Food and drink

Mince, tatties and skirlie

Mince, tatties and skirlie

serves 2

This is one of those recipes that has come to define Scottish food over the years.  Perhaps unfairly considering the broad range of cuisine which is actually on offer here.  Aside from that when mince and tatties is done well it can be a brilliant meal.  Tender mince in a rich gravy, with the seasoned crunch of the skirlie and creamy mash to finish it off.

250g lean steak mince
2 or 3 carrots, sliced
2 onions
500ml beef stock
Worcestershire sauce
(optional) Beer, a stout or dark ale will work best
5 or 6 peeled potatoes (maris pipers are good)
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Medium oatmeal
Vegetable oil (sunflower oil or rapeseed oil will also work)
A large knob of butter.
For the mince:
Finely chop one of the onions and gently fry it in a large pot until soft.
Turn the heat up slightly and add the mince until brown.
Add the carrots and a good splash of worcestershire sauce and season heavily with salt and pepper.
If you want, you can throw in a glug of beer at this point as well.  Stir it in and let it cook out a little.
Add the stock, turn the heat down, cover and simmer for an hour or so until the mince is tender and the sauce is thick and rich.
For the tatties:
Peel the tatties and cut them into quarters then boil in a pot of boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes, until you can put a fork in them with little effort.
Drain and return to the heat to get rid of the excess moisture.
Mash the tatties with the knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.
Add the parsley and some milk then stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.  Keep adding milk and stirring until the mash is soft and creamy.
The skirlie:
Chop half of the second onion and fry it in a large amount of oil until golden.
Add the oatmeal so it covers the onion and stir it until it absorbs the oil.
Season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Fry for a couple of minutes but keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.
Add a splash of water into the hot pan, give it one last stir and serve immediately with the mince and tatties.

6 thoughts on “Mince, tatties and skirlie”

  1. The only thing I would add is a wee slug of salad cream.
    I only realised how good salad cream is with mince and tatties fairly recently but now I have them together all the time.
    Skirlie is probably one of my favourite things ever. I guess it’s a comforting nostalgia thing as my Mum made it with nearly half of the meals she made for us. Christmas dinner wouldn’t be the same without the skirlie!

  2. I might leave you to the salad cream Lou!

    Totally agree about skirlie. I love it as well but it was always my Dad that made it when I was growing up, as he claims my Mum doesn’t make it right and it has to be like his Mum made for him. Of course he often ends up burning it which I’m pretty sure Gran never did…

  3. Ooh, skirlie. It’s a long time since I had that. Thanks for reminding me. But I had mince and tatties yesterday so it won’t be on the menu again for a wee while. Mind you, I’m grown up now so there’s no one to stop me. I can have Pepsi and ice cream for breakfast and mince and tatties two days in a row if I want. 😉

    I don’t know about salad cream, I’m more of an HP sauce fan – used sparingly.

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