Category Archives: Regional

Local meat producers and Waterloo Cottage Farm

British Saddleback

Before the Shire Book of the Month, currently Pigs, changes, I want to tell you about a local meat producer called Waterloo Cottage Farm and the important role that small producers have in selling good meat from happy animals.

Meat is expensive and so it should be.  To produce good meat takes time, through slow fattening on the right kind of food, fresh air and exercise for the animals, slaughter in the least stressful way possible followed by a decent period of hanging before it finally arrives in your kitchen.

With this in mind, I visited local producer Waterloo Cottage Farm in Great Oxenden, Northamptonshire and was given a tour of the farm by owner, Kirsty Clarke.  We met in the light, cool shop, where a mouth-watering array of meat and produce was displayed.  After a brief chat about what I wanted to see, I was taken out through the back door to the business end of the enterprise.

Glorious Pig

I was confronted by lots of open pens, with several different types of pigs enjoying the sunshine.  I was wearing a long skirt and strappy sandals, so I tucked my skirt into my knickers and prepared to meet the pigs and what a gorgeous crew they were.  I have a big soft spot for pigs at the best of times, but being able to climb into the pens and actually scratch them and talk to them was a treat indeed.

Happy Pig

Saddleback Piglets

And Kirsty did indeed talk to her pigs and her care and enthusiasm for the creatures came across loud and clear.  The farm has a herd of British Saddlebacks which are allowed to mature fully in the fields and woods which surround Waterloo Farm, as well as Petrans and Ginger Durocs.  I became extremely soppy when she introduced me to the piglets who were running and rolling with their mother in the straw.

The Clarkes also have lamb and hogget, chickens, ducks and geese and they select beef and veal from local farms who also use traditional breeds.  All the animals have something in common.  They are all reared using traditional, sustainable farming methods which work with nature, not against it.  The animals are free to lead full, natural lives on healthy soil and fed on natural, local feed and the pigs are slow grown until they are 9-10 months which is a significantly longer life than an intensively bred animal. The barley comes from the farmer next door and the slaughterhouse is only nine miles away, the animals being accompanied there in a quiet and unstressed way which is better for the animal and better for the resulting meat.

Looking at the meat in the shop is a very different experience to browsing the chiller aisles in the supermarket.  The meat is darker in colour and more wholesome-looking than perhaps we’re used to and the bacon and sausages sit in great piles, pleading with you to take them home.  The bacon and hams are cured on the premises and their master butcher produces fresh piles of traditional and artisan varieties of sausages every day.

I bought some bacon and something I haven’t eaten for over thirty years – veal.  I have deliberately avoided veal because of the unspeakable practice of veal crating, but with the sure knowledge that the animal that provided this had been happy, healthy and natural, I took a chop home and had it for my supper.

My veal in the shop

I can honestly say that I’ve never tasted meat like it; it was tender, sweet and juicy and so flavourful I could have wept.  I also had some of their dry cured bacon for my breakfast the following morning and, apart from the taste, the most obvious difference was visual.  No white scum stickily coating the bottom of your frying pan here, and two rashers and a couple of fried eggs was distinctly more filling that the abominable mid-range stuff you buy at the supermarket.

Local producers do an incredible job of farming.  Not only do they help to preserve the rare breeds but they also help to preserve the very land on which they’re reared because of the sustainable ways in which they farm.  The meat hasn’t travelled huge distances and is therefore beneficial to the environment in a wider sense.  They are also firm protagonists of old skills such as proper butchery and artisan methods of preparation and, because of the renewed interest in this kind of food, many farms  are taking on apprentices.  Waterloo Cottage Farm also runs meat craft courses to encourage you to get the best out of their meat.

We must support these local producers in their endeavours by shopping with them whenever we can.  I have said it before and I will keep saying it until you do as you’re told; eat less, eat better.  Learn how to use to meat to get the best out of it and, I am convinced that properly reared, slow grown meat actually fills you up more so you don’t need as much of it.  Eat less, eat better.  It’s better for all of us.

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Filed under Animals, Ethics, Food, Livestock, Nutrition & Sensible Eating, Regional, Slider

Chicken Fritters

Tonight I needed to cook dinner, I really couldn’t be bothered and I had next to nothing in the cupboard.
But I did have half a cooked chicken and some dry goods.

I thunk and thunk and wondered what the outcome would be of making a crispy batter and shallow frying the chicken.
This is what I did and jolly nice it was too with a nice spicy aftertaste.
This serves 4 as usual.

CHICKEN FRITTERS

Dinner from bugger all

Utensils:
1 x medium mixing bowl
1 x whisk
1 x large frying pan
1 x fish slice
1 x slotted spoon
Kitchen roll / paper towel

Ingredients:
4 small chicken breasts or the equivalent cooked chicken
If using raw chicken – ¼ pint chicken stock
4oz self raising flour
½ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ pint milk
vegetable oil for shallow frying

Method:
If using raw chicken, poach lightly in the chicken stock until cooked through and drain
Cut the chicken into chunks or strips
Put all the dry ingredients together into the bowl and blend well
Gradually whisk in the milk until it forms a thick paste
Put the chicken into the paste
Heat the oil in the frying pan until it is very hot
Fish the chicken bits out of the batter with a slotted spoon
Fry quickly in batches in the hot oil turning until the chicken is golden brown on both sides
Drain on the kitchen paper and blot to get rid of any excess oil
Serve immediately

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Filed under Food, Leftovers, Regional, Storecupboard

Paella

As soon as the air warms up I start craving Paella.  The great thing about this sort of dish is that you can chuck in anything you have to hand – cod, haddock, salmon, trout, prawns, mussels, crayfish – whatever’s in the fridge or on special offer in the shops.  I could eat this every day.

PAELLA

Utensils:
1 x large frying pan or paella pan if you have one
1 x measuring jug
possibly a slotted spoon

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 good knob butter
½lb / 240g chicken (cooked or raw)
½ onion – sliced finely
4 garlic cloves – sliced finely
½ red pepper – diced
½ green pepper – diced
½lb / 240g rice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
⅓ pint / 175ml white wine
¼ pint / 150ml boiling water
¾ pint / 450ml stock (preferably fish, if not, chicken)
½lb salmon or some firm white fish
½lb / 240g prawns
2oz / 60g peas
Salt and pepper to season

Method:
Heat oil and butter in a large pan
Cook the chicken until tender, remove using a slotted spoon, leaving the butter in the pan
(If you are using cooked chicken add this later and go straight to the onions and garlic)
Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook until soft
Stir in the peppers and rice and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the herbs, spices, wine and boiling water
Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed
Add the chicken and half the stock
Then add the fish and peas and season to taste
Add the rest of the stock and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.

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Tyneside Floddies all mine, all mine…

Bacon Floddies, a sort of potato cake, are a tradition part of a Tyneside breakfast and would be served with eggs and sausages.  Apparently they originated on the canals where the navvies would cook them on their shovels over the fire.

TYNESIDE FLODDIES

Utensils:
1 x potato peeler
1 x grater
1 x tea towel – clean!
1 x mixing bowl
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen roll (paper towel) to drain

Ingredients:
10oz / 300g potatoes – peeled
1 large onion – finely chopped
6oz / 180g bacon – rinds off and finely chopped
2oz / 60g self raising flour
2 eggs
oil for frying

Method:
Grate the potatoes onto the tea towel
Gather it up and squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes
Put the chopped onion into a bowl and add the potatoes, bacon and flour
Season to taste
Beat the eggs into the potato mixture
Heat the oil in the frying pan to a medium heat
Put ample tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the frying pan and flatten them out to form round cakes
Cook on each side until golden brown and cooked all the way through – about 4 minutes each side
Lift out of the pan and drain the oil off on the kitchen paper
Serve immediately with fried eggs and good sausages and shovel it down!

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Welsh Rabbit or is it a Rarebit?

Welsh Rarebit is one of those recipes that people mistake for cheese on toast but it is so much more than that.  Aldin’s cafe in Market Harborough makes a Welsh Rarebit that will have you weeping with joy and scraping furiously at your arteries with a teaspoon, but by Jove it’s worth it.

The dish seems to have originated in the 18th century as a tasty supper or tavern dish.  The origin of the name seems a bit hazy and ‘rarebit’ could have been a version of the word ‘rabbit’.  It may have alluded to the fact that many Welsh people were poor and rarely had meat, and rabbit was considered poor man’s meat.  It all sounds a bit tenuous to me – we always called it Welsh Rabbit at home.  And frankly, I’m so posh that when I say ‘rabbit’ it sounds like ‘rarebit’ anyway.  I also read a children’s story on The Light Programme.

WELSH RABBIT

So much more than cheese on toast

Utensils:
1 x grater
1 x heavy saucepan

Ingredients:
2oz / 60g butter
8oz / 240g Cheddar cheese – grated
½ teaspoon English mustard powder
1-2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons beer
4 slices of tasty bread – toasted

Method:
Melt the butter in the saucepan over a low heat
Stir in the cheese and mustard until melted– season to taste
If it starts to separate, add the egg yolks one at a time
Stir in the beer
Spread the mixture on the toast and pop under the grill until starting to brown nicely
Alternatively, put the toast on a plate, spread the cheese on top and brown with a kitchen blow torch

Today’s blog is dedicated to Phyllis Browning

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Unfashionable Cauliflower – a retrospective (plus a recipe for Aloo Gobi)

Yet again, the subject of the poor, ganged-up-on, unpopular cauliflower has reared its curly head on the telly.  It always makes me really cross when people talk about unpopular foodstuffs.  Would the average shopper be happier if it had ‘Louis Vuitton’ stamped on every floret?  Or perhaps the Nike Turnip would prove to be a hit?  Fendi Fennel… stop me now – I’m only pretending that I know some designers.

Cauliflower is lovely and I shall prove it.  Read this article wot I wrote in May last year.

Now go and buy a cauliflower.

Than, if you want to be exotic, try this quick and delicious recipe for Aloo Gobi, a North Indian/Pakistani dish  made with cauliflower, potatoes and Indian spices.  My friend Ila also puts a handful of frozen peas in it at the potato stage.

ALOO GOBI

Utensils:
1 x large saucepan
1 x vegetable peeler

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – chopped
1 green chilli – chopped
1 inch / 2.5cm ginger peeled and finely chopped
2 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into smallish chunks
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
a dash of lemon juice
a little salt
½ tsp garam masala

Method:
Heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chillis and ginger until just tender.
Add the potatoes and fry for another 2-3 minutes
Add the spices except for the garam masala, and mix well
Add a tablespoon of water, cover the pot and cook
When the potatoes are al dente add in the cauliflower.
Replace the lid and cook until the cauliflower is just soft
Add a sprinkle of lemon juice, salt and garam masala and stir well
Serve with naan or parathas

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Win Free Beer with The Dabbler and Bath Ales!

Golden Hare, Ginger Hare, Wild Hare, Rare Hare, Gem… 

Four pints of heaven

… this may sound like The Wartime Housewife’s shopping list but it is, in fact, a few of the wonderful names given to Bath Ales of Bristol. 

I’m a regular reader of The Dabbler, a cultural magazine blog.  It covers a broad range of subjects, is often humorous and always readable.  I contributed myself only a few weeks ago in their ‘6Clicks’ feature, so they are clearly people of discernment.  If you’re even vaguely interested in art, literature, music and the wider world, give it a go.

At the moment, The Dabbler is running an exclusive competition to win some Bath Ale.  I have only recently converted to drinking beer on a regular basis and I have to admit that I would buy these based on their labels alone.  Apparently, Bath Ales produce the best beer in the known universe – as Brit explained here – and The Dabbler has been in touch with these lovely people to wangle one of you a free case.

Bath Ales use traditional brewing techniques blended with cutting-edge technology.  They are an independent micro-brewery established in Bristol in 1995. Their founders all come from a brewing background and have combined a complementary range of skills with a shared passion for real ale. They have also just opened a new bottling plant and brewery shop.

It’s so heart-warming to see these micro-breweries springing up all over the place and we should be supporting local breweries wherever they appear.  There is so much revolting alcoholic crap being touted around in pubs and clubs these days, that it is sheer joy to experience properly brewed, well-kept beers, made from real ingredients and that taste divine.  Wild Hare at 5%?  Give me three pints at once.

Read The Dabbler and go in for their Bath Ales competition.   You won’t regret it.

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Filed under Community and shopping, Food, Poetry, Literature, Music and Art, Regional

Glamorgan Sausages

Glamorgan Sausages aren’t sausages at all as they contain absolutely no meat, in fact, they’re more like a substantial croquette.  They are, however, absolutely delicious, a great vegetarian option, or just a lovely lunch or dinner served with dark green vegetables, potatoes or salad. 

The recipe calls for 3 egg yolks, but only 1 egg white – use the remaining egg whites to make meringues for pudding!

GLAMORGAN SAUSAGES

Utensils:
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x medium mixing bowl
2 x shallow bowls for dipping and rolling
1 x whisk
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen paper

Ingredients:
5oz  / 150g mature Cheddar cheese – grated
6oz  / 180g fresh breadcrumbs
2 spring onions – finely chopped
3 egg yolks – have another egg in reserve in case of dryness
1 tablespoon fresh parsley – finely chopped
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 egg white – beaten
oil for frying

Method:
Mix together the cheese, spring onions and 5oz / 150g of the breadcrumbs in a large bowl
In the medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with the parsley and mustard
Add this to the cheese mixture and blend together well
Season to taste
If the mixture is too dry or crumbly to make into shapes, add another egg yolk
Divide the mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll each one into a sausage shape about 2” / 5cm long
Dip the sausages into the egg white then roll them in the remaining breadcrumbs
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the sausages, turning frequently, until golden brown
blot off excess oil on kitchen paper and serve

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Lancashire Hot Pot

I was listening to Desert Island Discs on Sunday morning and it featured the wonderful actress Betty Driver who plays Betty in ITV’s ‘Coronation Street’.  In the programme, she is famous for her ‘Ot Pots and her presence on the wireless prompted me to give you this recipe. 

Some time ago, I gave you the recipe for Cumberland Tattie Pot which is a regional variation which includes sausages and black pudding.  The great thing about this sort of dish is that it’s so versatile; see what’s cheap or on special offer at the butchers and throw that in, or see what you have in the freezer.  Substitute kidneys for liver, use pork shops or different type of sausage (look at Rate My Sausage for advice on different types), try mushrooms, carrots or thinly sliced swede.  Be wild and free!  

Betty's 'Ot Pot

LANCASHIRE HOT POT

Utensils:
1 x large frying pan
1 x large casserole dish with a lid

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
8-12 lamb chops
6oz / 180g lamb’s kidneys – cored and cut into pieces
2 medium onions – thinly sliced
a few sprigs of rosemary
2lb / 1kg potatoes – thinly sliced (I leave the skin on)
1 pint / 600ml lamb or beef stock
3oz / 90g butter

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Heat the oil to a high-ish heat in the frying pan
Brown the chops quickly on both sides to seal, remove from the pan and set aside
Put the kidneys into the frying pan and lightly brown
Remove from the pan and set aside
Layer the chops, kidneys, onions, herbs and potatoes in the casserole
Season if you wish
Finish off with a layer of potatoes
Pour over the stock and dot the top with bits of butter to brown it nicely
Put the lid on and pop it in the oven for 2 hours
Remove the lid and turn the heat up to 220 / 425 / 7
Return to the oven and cook, without the lid for another half hour until the potatoes are crisping nicely

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Pea and Ham Soup – or The London Particular

This soup was named after the thick London fogs that occurred in the 19th century and were generally referred to as ‘Pea Soupers’.  In Charles Dickens’ ‘Bleak House’, William Guppy remarks to Esther Summerson that the fog is a ‘London Particular’.

Ideally, try to obtain a ham bone with ham still clinging to it for this recipe as the flavour is marvelous.  You will need to go to a proper butcher or delicatessen for this as supermarkets will not sell them to you.  Alternatively you can use bacon or the remains of a cooked gammon ham and use chicken stock instead. 

You will need to start this dish in the morning or evening before you need to serve it.
Also be aware that this soup is Very Filling and is a meal in itself.

To Cook a Ham Bone
Put the ham bone in a pot with enough water to cover it.  Bring it to the boil then simmer for about two hours.  Leave it to cool skimming off the fat.  Remove all the meat from the bone and use the stock for the soup.

Pea Soup or The London Particular

PEA AND HAM SOUP

Utensils:
1 x large saucepan
1 x large bowl

Ingredients:
1 lb / 480g dried split green peas
EITHER the meat of a ham bone OR 4 rashers of bacon OR an equivalent quantity of gammon
If you’re using ham you will need 2oz / 60g butter
1 large onion – finely sliced
4 pints of a combination of the soaking liquid from the peas, the ham stock or chicken stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Method:
Soak the peas in enough cold water to cover them for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight
If using bacon, cook it in a large saucepan until the fat is running out, then add the onion and cook until soft
If using ham, melt the butter in the pan, add the onions and cook until soft
Add the peas and the liquid
Cover the pan and bring to the boil
Skim off any scum and turn down the heat
Add the ham and simmer for two hours
Stir occasionally to stop it sticking
By this time the peas will have turned into a thick, textured puree
Season to taste and add the Worcester Sauce
Serve with good bread or toast

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Oxford Sausages or Regional Snorkers Part 1

An inadequate Google image I’m afraid, but you get the drift

I love sausages of all kinds and they really do come in all shapes and sizes.  Different regions have their own specialities and the recipes often develop from ways of using up leftovers or utilising cheap cuts of meat.

Today’s recipe and its accompaniment are from Oxfordshire.  Oxford Sausages traditionally contain pork and veal, although the veal has latterly been replaced with lamb.  Once upon a time I would have agreed with this substitute, as the practice of veal crating was utterly abhorrent.  Nowadays, however, many British dairy farmers are keeping the male calves, which would previously been slaughtered, to produce very high quality, high welfare and very delicious rosé veal. 

References to the “Oxford” style of sausage date back to at least the early 18th century, but it was more widely popularised by its inclusion in Mrs Bloody Beeton’s Unspeakable Book of Household Management in 1861.  I am not a fan.  However, with the rise of mass food production the Oxford sausage fell out of favour, as did many regional foodstuffs. The modern enthusiasm for local food has resulted in the Oxford Sausage being revived, albeit often in revised form.

OXFORD SAUSAGES 

Utensils:
1 x large mixing bowl
1 x grater
1 x large frying pan
Kitchen roll for absorbing excess oil
1 x lemon squeezer
Blender or a stick blender

Ingredients
:
1 lb / 480g ground/minced pork
1 lb / 480g ground/minced veal or lamb
12 oz /360g shredded suet
1 mugful fresh breadcrumbs
Rind of 1 or 2 lemons – finely grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped, mixed herbs or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp fresh chopped sage
salt and black pepper
a little flour for coating
a little lard, goose fat (ideally), or oil for frying , but if you use butter always add a drop of oil to stop it burning

Method:
Mix the meats, suet, breadcrumbs, lemon rind, nutmeg and herbs in a bowl – use your hands, get in there!
Add the egg and mix thoroughly
Lightly flour your the worktop and your hands and form the mix into sausage shapes
Coat each sausage with flour and shape into a C
Heat the fat in the frying pan until it is quite hot (a drop of water should fizz but not scar you for life)
Fry for about 8 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through
Blot with the kitchen roll to absorb any excess oil

Oxford Sauce

Ingredients:
1/2 pint / 300ml Port
4 tbsp redcurrant jelly
the juice of 1 orange
the juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp Oxford Marmalade (Frank Cooper’s ideally but any rich marmalade will do)
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp cooked shallots
1 tsp mustard
cayenne pepper (to taste)
ground ginger (to taste)

Method:
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender

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Don’t Rook Now: A recipe for Rook Pie (but you can use pigeon)

A couple of days ago I was tossed a gauntlet by the immeasurable Mr Affer.  At the end of a charming article about the delights of Rookeries, he invited me to submit a recipe for cooking the rooks.

Rooks have long been recognised as a free food source, particularly in the West Country and South Wales.  They are quite hard to acquire these days as most people, even in the countryside, are such hypocritical pansies when it comes to food.  Many people are more than happy to munch on a water injected, formerly tormented pig, but will baulk at a bit of low fat game that has had a happy life.  Bah.

The easiest way to get your hands on some young and tender rooks is to seek out a farmer or gamekeeper who is about to cull them and ask them to save you a few.  They will probably despatch them with a shotgun though, which means you have to watch out for lead shot.  A .22 rifle is a better option.  The only bit of a rook worth eating is the breast, so you don’t really want it full of shot.

The other, more dangerous, way is to climb a rookery.  I would not advise doing this yourself unless you are an experienced climber, but if you are, then make sure you take a small bag up with you.  The young rooks can be popped into the bag ready to be bopped swiftly on the head when you get down.

Sadly, this is not the right time of year to go a-rooking, as the young rooks, or ‘branchers’, are not ready until about the second week in May.  In Victorian times it was considered a perfectly suitable activity for young ladies and boys and they would gather on 12th May for a day’s gentle sport.

Therefore, as it is only mid April, I was unable to obtain any rook breasts.  The recipe below calls for half rook, half pigeon but I had to make do with all pigeon. It was so good I could weep.
I served it with parsnip puree and would have chosen to serve peas, but I had run out.

WILD THANG PIE – serves 6

Utensils:
1 x large saucepan
1 x 10” pie dish
1 x rolling pin
1 x pastry brush
1 x small dish for the egg
1 x bowl for the flour
1 x chopping board & sharp knife

Ingredients:
1 packet of shortcrust pastry (or 1lb/500g of your own recipe)
8 wood pigeon breasts (or 4 rook and 4 pigeon) – chopped into biggish chunks
2oz / 60g plain flour
3 tablespoons oil or dripping
1 medium onion – roughly chopped
1lb / 480g wild mushrooms – sliced into chunks
4floz / 125ml dry white wine
½ pint / 300ml good strong stock
1 x bouquet garni
1 egg – beaten

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 190/375/5
Grease and flour the pie dish
Roll out the pastry and line the dish.  Roll out the remains ready for the lid
Put the flour into a bowl, seasoned with salt and pepper and coat the rook and pigeon in it
Heat the oil or dripping in a large sauce pan and briefly sauté the onion
Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, keeping them moving
Add the meat and flour to the pan, cook briefly until just browning
Add the wine and stir it around quickly
Then gradually add the stock, stirring briskly all the time, until it starts to thicken.
Add the bouquet garni and remove from the heat
Brush the edge of the pastry with the beaten egg
Pour the meat mixture into the dish
Place the remaining pastry on top, crimp the edges to seal and make 3 slits in the lid
Brush the top with egg and place in the oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Caw!

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Filed under Community and shopping, Ethics, Food, Hedgerows, Outdoor Activities, Recipes, Regional, Seasonal

Is it a Soup or is it a Lizard?

You are to be discouraged from putting this in your soup.

Cullen Skink is a Scottish soup, but it’s very thick, very hearty and wonderfully rich and filling.  I always serve it with thick chunks of granary bread and butter (don’t torment me with your margarine fakery!).  Just the job for these cold, bright days.  And it’s fish so it will make you really brainy.  Brainier – you are, after all, my readers. 

The name comes from the fishing village of Cullen, in Morayshire. “Skink” is a soup made originally from a shin of beef. But nowadays the main ingredient is smoked haddock. Och aye the noo (as absolutely no-one says in Scotland).

No lizards were harmed in the preparation of this recipe.

Utensils:
1 x large pan
1 x plate
1 x potato peeler
1 x potato masher

Ingredients:
1oz / 30g butter
½ onion – finely chopped
1 pint / 600ml of creamy milk
1lb / 480g potatoes – peeled and diced
1/2lb / 240g smoked haddock (pref. undyed)
1 tblspn fresh parsley – finely chopped (or ½ tblspn dried)

Method:
Melt the butter in a pan
Add the onion and sweat for 7-8 minutes until soft but not browned
Pour in the milk and bring to the boil
Add the potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until they are really soft
Place the haddock on the top and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the fish begin to flake easily
Remove the fish carefully onto a plate and leave it until it’s cool enough to handle
Flake the fish, removing any bones and skin as you do so
While the fish is cooling, mash the potatoes in the pan just a little to thicken the soup
Put the fish back into the pan
Stir in the parsley and season to taste.

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