Scottish cuisine is so much more than the stereotypical deep-fried chocolate bars and haggis one always hears about
In fact, Scotland is a source of superb ingredients from the highest quality shellfish and raspberries, to extraordinary beef. Here are ten Scottish-inspired recipes to get you started.
The Scots have two contributions to a great breakfast: porridge and marmalade. Marmalade as a spread for breakfast toast is their creation, and I thank them for it. A chunky slice of homemade brown bread, thickly spread with butter and marmalade can make anybody feel like they’re breakfasting like a king.
This recipe uses an electric pressure cooker to cook the rind, making the process much faster than having to boil the oranges for hours to soften them.
2. Haggis, neeps and tatties stack with whisky sauce
Next, haggis, just to get it out of the way. However, if you haven’t tried haggis, you really should—it’s deliciously rich and spicy, and perfect for cooler evenings. Here it’s served with the traditional Burns supper accompaniments of mashed swedes and potatoes (neeps and tatties, respectively).
Scotland is a country more of oats and barley than wheat, so porridge for breakfast it is! One other great way of using oats is here: homemade oatcakes, perfect served with cheese. My mother was a big fan of making her own as she could control the size and thickness to come up with the perfect oatcake.
4. Cullen skink
Cullen Skink is a thick and creamy Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, onions, potatoes and cream. It is pure comfort food and very easy to make at home. I’m a big fan of fish soups, from New England chowders to Marseille’s bouillabaisse (best left to a restaurant, that one). Using smoked fish, like cullen skink, adds a richness of flavour that you might miss with a plain white fish.
5. Slow cooked scottish beef stew
Scotch beef is world renowned for its quality—there’s a reason that the Aberdeen Angus is the foremost beef breed. Slow cooked stews like this are a great way of using cheaper cuts. By slow cooking, the fat slowly renders out, adding oodles of flavour. Delicious!
6. Scotch Pancakes
Call them drop scones or Scotch pancakes, I have happy memories of being served these at teatime by my Scottish grandmother. A close relative of the American breakfast pancake, they’re perfect with a smear of butter and dollop of jam.
In my view, there are two important things to get right. First, they mustn’t be too cold or too hot—not fridge-cold, but not straight from the griddle. You don’t want the butter running down your arm. You’re after a goldilocks warm. And second, not too big; two mouthfuls is perfect!
Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders. The main ingredients are potato, cabbage and onion or swede. Similar in nature to Irish colcannon, and English bubble and squeak, it is either served as an accompaniment to a main dish or as a main dish itself. An alternative version from Aberdeenshire is called kailkenny which replaces the butter in the potatoes with cream.
Another trad offering, Cranachan is a lovely Scottish dessert with oats, raspberries, cream and whisky. Delicious, and easy to prepare ahead so no last minute fuss. Adding the oatmeal really lifts this above being just raspberries and cream.
9. Chocolate Tiffin
Tiffin is a chocolate morsel with cookie crumbs and dried fruit. It’s usually a combination of milk and dark chocolate, and traditionally, it’s made with digestive biscuits and raisins. Finding variations of this, however, is normal—a fun version you could make includes cranberry and orange chocolate. Experiment!
Scottish Tablet may look like fudge, but its mouth-watering sweetness and crumbly, grainy texture is super addictive! Hailing from the Highlands, this tablet recipe includes a step-by-step guide.
Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over ten years.
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