Monday, 25 February 2008

Mince and Tatties
You don't get more Scottish than this. This is what you want to eat when its raining and cold, which is why its hardly surprising to find that practically every one in Scotland was brought up partly on mince and tatties. Yes Scotland has a rich and varied food culture, but as with so many thing its the most basic recipes that we love most; Mince = Good, Mash = Good!
Makes enough for 2 loons or 3 lasses.
225g mince (my butcher was out of beef stake so I had to use lamb mince)
1 tbs cooking oil
1 onion chopped finely
carrot chopped, small pieces (optional)
350ml Stock (preferably beef, and more or less depending on how watery you like your mince!)
2 cloves Garlic (leave out if your looking for 100% authenticity)
freshly ground salt and pepper
Tatties (potatoes, medium sized with skin on)
2/3 tbs milk
Mint sauce
To a pan of boiling water add a pinch of salt and your potatoes and boil till soft about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the crushed garlic and the diced onion, fry until lightly coloured. Add the mince and brown, mixing and breaking up the mince as it colours. Add the chopped carrot if using. Continue to fry the mince for 8 minutes then slowly add the stock to the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Throughout the cooking time you can add a little more stock if you think its not looking moist enough. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are boiled drain the water from the pan and drop in a large nob of butter and a splash of milk. With a potato masher give the potatoes a good pounding, I prefer mine left quite chunky, but smothered in butter and black pepper.

Serve with boiled peas mixed with a teaspoon of mint sauce.
-Remember, this is absolutely not prescriptive cooking add to and subtract from it as you see fit, some people like to add a splash of good old Worcestershire sauce and I personally cant resist a sprinkle of cumin mixed into this, but I do try and hold back and I feel its my duty to inform you that the more sparse I have been with ingredients the better this turns out! Just remember this is simple Scottish fare so no tomatoes or Mediterranean herbs, or you'll have a bolognese sauce!

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