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Mince and Tatties with Skirlie

Introduction & method

You've probably heard of, or had, some version of mince and tatties. It's basically minced beef in a rich meaty gravy, served with creamy mashed potatoes. But unless you're Scottish, you might never have come across skirlie (I hadn't until recently), which is a shame, because it's a delicious side dish made from oats, and it's very easy to make.

Mince and Tatties with Skirlie Recipe

Cook the mince

Peel the onion and cut it into bits about 1 centimeter (half an inch) square. Top and tail and peel the carrot and cut it into 1 centimeter dice. Top and tail the celery and cut it into 1 centimeter squares. Heat some oil on medium heat and sauté the onions for a few minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the mince, break it up and stir freguently to get it all browned. Stir in the stock, carrots and celery, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and add salt and ground black pepper if required. Sift in a couple of teaspoons of flour, stir and cook for a few more minutes until the gravy has thickened. You can leave it there, or cook for another 30 minutes if you want, but stir it now and again and add more water if it begins to stick.

Cook the Tatties

Half-fill a large saucepan with hot water, throw in a teaspoon of salt and bring it to the boil. Peel your potatoes and cut them into bite-size chunks. Put them in the pan, put a lid on it, and simmer them for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain the water away, add the milk or cream, the butter and the salt and pepper. Mash until smooth and creamy.

Make the Skirlie

Peel and finely chop an onion. Melt the fat in a small frying pan on lowish heat. Sauté the onions until they are somewhat browned, then add the oats. Stir them well and keep stirring as they absorb the remaining fat. Cook for a minute or two longer, until they smell a bit toasted, then add a tablespoon or two of water and a pinch of salt. When the water has disappeared, taste the oats - if they are cooked to your liking, you have achieved skirlie. If not, add more water and cook for a bit longer. Keep on doing this until the oats are cooked - the skirlie should be quite dry, with no residual water sitting around.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Mince and Tatties with Skirlie on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced (ground) beef
 1 medium onion
 500 ml beef stock
 1 carrot
 1 stick celery
  salt and black pepper to tasteTATTIES
 3 large potatoes
 a generous splash of milk or cream
 pinch of salt
 half a tsp white pepper
 100 grams medium or pinhead oats
 50 grams beef or pork dripping, or beef suet
 1 small onion
 pinch of salt
  water as needed

Vegetable oil for sautéeing the mince

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.
Total time: 40 minutes.