9 Reviews

Jings, Crivvens, Help Ma'Boab!

Mince and Tatties with oats? Might be a North East coast thing as Aberdonians use oats a lot in recipes but not to my knowledge in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. having said that, every family has their own recipe of anything so I'm going to try it. My Mum made them plain and simple, onions lightly fried then turn the heat up full and sear the mince, best in a non stick pan. Searing the meat (say 125g at a time and breaking up with a fork) until it's showing edges properly brown, not just grey, releases certain chemicals that REALLY bring out the flavour of the meat (you should do this with any red meat, much tastier) then add some stock. Ideally chicken you have saved from the last chicken you cooked (we all save our stock don't we????) even better if it's beef stock but that's a real faff to prepare properly.

Searing any red meat before casseroling or boiling it (try it with lamb in a curry, you'll never do anything else) is vital and keeping the juices from the process even more so. Use plenty of oil, whack the heat up full and fry it stirring frequently. It's nothing to do with sealing flavour in and everything to do with releasing it.

Mum always added Bisto powder, NOT CRAPPY GRAVY GRANULES!!!!! which thickened it and added colour without the salt and chemicals in granuals. Cornstarch or cornflour as we know it in the UK is fine but might not help with colour, never tried it though. She served frozen garden peas on the side although depending on your preference I guess tinned peas would be OK.......not my choice though. Fresh peas are even better especially if you have grown them but they are a summer vegetable with a meal associated with winter, so peas are unlikely traditional fare, or probably more to the point, mince is not the peasant food it is claimed to be. I don't add Bisto or any thickening agent anymore, well, almost never :).

To encourage her children to eat more vegetables, and to hide them, my mother in law used to finely grate a couple of big carrots into the mince, it adds incredible sweetness, you really don't need salt because of it. I'm now a convert as I never liked mushy carrot slices ruining a perfectly fine dish. Pepper was also an exotic spice not so many years ago but freshly ground pepper at the table is too good an addition to pass up, besides I think it's Indians who maintain it's very good for the stomach.

To finish there is nothing like the cheapest potatoes you can get, boiled until they are floury and soft, drained then mashed with a big lump of butter, boil them well or you will get little crunchy bits that ruin mash. And did you know that potatoes are the vegetable least likely to cause allergic reaction? Make sure it's all piping hot (great meal to heat on the plate in the microwave if someone's late) and serve with the peas.

My opinion is that this started as a middle class dish in the UK after the war. Meat of any description was expensive and a plate with simple vegetables once a week was a real treat. It would probably have been served originally with seasonal vegetables but the 60's and 70's middle class discovered frozen peas and that was that, a seasonal vegetable all year round that added exotic colour to an expensive but simple dish.

Someone commented on having it with turnips and parsnips, not sure if they were mixed in but I believe the mince should be the highlight and not mixed with anything more than the grated carrots (and necessary onions) if anything. Nothing better than with mashed neeps on the side though! (turnips in Scotland, swedes in England) and neeps go especially well with pepper as well.

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
redhotscot December 06, 2012

Tonight was my second go around with this dish, having added entirely too much water the first time and turned it into soup rather than the gravy consistency it's supposed to have. So, this time I was cautious and added water to not-quite-cover. Also, having received complaints that the carrots seemed out of place the last time, I used my potato peeler to slice them ultra-thin. That allowed the carrots to blend in more with the meat and onions, and it went over very well this time - everyone thought it was delicious, including yours truly.

1 person found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
ThatBobbieGirl April 20, 2004

Was looking for a Scottish dish because I like variety and came across this. It was easy and hearty and my familly enjoyed it a lot! I did not use the oats and made my own beef gravy, but I think it was very comparable, otherwise. I will definitely add this to my repertoire! Yum

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Darlavea July 09, 2014

Love mince and tatties. I'm 69 and my mother showed me how to make it while I stood on a chair beside her when I was a kid. She was from Glasgow,. She didn't brown the meat. She put ground beef, chopped onion, sliced carrots, salt and pepper in a pan. She would add enough water to the top of the meat and stir it into a slurry. She would then cover and simmer until well done. She would do this in the morning and stick it in the fridge. At supper time she would scrap off the congealed fat and heat. She would then add a slurry of Bisto or GraVee and corn starch slowly into the pot. If there was too much gravy she would strain the extra into a bowl and save it for gravy at another meal. Today when I make it I use stock. I love it. Also, the potatoes don't have to be mashed. It is delicious with plain boiled tatties. Think I'll make it tonight with extra lean ground beef. Yum.

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
Brenda in Winnipeg April 10, 2014

I was looking for a good British mince recipe, and came across this one. It looked similar to the mince recipes I made back home, so I gave it a whirl! I doubled the recipe, and used lean ground beef. ( I didn't need to drain off liquid in step 3.) I used a can of sliced carrots, and also added a can of peas. I didn't have pinhead oats, so used a sprinkling of mashed potato flakes. Being from England, I did have Oxo cubes and Bisto gravy in the pantry, and for this sort of recipe, nothing else will do IMHO! :-) I boiled the potatoes in the skin for extra nutrients and fiber, and after draining them, tossed them in a small amount of butter. A loaf of homemade, crusty French bread on the side completed the meal, and everyone gave it the 'thumbs-up!' Scrumptious!

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
truebrit November 18, 2009

Good safe recipe. I always add a slug of red wine as well, but not too much. Traditionally has peas in or with it. I like mine on the side, with a bit of butter through them. Nick Nairn, Scottish chef, serves with sweet potatoes mashed with butter, black pepper and a bit of cream, but Maris Pipers mashed do it for me.

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
steve November 11, 2006

This is the best success I've had with a mince recipe, I followed it exactly. And my husband proclaimed it "perfect" , can't beat that ! Thank you

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
mobo35 September 05, 2006

I was born in Scotland and my mother made this many a night, my husband who is Canadian could eat it every night he enjoys it so much, I have never made it with carrots but have added peas and macaroni to it which makes it a little different.

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
celiawhitehead December 20, 2005

Common in English households too, without the oatmeal. Many an English person will have fond memories of coming home from school or work on a raw, wet winter evening to "mince and Taters". N ot only carrots, but turnips and parsnips went in too. Just make sure the fat is well drained after meat and onions are cooked. Often mistakenly regarded as "peasant" food. No way! Good tosee it on an American site.

0 people found this helpful. Was it helpful to you? [Yes] [No]
elsie(across the pond) morgan June 26, 2002
Mince and Tatties