Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

Braised Scottish Steak with Root Veg Mash

I am always looking for healthier options but without compromise on flavour and enjoy sourcing locally. I started growing my own vegetables last year too and plan to grow more next year, so this recipe uses up homegrown tatties, onions and carrots from my garden (my swede are not quite ready yet).

My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly provided me with some delicious diced beef this weekend, my initial plan was to make a steak pie for Sundays dinner but having vegetables to use up, this little recipe was the outcome and definitely one I will make over and over again. End of summer is fast approaching and the colder days to set in soon, this recipe is a sure winner for all the family to warm you up from the inside. Very nutritional too as it’s high in protein, low in saturated fat and packs in your vegetable count.


Serves 4

For the Stew

1 Medium Potato, diced small

2 Celery Sticks, chopped small

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed

750g Diced Beef

1 Beef Stock Cube

1 Large Onion (or 2 medium)

1 Carrott, diced small

1 Tsp Dried Thyme

1 Tbsp Tomato Puree

2 Tsps Brown Sauce

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

For the Mash

1 Large Potato, chopped & peeled

1 Small Swede, chopped and peeled

3 Large Carrotts, chopped & peeled

Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat your oven to Fan 160 deg.
  2. Spray a casserole pan with low calorie oil on medium heat, add the celery, garlic and 3/4 onions and fry for about 10 minutes or until slightly caramelised. Meanwhile in a fry pan heat spray oil on medium heat, season the beef cubes and fry until browned.
  3. Remove the casserole pan with the veg and add in thyme, tomato puree, brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube with 700ml boiling water. Puree using a stick blender then add to the casserole pan the beef, potato chunks, chopped carrot and rest of the onion, bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the oven to cook for about 1.5-2 hrs until tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile make the mash, put the potato, swede & carrot into a pan of water and bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Drain and mash then season with pepper.
  5. Serve on the side with the beef stew mix. Enjoy.


Salmon, Beetroot & Caramelised Onion Quiche

Salmon, Beetroot & Caramelised Onion Quiche

I was inspired to make this by a recipe posted to Instagram from @theweelarder https://www.instagram.com/theweelarder/?hl=en. As I didn’t have the Tomato Chutney, I decided to use caramelised red onions as I just made a batch from my garden, this dish was so delicious and the sweet flavour from the onions went perfectly with the salmon.

This dish is perfect for these long summer days especially when served with a fresh salad. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Serves 4-6

For the Pastry:-

250g Plain Flour

Pinch Salt

100g Cold Butter

2Tbsps water

For the Filling:-

2 pieces of Fresh Salmon or 250g Pre-packed Smoked Salmon, flaked

4 Tbsp of Caramelised Onion (see here for my homemade recipe https://theweecaledoniancook.com/?p=9446 )

1 large Cooked Beetroot, chopped into small bite size pieces

Handful of finely chopped Spinach (uncooked)

4 Large Eggs

80ml of Single Cream

100ml Milk

2 Tbsp Chopped Dill

Seasoning, Salt & Pepper

  1. To make the Pastry, Sift the plain flour into a bowl and add the butter cubes and salt, with your fingers rub butter into flour to form breadcrumbs. Add 2 tbsp water and bring to together to make a stiff dough. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  2. Once pastry is ready, bring to room temperature and roll out onto a floured surface and lay over your quiche tin pressing the pastry to the sides, trim off any excess. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the pastry and pour in some baking beads to weigh down.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180 deg fan and place pastry in oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the beads and paper, brush the pastry with some egg wash then return the pastry to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
  4. Whisk up the eggs with the cream & the milk.
  5. Sprinkle some flaked salmon into your pastry case then some spinach then another layer of salmon then spinach and finally the caramelised onion, pour over the egg mixture evenly, season with salt, pepper & dill then dot pieces of the beetroot over.
  6. Place into a preheated oven at 170 deg fan for 30 minutes.
  7. Slice & serve….Yummy!


Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

Smoked Haddock, Beetroot & Potato Hash

This is a great dish that can be enjoy all year round, as a main meal or a side salad dish. Now that the weather is changing and we will soon be entering the Autumnal period we often crave more substantial dishes & this is one of those dishes. Healthy, filling and very satisfying.

I grow my own potatoes and beetroot, nothing more enjoyable than harvesting your own vegetables and preparing a delicious meal for you & your family. I live in Scotland (as you know) and of course my smoked haddock is fresh from the north sea, I get a door stop delivery every week from my local fishmonger who always has the best to offer.

Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and only 20 minutes to cook. A good quick meal.


Makes 2 Servings

2 Pieces of Smoked Haddock

2 Medium/Large fresh Beetroot (or you can buy the vacuum packed cooked beetroot in supermarkets)

250g Potatoes (I used charlotte)

1 Tbsp of low fat mayonnaise or natural yoghurt (I’m definitely a mayo person, but yoghurt will work too)

50g peas

Salt & Pepper to taste

Handful of Chopped Fresh Dill

  1. If using fresh beetroot, bake in tin foil in an oven at 200 deg fan for 45 minutes (you can check my how to roast beetroot post for further info here – https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2020/08/10/roasted-beetroot-salad/)
  2. Wash potatoes and place in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until softened. If using peas add to pan 4-5 minutes before ready.
  3. If you have a steamer, steam cook the haddock for about 6-7 minutes, otherwise poach in a pan of milk, bring milk to a simmer, place fish in skin side down and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Once cooked break into bite size pieces.
  4. When potatoes are cooked, cut into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with peas, add in chopped beetroot then add in 1 tbsp mayonnaise with salt & pepper to taste, using a spoon mix together to coat. Mix in the smoked haddock and dill.
  5. Serve. Yummy!

Fresh Beetroot


POTATO HASH WITH POACHED EGG

Potato Hash with a Poached Egg

This quick and hearty brunch or lunch brings the best out of a good Scottish Tattie (potato). Fluffy potatoes are only made better by the perfectly poached egg sitting on top. Sometimes I like to keep things simple and with this dish I didn’t add too many flavours as a good Scottish Tattie is flavoursome in it’s own right. With the warming flavour of cayenne pepper and a dash of Tabasco sauce, this is sure to keep you satisfied all day.

Cayenne Pepper is also said to be medicinal as capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties. These peppers boast an impressive nutrition profile, which includes a variety of antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

One tablespoon (5 grams) of cayenne pepper contains the following:

  • Calories: 17
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.4 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 7% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3% of the RDI

It also gives them their hot taste. In fact, how hot a cayenne pepper is depends on its capsaicin content. The more capsaicin it contains, the hotter it is.


Serves 2

4 Medium Potatoes, (peeled or unpeeled it’s up to you) diced into bite size pieces

1 Large or 2 Medium Onions, sliced into wedges

1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Spray Oil

2 Large Eggs

Tabasco to taste

  1. In a fry pan heat the oil, medium to high heat, add in the onions and cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
  2. Add in the diced potatoes, season with salt & cayenne pepper, mix and place a lid over pan reduce to a low heat and cook for about 30 minutes until potatoes are softened. Give the potatoes a stir every 10 minutes.
  3. 5 minutes before potatoes are ready, bring a pan of water to the boil then reduce to a medium heat, crack in the eggs and poach through.
  4. Serve potatoes and onions onto a plate, place the poached egg on top and sprinkle a few dashes of tabasco sauce over, season if required. Enjoy!

If you prefer a bit more flavour, below are a few choices that I have tried.

  1. Smoked:- Add chopped spring onions and some smoked back bacon.
  2. Mediterranean:- Add some spinach, handful tomatoes with 1 tsp all spice, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried coriander.
  3. Spanish: Chopped chorizo, sweet potatoes, 1 tsp cumin, spring onions.

Creamy Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake

I love Strawberry season, big juicy fresh strawberries that just melt in your mouth….delicious!

Traditionally, the Scottish strawberry season only lasted about six weeks in summer, from June to July, however now we can get homegrown strawberries almost eight months of the year thanks to advancements in polytunnel technology.

Scottish Strawberries are famously some of the best in the world, but why? The temperate climate in Scotland allows the berries to have longer daylight hours but without the same levels of heat. This allows the berries to ripen slower so they produce more sugar and you get a sweeter berry.

Scottish Strawberries

Strawberries are one of the most versatile ingredients available to us, whether we eat them as they are, put them in desserts, muffins, a salad or even as a puree or compote to accompany a steak, there are so many ways we can eat them. But for this post, I am going to show you how to make a super delicious and creamy cheesecake. Yum!

Everything you need for a perfect summer dessert.


For the Crust

1 packet of Biscuits – (Digestives, Biscoff even Oreo’s if you like – whichever you prefer)

2 Tbsp Butter , melted

For the Strawberry Layer

1 packet of Strawberry Jelly (I used Hartley’s – my personal favourite)

100ml Boiling water

1 Small Tub Strawberry Greek Yoghurt (80-100g)

200ml Whipping Cream

150g Diced Fresh Strawberries

For the Cheesecake Layer

80g Unsalted Butter

120g Icing Sugar

200g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia – no other compares for me)

100ml Whipping Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

For the Topping:-

Handful of Sliced Strawberries

100-200g White Chocolate Shavings (as much as you want really)

Method:-

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a processor, so they resemble fine crumbs. Tip into a bowl and pour over the melted butter and mix through until all moist. Press into a 9 x 13 x 2″ springform tin and place in the freezer while you make the next layer.
  2. In a large bowl dissolve the Jelly with the boiling water, allow to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk up the whipping cream until light and fluffy. Whisk into the Jelly the Greek Yoghurt and fold in your whipped cream and diced strawberries. Pour on top of the biscuit layer and place in the freezer to set. (about 45-60 mins)
  4. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake topping, Beat together the butter, icing sugar, cream cheese and vanilla essence. Whip up your cream and fold into mixture.
  5. Smooth over the Jelly layer once set and place back in the freezer for a further 30 mins to firm. Transfer to the fridge and allow to fully set overnight.
  6. Before serving, sprinkle the white chocolate shavings over the top and place the sliced strawberries around the edge to finish.
  7. Slice and Enjoy!
strawberry cheesecake

If you love Cheesecake, you might enjoy my Lime Cheesecake too…..go take a wee look. https://theweecaledoniancook.com/2021/07/04/biscoff-lime-cheesecake/


Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

Irn-Bru Chicken Pakora

I first saw this on Tik-Tok by Myles Omar, https://www.tiktok.com/@mylesomar?lang=en. You can watch the video here https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/scotland-now/tiktok-scots-irn-bru-chicken-23680157

I just had to try this, I love pakora, I love chicken & I love pakora so it was a must. Simple to make and very tasty. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients so here is my version. We enjoyed these pakora bites with sweet chilli dip rather than pakora sauce and was delicious. You have to give these a go.


Makes enough for 4 portions or 2 very large portions

2-3 Chicken Breasts – cut into strips

1 Tbsp Garlic & Ginger Paste

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp Fenugreek Powder

1 Tsp Paprika Powder

200g Rice Flour (or gram flour)

1/2 Tsp Biacarbonate of Soda

1 Tsp Chilli Powder

1 Tsp Cumin Powder

1 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

3 Tbsp Rapeseed Oil (or vegetable oil)

200ml Irn-Bru

100ml Water

  1. First heat up your oil in a pan or fryer if you have one. (I use Rapeseed oil and heat to about 180-200 deg)
  2. Place the Chicken strips in a bowl, add in the garlic & ginger paste, along with paprika, lemon juice, salt & pepper, mix together and allow to sit and marinade for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the cumin, coriander, garam masala, fenugreek powder, biacarbonate soda, rice flour, oil, water and Irn-Bru, give it a good mix together.
  4. Drop the chicken strips into your hot fryer and cook until browned and crispy (about 8-10 minutes), remove with a slotted spoon or tongs and place onto some kitchen paper to drain the oil.
  5. Serve. Yum….Yum!


Curried Oat Crusted Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

Smoked Haddock Fishcakes

I am so lucky, I recently moved home and now live in an area where you can get some of the freshest fish delivered straight to your door! I am an absolutely lover of all things seafood, well, who wouldn’t living in Scotland! We have 12,000km of coastline with cold clear waters, which has a rich range of over 60 different species, landed from Scottish waters. Scotland has a global reputation for the quality and range of its seafood.

I have a local fish van that delivers straight to my door every week, so this week he had some lovely fresh Smoked Haddock which I just had to get. Initially, I bought it to make my favourite Cullen Skink Soup but we then decided we fancied trying something different. So after scanning my cupboards for ideas, this little Indian spiced fishcake was the outcome. Super tasty and a perfect combo with the smoked haddock. The spices enhanced the flavour of the haddock, a blend of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric works wonders on these fishcakes!


Makes 6 Large ones or 10-12 smaller cakes

600g Smoked Haddock

550g Potatoes (I used Highland Baby potatoes from Scotty Brand, but Maris Pipers are good too)

6-7 Spring Onions – chopped

2 Tbsps Butter

1 Tbsp of Curried Spices (made up from 1/2 tsp ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala, 1/4 tsp Turmeric)

Salt & Pepper to taste

50g Golden Breadcrumbs

50g Scottish Oats – toast the oats (gently toast in a hot pan, few minutes only, allow to cool)

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Tbsp Flour

1 Egg, whisked

  1. Cook the potatoes until soft, so that you can mash. Best to boil them for about 20 minutes on hob or if you have a steam pot, then Steam cook for about 10 minutes. (I kept the skin on as I feel there is more flavour). Once cooked set aside to cool.
  2. Cook the smoked haddock, I steam cooked mine for about 7 minutes, if you don’t have a steamer then place fish in a pan of milk and cook gently covered for about 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through. (remove liquid and set aside to cool)
  3. Put a tbsp of butter into a pan and saute the spring onions until soft, just a few minutes.
  4. Mash up the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Using 2 forks, shred up the cooked fish and place into the bowl with the potatoes, add the spring onions, next add in all your spices and season generously. Get in there with your clean hands and mix through until combined.
  5. Shape the cakes into balls and place on a sheet of baking paper on an ovenproof tray and gently flatten into cakes. (I made mine about 1″ thick) Put into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. In separate bowls have your flour, egg & oat/breadcrumb mixture ready. Dip the cake into the flour then into the egg then roll in the oat crumb mixture ensuring fully coated.
  7. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the cakes each side for 2 minutes to seal to oat crumb. Place back onto the baking tray.
  8. Preheat your oven to 200 deg and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Serve with some cool mayo or tomato relish.
  9. These can be frozen and kept up to 3 months too, so great for batch cooking.


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!