In olden days these were always cut into shapes of the farmer, his wife and his piglets. Heart-shaped ones make beautiful window decorations and the same recipe can be used to make gingerbread houses, beautifully decorated with royal icing.
We are blessed with fabulous seafood, so whether haddock, fresh or smoked, fishmonger’s fish pie mix or luxury scallops for a special occasion – all are equally delicious. Vegetable gratins also work beautifully with courgettes, cauliflower or even Brussels sprouts! If using vegetables, steam before placing in the ovenware dish instead of poaching in milk.
I know of no commercial crumbs that get our vote! Breadcrumbs are easy to make in a mortar and pestle and you can simultaneously rid yourself of the frustrations in life! It takes a matter of moments and the difference in flavour is outstanding. Store in an airtight jar for months and use as required.
Pasture-fed ruminants, whether grazing grass or hefted on moors, bring many benefits and the marbling present is a healthy nourishing fat giving marvellous flavours to the meat. Such animals could not be more different from grain fed beasts on densely populated feedlots. Industrialised farming methods are linked with lower welfare standards, felling of rain forests for grain production and GM soy feed. Scottish pasture-fed cattle could not be more different.
by Celia Pickup, Craigadam.
We always have a little bit of fun with guests when they ask what is a Haggis and where do they live? The story of the Haggis running around the hill anti-clockwise because one leg is shorter than the other sounds plausible as it is greeted with exclamations of wonder! Can they go and see and can they take a photograph? We have to explain they are very shy timid little creatures. The myth of the “Haggis” lives on…
Salted fish has been part of our food heritage for over a thousand years and this recipe reflects the traditions of the northern isles. Thule Ventus produce their own salt-cured cod from individually line-caught sustainable stock off Sumburgh Head, Shetland. The Shetland Black potatoes can be sourced, along with a range of heritage varieties, from Andrew Skea at The Potato House, Auchterhouse.
There is a video of this dish on my Instagram
Perfect on its own, as part of a nutritious packed lunch or with a wedge of creamy blue cheese. Like most baking it freezes well so I double this recipe, make slabs in large Swiss roll tins and cut in fingers. You can bake in a loaf tin if you prefer but cook for longer.
300 years ago, a mince pie would have been a huge dish called “Christmas pye” composed of “ox tongue, chicken, eggs, sugar, raisins, lemon and orange peel, and spices.” Over the years, the pies grew smaller and the meat content reduced, until they became a sweet mixture of suet, spices and dried fruit that had been steeped in brandy. This filling was put into little pastry cases that were covered with pastry lids and then baked in an oven – today’s mince pie. It is said that when the mixture is stirred clockwise, you can make a wish for the coming year.