Scottish Meat and Tatties for an Autumn Supper
As weather becomes more autumnal, I have been thinking about cooking comfort food for our family suppers. My casseroles and Pyrex dishes have been brought to the front of the pan drawer, whilst the slow cooker has been liberated from its summer storage area and now sits on the table top, ready for comforting puddings, stews, casseroles and chilli. The nights are definitely drawing in and I find myself cooking the family tea with the lights on now, summer really is becoming a distant memory.
I love Scottish food, ingredients and recipes, and have already shared two lovely recipes to celebrate Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight last month – SCOTTISH FRUIT AND MARMALADE CAKE for afternoon tea as well as a fabulous Scottish fish recipe for SMOKED HADDOCK MOUSSE, which are perfect for light lunches, a family high tea or as an elegant starter dish for a dinner party. But, as the weather gets colder and the nights get darker, we are all hankering for stews and casseroles, as well as piles of fluffy mashed potatoes with gravy.
I was raised on a Scottish style menu; my maternal grandmother was half Scottish and she cooked lots of Scottish recipes, recipes that she shared with my mum. One of my favourite childhood supper dishes was “Mince and Tatties” – a simple dish of minced beef in a rich onion gravy with mashed potatoes. It was hearty, simple and yet very filling, and thrifty too as it uses the cheaper cut of meat, minced beef or mincemeat as we used to call it. There is no definitive recipe for mince and tatties, and there aren’t many variations on the basic recipe either – what you see is what you get!
However, finding myself with some lovely organic stewing steak in the fridge (bought for Organic September), I decided to take a walk on the wild side and recreate that iconic of Scottish dishes, taking the bold decision to use stewing steak instead of mincemeat and calling it Scottish Meat and Tatties! This is the same basic recipe as mince and tatties, and is just as comforting and filling, but I did serve it with lots of fresh vegetables, something that is not normally done when serving traditional mince and tatties, as a Scottish friend kindly pointed out – thanks Janice!
The recipe is perfect for a thrifty and tasty mid-week family supper, and any leftovers can be made into little meat and potato (or meat and tattie!) pies for another meal or for the school (office) lunch box. It’s one of my family’s favourite winter warmers, as well as another Scottish recipe I make, Scottish Vegetable & Meat Pudding, which is a traditional steamed suet pudding. You can serve your meat and tatties with vegetables, as I did, but it is just as tasty by itself. If you have a slow cooker, than use that, as I find that the meat is meltingly soft and tender when cooked that way. If you want to push the boat out, you can also add some dumplings to make the dish go further…….that’s what I will be doing next time!
The recipe for my new style Meat and Tatties is below and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, when we had it for a comforting supper last week……it’s simple and easy to cook and will be enjoyed by all of the family. See you over the weekend with more new recipes for the season, as well as some travel notes from my recent mini break down in Pays Basque. Karen
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