This is a recipe that I remember my now 97 year old granny making me quite frequently when I would visit Scotland growing up. I had some lamb that was perfect for stewing and the first thing that popped into my mind was cooking this stew that I used to loved so much. As always I put a slight twist on it – she topped her version with choux pastry I went with the easier and cheaper dumplings.
Growing up I was always immersed in food. My father fishes for salmon & trout, my mum was always in the kitchen making marmalade, jams and hearty dishes with venison and pheasant that my dad would also shoot / trade salmon for with fellow hunters. It’s no wonder that at the age of 11 I went to my first cooking class. There I was in some local woman’s house, just me and 7 or 8 other girls. Gross!! At least that’s what I thought at the time. I loved it though, so much so that I was soon cooking the family dinners on a regular basis! Although when I look back upon it, I’m not sure if that’s because I loved it so much or because it gave my parents an opportunity to do tonic “tastings” to see which paired best with their gin………..! FYI it’s The Botanist or Edinburgh Gin with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic!!
It wasn’t just my mum & dad that got me interested in cooking. My aunt Moira, Mum’s sister, gave me my 1st cookbook, appropriately titled just that! You would find me in the kitchen making mini quiches, pizzas, chocolate truffles, rice pudding, steamed pudding with golden syrup and many other things that when I list them off now, damn my folks did well! My grandfather on my mum’s side was also a great influence to me. We used to take walks to his bees (he was a beekeeper if you didn’t already guess) and on the way I always remember him jumping a wall that at the time looked about 50 foot high and out he would pop with a handful of spinach, always teasing about my little “bird eggs” for muscles and how I needed my spinach to be like Popeye. On my father’s side of the family there was always and I mean ALWAYS something being cooked or baked. They were those grandparents who always had bread, scones, shortbread and some sort of pie/stew on the go. I always remember flying from Dublin to Edinburgh, staying with them and eating my body weight in my Papa’s bread and then my luggage allowance was usually filled with more bread and whatever sweets I could sneak out of the Pantry!
So, just over a week ago my butcher gave me some lamb butt – actually from the collar but it’s called butt. Weird, I know! He wanted to see what I could cook with it and the first thing that popped into my mind was my childhood visits to Scotland.
If you like this dish and make it I’d love to see your pictures so I can show my Granny and put a huge smile on a 97 year olds face. Tag me @another_food_blogger or pin me on pinterest and don’t forget the most important thing and subscribe to stay in touch.
1. Place flour in mixing bowl and using your fingers rub in butter until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.