in the milk, to end up with a soft dropping consistency.
4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted comes away from the cake without any traces of uncooked cake.
5. Leave to cool on a wire rack and then turn out. Slice and spread thickly with salted butter, or fruit compote and thick cream.
I use this one to make shortbread and it works a treat.
175g (6oz) plain flour
50g (2oz) cornflour
50g (2oz) caster sugar (and a bit extra for sprinkling)
115g (4oz) butter, diced
Preheat oven 160 C / 325 F / Gas 3
Lightly flour shortbread mould and line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment
Sift together flour, cornflour & sugar in large mixing bowl
Rub in butter until you can knead mixture into a soft dough
Place half the dough into mould & press gently but firmly to fit neatly
Carefelly invert mould onto one of the baking sheets and tap firmly to release fough shape
Mould remaining dough the same way
Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes, until they are just a pale golden colour
Sprinkle a little caster sugar evenly over the top of shortbreads & leave to cool on baking sheets before serving
This famous Scottish soup is so substantial, it could be served as a main course. Originally, it had beef as an ingredient along with the chicken, so you could add a bit of left-over roast beef near the end of cooking if you like. It is important to cook the chicken as a whole piece first and then dice it so that the broth remains beautifully clear and golden.
15 Gram Butter ( 1/2 oz)
300 Gram Chicken portions (12 oz)
300 Gram Leeks, washed well (12 oz)
1.1 Litres Chicken stock (2 pints)
1 Bouquet garni
6 Prunes, stoned and halved
Parsley sprigs to garnish
Melt the butter; fry the chicken until browned on all sides. Cut the leeks into 4 lengthways, then chop these pieces into 2.5 cm (1 inch) lengths. Reserve the green parts and shred them finely. Add the white pieces to the pan and fry for 5 minutes until soft.
Add stock and the bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Add the green leek pieces and the prunes. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
Remove the chicken, get rid of the skin and bones and cut the meat into chunks. Add the meat to the serving dish, then pour over the rest of the soup. Garnish with parsley.
Another of Scotland’s soup recipes, some refer to this dish as Scotland’s national soup. It is best made the day before it is needed so that the fat can be skimmed from the top. This is a hearty and filling dish to be served as a main course.
700 Gram Shin of beef, diced (1 1/2 lb)
2.3 Litres Water (4 pints)
1 Medium Carrot, chopped
1 Medium Turnip, chopped
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Leeks, chopped and thoroughly washed
3 Tablespoon Pearl barley
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Put the meat and water in a large pan.
Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
There you have it, four Scottish recipes for your palette. Of course there are many more in my new UK regional recipe ebook out soon. In the meantime if you want a copy of the ones above to keep then as usual click here and download a FREE pdf with them in it.
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