Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

Slow Cook Iron Bru Chicken

This was absolutely yummy! Thank you to Scott Baptie @ Food for Fitness for this recipe. https://www.foodforfitness.co.uk/welcome/

I had seen this ages ago but never got round to trying it, this weekend was that time. After all it is Scotland’s favourite fizzy drink! Iron Bru is quite a sweet flavour which is hard to describe & I wasn’t sure just how sweet this dish would turn out but I was pleasantly surprised, it was really delicious and definitely would make again. I used the Iron Bru Extra which has 0g sugars so helped make this dish not overly sweet.

Irn Bru
Iron Bru

Iron Bru was launched in Scotland in 1901 and is still a closely guarded family secret recipe with 32 flavours.

It was back in 1901 in Glasgow that steel workers who were working on rebuilding Central Station in Glasgow were drinking too much beer! Yes too much beer! This is when local soft drinks experts AG Barr introduced them to the caffeinated drink to help get them through the night, and ‘Iron Bru’ was born! One of the most memorable adverts on TV ran for over 20 years with the slogan ‘Made in Scotland – from girders’ & the slogan stuck!

Go on, you know you want to….give it a try, trust me, you’ll love it!


Serves 2

2 Chicken Breasts, chopped into bite size pieces

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped

15ml Worcester Sauce

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

300ml Iron Bru

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Corn Flour (to thicken sauce after)

100-125g Cooked Rice to serve.

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat and season chicken and add to the pan to brown for a few minutes. Remove, add the onion & garlic to the pan and saute for a few minutes until softened.
  2. Add the chicken back to the pan along with paprika, tomato puree, worcester sauce & Iron Bru, bring to a low simmer, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from pan to a plate, if sauce is too thin, add the cornflour mixed with a little water and stir through to thicken up the sauce, pour over chicken and serve with some cooked rice of your choice.

Delicious!



Mince HotPot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

Mince Hotpot with Sweet Potato & Carrot Mash

This is proper home comfort food and a dish that we love. Using simple ingredients, you’ll love the richness taste of this and with the sweet potato and carrot mash on top it is just packed with flavour! A great family dish that is simple to make that everyone can enjoy. Sometimes I love going back to basics, our ancestors would have cooked this all in one pot as back then there were no fancy cook tops with loads of rings.

We are lucky that we have access to a wide range of different foods and spices these days, so although sometimes it’s great to make classics, it’s also great to try out new flavours and ideas with them. This recipe surely does work with that little change.

If you make it, let me know what you think?


Makes 2-3 servings

250g Scottish Beef Mince (good quality is key)

2 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes, cut into small chunks

1 Red Onion, diced

1 Carrots, diced & 2 Carrots for mash (chopped)

1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

50ml Red Wine (I used Merlot)

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Handfuls of Frozen Garden Peas

300ml Beef Stock with 2 stock cubes

1 Tsp Mixed Herbs

1/2 Tsp Turmeric

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp oil

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules to thicken sauce

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 deg fan. Place sweet potatoes and carrot into a large pan of slightly salted water and bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle boil and cook for 20 minutes until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan and cook the onions until softened. Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned. Add in the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, herbs, seasoning and beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, liquid should reduce by half.
  3. Stir in the peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the Gravy granules and stir to thicken.
  5. Mash the sweet potatoes and carrot with 1 tsp turmeric
  6. Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, season with black pepper and top with the mash mix, cover with tin foil. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve & Enjoy!


Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Scottish Heather Honey Chicken

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Yes, I know what you are thinking, this isn’t chicken? It looks like Beef? That’s because of the soy Sauce and dark honey in the recipe marinating into the chicken.

One pot meals are always my go to when I am working, simply because they are easy and less washing up to do. I used some Scottish Heather Honey for this recipe and oh my……..this was a super tasty meal that I am so proud of. I had 2 recipes in mind to cook tonight, 1 was Honey and Garlic roasted Chicken and the other was a Soy Glazed Chicken, yes, you guessed it, I went for it and mixed it all up. I do love it when you change your mind last minute and get a successful NEW recipe!

Known as the ‘Champagne’ of all honeys, expertly gathered by bees that visit the legendary flower of Scotland, Heather. Scottish Heather Honey is dark and semi-set.  A highly intense, distinctive, warm, woody and floral aroma reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. I use honey from Heather Hills Farm, they are a family run business based in Blairgowrie, Perthshire since 1945. Click to their website for more details :- http://www.heatherhills.co.uk/.

Pure honey is full of natural antibacterial and antimicrobial goodness. As well as the high antioxidant qualities, manganese plays a role in helping to make and activate enzymes in the body involved in protecting tissues from damage and in the metabolism of nutrients. It also helps maintain healthy bones.


Serves 4

3-4 Large Chicken Breasts, cut into large chunks

1 Red Pepper, diced

1 Yellow Pepper, diced

2 White Onions, cut into wedges

4 Tbsps of Heather Honey (you can use clear honey if you can’t get this)

3 Tbsps of Dark Soy Sauce

2 Tsps Dried Garlic Granules

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

3 Tsps French Mustard

1 Tsp Curry Powder

Salt & Ground Black Pepper

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, season the chicken, add to pan and brown.
  2. Add in the garlic, peppers and onion and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Mix in a jug or bowl the soy sauce, honey, curry powder and mustard. Season.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and vegetables, add 100ml water and stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on a low heat for about 2 hours.
  6. Remove lid season if need and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with some boiled potatoes or mash or anything you like. Enjoy!


SCOTTISH NEW YEARS DAY STEAK PIE

Steak Pie

The steak pie became the national New Year’s dinner dish in Scotland because New Year’s Day was not traditionally taken as a holiday, (Western society has only been celebrating New Year for the past 400 years.) Families were too busy to cook and bought big steak pies from their local butcher instead. It was in 1871 that Scotland declared January 1st as a national holiday and then wasn’t until 1971 that Scotland got January 2 as another bank holiday.

Butcher-bought steak pie remains popular today, I suspect partly because most Scots are too hung-over to think about cooking on New Year’s Day. Hogmanay & New Years Day is about more than seeing in the bells with a dram of whisky and the best New Year street party in the world, the traditional celebrations continue well into the next day. In fact, it’s probably partly due to the over indulgence of alcohol that the ritual Ne’erday dinner continues to be such a vital part of New Year for so many Scots. The Traditional Steak Pie is round or oval in shape, which symbolises the end of one year with the seamless beginning of the next.

I do like to make my own steak pie and this recipe dates back to my Grannies and Aunties recipes. They key to a good steak pie is the meat, good quality Scottish Beef is key and it’s important to slow cook until it falls apart. I always make the night before too, this allows the gravy/juices to soak into the meat for an amazing flavour.


Serves 2-3

500g Braising or Stewing Steak (rump steak is also good)

1 Large Onion, Chopped

1 Carrot, Peeled & Sliced

400ml Beef Stock

1-2 Tbsp Beef Gravy Granules

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt & Black Pepper

2 Tbsp Cornflour

1 egg beaten for wash

1 Ready to Roll Puff Pastry

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Pat dry the meat and coat with the cornflour and season. Brown the meat in the pan, remove with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan and add in the onions, cook for a few minutes to soften and brown. Add back to the pan the meat and the carrots along with the beef stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer (very low heat), cover with a lid and slow cook for about 2 hours.
  3. With a slotted spoon carefully remove the meat & vegetables and decant into an oven proof pie dish, with the gravy still in the pan add the gravy granules and mix through on medium heat to thicken up the gravy slightly. (You don’t want it too thick as it will thicken overnight) Pour the gravy over the meat in the oven dish, allow to cool, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  4. When ready to bake, roll your pastry out and using a pastry brush, brush egg wash around the edge of your pie dish, take the pastry and lay over the dish, pressing the edges to seal. Trim any excess pastry. (which you could use for a wee design) Using a knife, make a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg wash and bake in a pre heated oven at 200 deg C for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked.
  5. Serve with your choice of sides. My favourite is Roast Potatoes for New Years Day (perfect Roasties recipe here:-https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/12/09/the-best-crispy-roast-potatoes/) and selection of Vegetables. Or any other day we have Mash Potatoes.


Scottish Shortbread

Scottish Shortbread

I do love shortbread, I think it’s mainly because I grew up with it, we would visit my Gran’s house and get shortbread for a snack but more so every New Year as this is the tradition in Scotland.

Through the ‘Taste of Scotland’ scheme that promotes authentic and innovative Scottish cooking, Scottish cuisine has enjoying a renaissance and now many believe that the best food in Britain is to be found north of the Border. The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. Any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk: the word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.

Shortbread was an expensive luxury and for ordinary people, shortbread was a special treat reserved just for special occasions such as weddings, Christmas and New Year. In Shetland it was traditional to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the threshold of her new home. The custom of eating shortbread at New Year has its origins in the ancient pagan Yule Cakes which symbolised the sun. In Scotland it is still traditionally offered to “first footers” at New Year.

Shortbread is traditionally formed into one of three shapes: one large circle divided into segments (“Petticoat Tails”); individual round biscuits (“Shortbread Rounds”), or a thick rectangular slab cut into “fingers.” However, these days as we see some amazing cookie cutter shapes, they can be cut into whatever you like. As it is the Winter Season here just now, I decided to go for some lovely Snowflake Designs.

From memory when my Gran’s used to make Shortbread, the rule of thumb is always 3,2,1, 3 parts Flour to 2 parts Butter to 1 part sugar. Stick with this and you can’t go wrong.


Makes about 10-12 Shortbreads

115g Plain Flour

55g Rice Flour

115g Butter

55g Sugar (Caster or Icing) – (Extra Sugar to finish)

  1. Pre heat your oven to 150 deg C Fan.
  2. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, sift in the flours.
  3. Mix until it resembles bread crumbs, then tip onto a floured surface and work by hand to bring the dough together.
  4. Gently roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness, if using a cutter, cut into your designs and lay onto a greaseproof baking tray. If creating petticoats, press into a round baking tin, or fingers, press into a rectangle baking tin. Now refrigerate for about 20 minutes, this helps the biscuits to stop spreading when being baked. Prick the shortbread with a fork and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and while still hot sprinkle with some sugar to finish. Allow to cool.


Scottish Oat & Pistachio Crusted Cod

Scottish Cod

I am very lucky to live in a Country with an amazing Food Larder and 1 type of Food that Scotland is known for is it’s Fresh Fish, the Scottish Fishing Industry is currently worth around £316 million to Scotland, unfortunately that number has went down recently due to Covid, but at the height back in 2015 it was worth nearly £437 million. Most of its catch comes in from Aberdeen, then some from central and southern areas. Some of the most popular seafood caught in Scotland are mainly shellfish such as Mussels, Shrimp & Crab but also Salmon, Cod, Haddock & Mackerel.

My local Fishmonger Ryan Black, is from a nearby Town called Kirkcaldy which is in the Fife region, they provide a fantastic service and deliver straight to your door, straight from the shore. There is nothing better than getting the freshest fish delivered the same day. I got some lovely pieces of Cod for dinner.

Having some Pistachios in my cupboard to be used, I decided to try my Pistachio Crust recipe with the Cod and it worked a treat….super delicious, healthy and quick mid week meal.

Serves 2

2 Cod Fillets

25g Pistachio’s

20g Scottish Oats

1 Tbsp Mustard Powder or 2 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tsp Dried Parsley or small handful of fresh

  1. Line a baking Tray with greaseproof paper and preheat your oven to fan 210 deg C
  2. Using a processor, blitz the pistachios and oats together with the parsley until roughly chopped
  3. If using mustard powder, take 1 tbsp into a bowl and squeeze 1 tbsp lemon juice in and mix into a paste, leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow flavour to develop.
  4. Lay cod onto baking sheet and spoon the mustard over the fish, season with salt and pepper, then place the pistachio crust mix over the top covering the fish, press down to secure. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until opaque.
  5. Serve with a slice of lemon.


The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes

Best Crispy Roast Potatoes

It’s coming up to the Festive time of year when we start planning our Christmas dinner get together. Roast Potatoes are probably one of the most popular side dishes on the table for most households. We all hope for those crispy skins and fluffy insides for our Roasties but sometimes that just doesn’t happen for whatever reason, so this is my foolproof recipe for the most amazing Crispy Roast Potatoes every time . Great for the festive dinner table but also great throughout the year for the perfect accompaniment to a good Sunday Roast dinner. Enjoy.

Serves 4

1kg Maris Piper Potatoes (these are the best kind)

100g Goose Fat (I used high grade Goose Fat from my local Butchers, S.Collins & Son) (you can also use a good Duck Fat too)

2 Tsp Cornflour

Sea Salt Flakes to taste

Rainbow Peppercorns to taste

  1. First place a Baking Tray in an oven and pre heat to Fan 220 deg C.
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters (or which ever size you prefer), place into a pan of cold water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and reduce to a medium simmer, covered for about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, spoon the Goose Fat onto the hot baking tray (be careful) and put back into the oven to heat the fat up, about 10 minutes until the fat is smoking slightly.
  4. Drain the water from the potatoes, give the pan a good shake to fluff up the potatoes, sprinkle the cornflour in and give it another shake, keeping the lid on let the potatoes sit for about 10-15 minutes so that the steam can air dry the potatoes. (the Drier the crisper they’ll be)
  5. Carefully with a pair of tongs, place the potatoes onto the baking tray ensuring they are coated with the Goose Fat. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the potatoes over and bake for a further 15 minutes, turn again and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until all golden brown and crisp.
  6. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt & some pepper.

Some people add garlic and herbs like rosemary etc, which is fine, but I love my traditional recipes to be traditional, if you get a good potato there is no need for extra flavouring, the duck fat & salt are simply perfect for a roastie.


Bannock Bread (Traditional Scottish Bread)

In Scotland, before the 19th century, bannocks were cooked on a bannock stane (Scots for stone), a large, flat, rounded piece of sandstone, placed directly onto a fire, used as a cooking surface. Most modern bannocks are cooked in a pan or skillet and made with baking powder as a leavening agent, giving them a light and airy texture. Bannocks were known as flat cakes or bread baked from grains, although if you visit the town of Selkirk in the Scottish Borders their Bannocks are more like fruit loaves.

This is a very quick bread and great with any traditional soup recipe, especially a good Cullen Skink, which you can find my recipe here – https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/11/09/cullen-skink/

Makes 1 small (6 piece) cake

120g of Scottish Oats – I blitz Scottish Porridge Oats into a fine flour.

80g Plain Flour

2 tsps Baking Powder

Pinch Salt

150ml Buttermilk

  1. In a bowl or mixer combine the flour, oats, salt and baking powder
  2. Slowly mix in the Buttermilk, little at a time until the flour has combined, lay on a floured surface and shape the dough to about 1″ thick and about the same circular diameter as your pan. Indent the dough about 0.5 – 1cm in, as if you were cutting a pizza shape.
  3. Heat a little oil in a pan or skillet on medium heat (you don’t want it too hot or it won’t cook through properly), place dough into pan and cook gently for about 15 minutes on 1 side then flip over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Remove and place on a bread board, allow to cool for a few minutes then serve.

I usually have this bread with Soup but you could also spread a little butter or Jam and would be just as nice.

Bannock Bread


Cullen Skink

Cullen Skink is an authentic Scottish Thick Soup from Cullen, North East Scotland. It’s main ingredients are Smoked Haddock, Potatoes and Onion, which makes a lovely home comforting dish that lasts through the years. It’s one of our most popular dishes in my household, especially in the Autumn/Winter Seasons. Traditionally it is served with bread.

Initially, Cullen Skink referred to a type of broth made with the scrapings of beef from the front legs of cattle, hence ‘Skink’ as this means shin. Hard times in the early 1890s left the Northern people unable to buy this product. By this time, Cullen Harbour (completed in 1819) had become the thriving centre of herring fishing and the village also specialised in the production of smoked haddock. With many families in the local villages having a fishing background, they turned to smoked haddock which was in plentiful supply. By using smoked haddock and various other products all put together, a distinctive delicious soup was made.

Makes 2 large bowls

2 Smoked Haddock Fillets

1 White Onion, Diced

1/2 Leek, sliced, white part only

350g White Potatoes, peeled and diced

300ml Milk

100ml Single Cream or Creme Friache

1 Bay Leaf

40g Butter

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful of Chopped Parsley

  1. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion & leeks, cook for a
    few minutes then add the potatoes and continue to cook for a
    few minutes.
  2. Add the milk, bay leaf & season. Bring to the boil then reduce
    to a simmer. Gently add the haddock to the pot and simmer
    gently for about 15 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon remove the haddock,from the pan place
    onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break into
    chunks, add back to the pan along with the cream and mix
    through, heat through gently for a few minutes.
  4. Remove the Bay leaf and sprinkle over the parsley then serve into bowls.
A Bowl of Cullen Skink


Black Pudding, Beetroot & goats cheese salad

Black Pudding, Beetroot Salad & Goats Cheese Salad

I’ve loads of Beetroot growing in my garden just now and perfect season for it too, so decided on a little treat for lunch today. Certainly beats the Ryvita’s….lol.

Beetroot is packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.

Perfect pairing with Beetroot for me is definitely Stornoway Black Pudding & Goats Cheese, just so yummy! I served with some Homegrown Spinach too.

Serves 2

4 large Beetroots – Cooked and Sliced into bite size chunks

60g Goats Cheese

4 Slices of Black pudding

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Pinch salt

1 tsp Mixed Herbs

Handful of Spinach – chopped

Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to top

  1. Place Beetroot into a bowl, add balsamic vinegar, salt & mixed herbs and mix through.
  2. Cook Black Pudding in a pan on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes each side with a little oil. Remove and pat dry, break up into bite size pieces and add to beetroot and mix through.
  3. Chop up the spinach and lay on a plate, top with the beetroot and black pudding then tear the goats cheese over and serve with pumpkin & sunflower seeds.
Plate of Black pudding, Beetroot & Goats Cheese