Scotch Broth – Outlander on STARZ Episode 112

Scotch Broth – Outlander on STARZ Episode 112

Welcome home, Jamie and Claire! Together forever, right?

Of course, Jenny has a few things to say to her long lost brother before they sit down for a sup and a bite to eat…good thing she put that pot of broth on to cook before J&C appeared in the dooryard.

Scotch Broth Split PeasScotch Broth appeared under that name in cookbooks for the first time in the latter part of the 18th Century, though variations of this thick, hearty, stew-like soup had been cooking in cast iron kettles across the Highlands for hundreds of years before that.

My meaty version is definitely from a wealthier kitchen, like Lallybroch, rather than made by one of the Fraser’s crofters, who would have felt fortunate to have a bone to put in the pot, never mind meat.

Scotch Broth lamb

A traditional Scotch Broth starts with lamb. Lamb can be difficult to find, and once you do, it’s often expensive. I came across these shoulder chops when I was out shopping in the BIG city one day. They were crammed in the back of a frozen food case, looking freezer burned and a bit beyond their time.

Perfect for soup! So, I went and knocked on the glass above he the meat case to catch the butcher’s attention. When I showed him my chops, he slapped a 50% off sticker on there and I left a happy, frugal chef. He knew he was lucky to get half of the original $12 price, so he was a happy butcher.

If you can’t find lamb, then use beef. To be honest, more farmers had cattle in the Highlands than sheep before Culloden, so you certainly won’t lose any authenticity either.

Scotch Broth Veggies

Next up is the veggies, and a Scotch Broth is chock full of them! This time of year was the leanest in the Highlands, as the winter kale crop failed before the farmers’ early spring plantings of kale and spinach were ready for harvest.

My kale crop from last year is no different. I’ve got just 3 plants left, and they’ve all bolted to seed in the last week. That means my kale is a little tough, but that’s balanced by the appearance of the flowering heads, which are gorgeous lightly sauteed in olive oil, and also make a beautiful garnish.

Scotch Broth Bowl

Soup doesn’t get much heartier than this! A pot of this will feed a couple for a week…trust me. My Englishman and I are living proof.

A loaf of Honey-Buttermilk Oat Bread from Madame Jeanne’s tastes great alongside.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Scotch Broth

: A soup so hearty, you could call it a stew. Delicious and full of goodness, it’s great way to use up the last of the produce from the winter garden.

Yield: Serves 8, with leftovers

  • Lamb Flank, Breast or Shank – 2 lbs (see notes)
  • Split Peas – ½ Cup
  • Pot or Pearl Barley – ½ Cup
  • Leeks, white and light green only, split, washed and sliced thinly – 2 large
  • Carrots, shredded – 2 medium
  • Turnip or Rutabaga, diced – 1 Cup
  • Kale or Savoy Cabbage, finely shredded – 2 Cups
  • Salt – 2 tsp, or to taste
  • Parsley, chopped – for garnish

In a large pot, cover the lamb with 2 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to boil 1 minute, and skim the scum from the surface. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the peas, barley, half the leeks and half the carrots. Simmer until the peas and barley are tender, about 1 hour.

Add the remaining leeks and carrots, as well as the turnip and 2 cups of hot water. Simmer until turnip is tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove the meat, discard any bones and gristle, then shred and return the meat to the pot. Stir in the kale or cabbage and season to taste.

Garnish with the parsley, and serve hot with a loaf of crusty bread.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to a month. Add a little more water if needed when you reheat.

Notes:

  • If you prefer to use beef, or simply can’t find lamb, choose a similar tough cut. Flank, shin, shank, blade, etc.
  • Beef will result in a milder tasting soup.
  • Do not add salt at the beginning, as it will toughen the peas as they cook.
  • Most early recipes for Scotch Broth call for 2 tablespoons of salt to be added at the end. I added a tablespoon to ours when all was said and done, but start with less and add more to taste.

 

Fig and Barley Pudding – Outlander on STARZ Episode 110

Fig and Barley Pudding – Outlander on STARZ Episode 110

Jamie has helped to heal the rift between The Mackenzie and his war chief and Claire has taken him back to his bed. The only outstanding item on young Mr. Fraser’s list of things to do is to convince the Duke of Sandringham to help him clear his name.

Alas, as we book readers know, Jamie needs to watch his back(side) when engaging the help of the Duke.

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Millionaire’s Shortbread – Outlander on STARZ Episode 9

Millionaire’s Shortbread – Outlander on STARZ Episode 9

And…we’re back!

Droughtlander is almost over; only five more days until Episode 9, “The Reckoning” hits STARZ screens across the US.

Are you ready? Are you excited? There has been lots to keep me busy during the break (I hope to share some news soon), but I’m dying to see how TV Jamie gets out of that garrison window he’s been crouched in since last year, as well as to get back to cooking and watching Outlander for the next 8 weeks!

Outlander 2014

from STARZ

The rent-collecting party eventually makes it back to Castle Leoch (after Claire’s short encounter with a belt, or course,) and I think it’s safe to assume from the picture above that all is not well with Dougal.

I can’t say Colum is going to appreciate that kind of damage to his candelabras, and besides, it seems he’s got a few other things to be upset with his younger brother about…like say, an extra bag of gold hanging about?

shortbread base - Millionaire's Shortbread

I put a lot of thought into the menu for the second half of the season, and I know the history buffs will be happy to hear I’ve got a couple of traditional and authentic 18th Century Scottish dishes planned for later episodes. I’ve also added a 20th C Scottish comfort classic, a cocktail, and a couple of projects that will have the bakers amongst us well pleased, indeed.

This first recipe is all about fun, sweet treats and that Jacobite Gold.

millionaire's shortbread

Alas, Millionaire’s Shortbread, aka Caramel Shortbread, goes no further back than the 1970s. And, although the recipe was most likely first published in the Australian Ladies’ Home Journal, there’s no doubt at least the base layer has its roots in Scotland.

So make yourself a pan, grab a few friends and settle back to see who gets the gold.

Millionaire's Shortbread

The recipe is easy to put together, however it does take some time as you have to allow the caramel layer to cool before topping with the chocolate that will also need time to harden.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

Millionaire’s Shortbread

:A three-layered sweet treat so delicious, it can set brother against brother faster than the Jacobite’s Gold.

Yield: 9” pan (16 squares)

  • All-Purpose Flour – 1¾ Cup
  • Sugar – ⅓ Cup
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Butter, softenened, in cubes – ¾ Cup
  • Butter – ¼ Cup
  • Brown Sugar – ½ Cup, firmly packed
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can
  • Milk or Dark Chocolate – 7 oz (2 large bars)
  • Butter – 2 tsp

Move the rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350° F.

Dot the sides and bottom of a 9” square baking pan with butter, then line with parchment or aluminum foil, sticking the paper to the butter and ensuring the edges are higher than the pan.

Make the Shortbread: Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add the ¾  cup butter and rub it into the flour mixture with your fingertips until everything resembles cornmeal or fine breadcrumbs. Knead the mixture together in the bowl to form a dough. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and prick lightly with a fork. Bake until firm and lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan. (See notes.)

Make the Caramel: Heat the ¼ cup butter, brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk in a pan over medium to a gentle boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until slightly thickened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Pour over the shortbread in an even layer and allow to cool completely.

Make the Chocolate: Melt the chocolate and 2 tsp butter in a double boiler over hot water until smooth. Pour over the cooled caramel in an even layer. Cool completely.

Remove from the pan and use a sharp knife to cut into squares. Store, wrapped, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Ith do leòr! (Eat Plenty)

Notes:

  • The shortbread can still be warm when you pour over the caramel. However, the caramel layer must be completely set before you pour over the hot chocolate.
  • Looking for a good whisky to match? Here’s a few suggestions.

Maple Pudding for Valentine’s from ABOSAA

Maple Pudding for Valentine’s from ABOSAA

“Dinna fash yourself, Sassenach,” he said, more gently. “I didna mean it that way. Here, Mrs. Bug’s brought ye something tasty, I expect.” He lifted the lid off a small covered dish, frowned at the substance in it, then stuck a cautious finger in and licked it.

“Maple pudding,” he announced, looking happy.

“Oh?” I had no appetite at all yet, but maple pudding sounded at least innocuous, and I made no objection as he scooped up a spoonful, guiding it toward my mouth with the concentration of a man flying an airliner.

“I can feed myself, you kn—” He slipped the spoon between my lips , and I resignedly sucked the pudding off it. Amazing revelations of creamy sweetness immediately exploded in my mouth, and I closed my eyes in minor ecstasy, recalling.

“Oh, God,” I said. “I’d forgotten what good food tastes like.”

“I knew ye hadn’t been eating,” he said with satisfaction. “Here, have more.”

I insisted upon taking the spoon myself, and managed half the dish; Jamie ate the other half, at my urging.

Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Chapter 64, I am the Resurrection, Part 2)

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