Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Recipes from 'Grace & Flavour' Scotch Broth

This is one of the world's great soups and one of Scotland's many fine contributions to gastronomy. It's a magical combination of a few modest ingredients that transform into a delicious and sustaining broth.
The remains of a roast leg or shoulder of mutton or hogget will do very well in place of the chops and will cook more quickly - just put everything in together, and cook for about 35 minutes. The meat should then come away easily from the bone and can be chopped up, returned to the soup and heated through before seasoning and serving.
1kg mutton neck or leg chops
1200ml water
3 Tbsp pearl barley
1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 small turnip
salt and white pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

• Cut the meat off the bones and into small pieces. Put meat and bones into a large saucepan with the water.
• Bring to the boil and skim off any foam from the surface.
• Wash the barley, add it to the soup and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
• Peel the vegetables, dice into cubes of between 1cm and 2cm and add to soup. Simmer for a further 30-45 minutes till everything is tender.
• Remove the bones from the soup, take off any remaining meat and add it to the soup.
• Add salt and pepper to taste, garnish generously with parsley and serve.

Walnut bread
Margaret Mollison was the first matron of Knox College in Dunedin, from 1900-1915. Her walnut loaf is very nice for afternoon tea, as she says, and it's pretty good for breakfast and brunch too. Simple loaves like this were designed to be thinly sliced and buttered, but they are also good with sharp cheeses, or spread with sour cream. This is one of five recipes for walnut bread in the cookbook, so they must have been popular.

I make half a recipe, more or less, which is enough for one medium loaf. Getting the proportions right is easy; just use the same cup for all the ingredients, except the baking powder of course. A breakfast cup is a big one, about 1 standard cups.
2 cups flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup walnuts, preferably halves and large pieces

• Preheat the oven to 180degC.
• Prepare a medium-sized loaf tin by brushing the inside with oil or melted butter, or lining with baking paper. (I use a tin that holds about 1200ml.)
• Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a bowl.
• Add the walnut pieces and distribute evenly. (Check for stray bits of tooth-breaking shell before adding.)
• Whisk egg and milk together. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and mix well.
• Spoon into the loaf tin, pushing into the corners and smoothing the top. Put on a rack in the bottom half of the oven and bake for about 50 minutes. When done, the top will be firm but springy.

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