Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I'm embracing Scottish beef: mince and tatties

Salty (sponsored by the Scottish Executive) and Pille (the writer of this blog) in front of the Scottish Parliament in June 2006.

I've been singing praises to the Scottish beef before, and am doing it again to mark the Edinburgh Cow Parade, a charity & public arts event that runs until July 23rd. Writing about Scottish beef is also timely, considering that the first ever Scotch beef ambassador was announced a fortnight ago by Scotland's 'food minister' Ross Finnie MSP. The honour goes to Cees Helder of the Rotterdam-based 3-Michelin-starred Parkheuvel restraurant.

The upmarket supermarket Waitrose has just opened its first two stores in Scotland earlier this month, and I picked up some rather nice-looking beef mince when I was checking out the store. Although the recipe itself is humble, the mince is of the highest quality, made of 'richly flavoured, succulent & tender beef, produced from cattle bred from registered pedigree Aberdeen Angus bulls'. Hence totally blog-worthy :-)

Mince and Tatties
(Mince & tatties ehk hakkliharoog šoti moodi)
Slightly adapted from Scots cooking by Sue Lawrence
Serves 4

a knob of butter
500 grams best quality beef steak mince
1 medium-sized red onion, finely chopped
1 green/fresh garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp Marmite*
freshly ground black pepper
3-4 Tbsp boiling water
a splash of Worcestershire sauce

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the mince and pan-fry over a high heat for about 5 minutes until browned evenly.
Add the onion and garlic, stir in the Marmite and season with salt and pepper. Add the boiling water, stir well. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for about 20 minutes.
Before serving, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper again, if required.
Serve piping hot with boiled new potatoes (I used Jersey Royals again) and green peas.

* Marmite, for those of you who don't know, is a nutritious yeast extract, and a very good source of B vitamins. You can read all about the history and benefits of Marmite here. Adding it to the mince above adds a lovely savoury touch. The Brits usually spread it thinly onto their toast.


Anonymous said...

Looks sooo cute! How could you eat it!???

Anonymous said...

Mince and Tatties!! Great Stuff, I made it a couple of weeks ago on my site as I was feeling a little homesick and in need of some Scottish fare.

Although some traditionalists will shriek in horror at the inclusion of Marmite!!

Anonymous said...

that's a great shot :) and the mince and tatties look mighty tasty, too.

and waitrose in edinburgh? sweeeeeeet.... will have to check it out!

Anonymous said...

I'm definately not in the traditionalist camp, I add beer to mine!

(This was my gran's secret ingredient, ssshhh don't tell anyone)

Thredahlia said...

Mina veendun iga korraga aina enam, et korralik hakkliha on kindlustatud ainult siis, kui endal hakklihamasin kodus (muidu koosneb see kõigest muust peale liha), vähemalt siin Tartus. Olgu - lambahakkliha saab turult tõesti korralikku ja looma või segahakklihaga "joppab" ka vahel harva, aga mitte enamasti. Elad vist kulinaarses paradiisis :D kalad puhtad ja korralik liha!

PS! Mis asi on Marmite?

PPS! Käin hommikuti neeludga postkasti piilumas :P

Jennifer said...

Pille, I love this picture of you with Salty!

I've been reading your blog since I started planning a trip to Scotland, which is happening later this month. I would love to get some of your suggestions for restaurants, etc.

Could we exchange e-mails? Mine is: iheartnovato (at)

Hope to hear from you. Thanks! -- Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Pille, you look so sweet with Salty :)

Pille said...

Roxy - but it was delicious!!! :)

Pamela - I love your (granny's) addition of beer to mince! If I ever run out of Marmite, I'll grab a bottle of 80/s!

Shauna - yep, one in Morningside and the other in Comely Bank. They had a rather good selection of everything..

Thredahlia - eks ta nii ole. Aga ma maksan korralikus lihapoes ja seal upmarket-toidupoes ka kõvasti rohkem selle kvaliteetse kala ja liha eest, kui mõnes teises poes. Aga maitsevahe on ikka ka. Ei oskaks sügavkülmutet hakklihapakiga vist eriti midagi pihta hakata. Ära hellitatud siin:)

Jennifer - I'll drop you an email! Salty will be standing next to the Parliament until late July, so you can go and pay him a visit:)

Keiko - thank you:)