Traditional mince and tatties, known in Scotland as a classic combination of ground beef and potatoes, feature a delicious gravy-infused ground beef preparation. When paired with fluffy mashed or boiled potatoes, it transforms into a hearty and comforting dish ideal for chilly weather.
Calling all foodies and lovers of comfort food! Today, we’re taking a culinary journey to Scotland with a classic dish that’s been loved for generations – Traditional Scottish mince and tatties!
This hearty and delicious meal combines savory minced beef with tender carrots, flavorful green peas, and a rich and creamy potato mash.
For those unfamiliar with classic Scottish recipes, the term ‘mince’ might be a tad confusing. It’s not a spice or a fancy culinary term but rather refers to ground meat, predominantly beef.
In this context, think of it as a savory mince recipe, which uses ground beef or, as it’s often called, ground meat. Now, when you’re selecting your beef, always ensure you choose the best quality meat; we recommend using lean beef or lean mince.
Before diving into the depths of the recipe, make sure you’ve got a large skillet ready.
First, you need to brown the mince. Heat some oil over medium-high heat and ensure the beef turns a savory shade of brown.
This isn’t just a simple mince recipe, this is a classic Scottish recipe.
And, as with many traditional dishes, there are countless variations of Mince and Tatties. Each family has their own special recipe, and we encourage you to experiment with your own twists and flavors.
Scottish recipes often have the attribute of being comforting – a real comfort food meal that reminds many of home and family traditions.
This dish often gets compared to cottage pie or beef stew, but its unique flavour sets it apart.
For our version of traditional Scottish mince and tatties, we’re using a delicious combination of minced beef, onions, carrots, and green peas that have been simmered in a flavorful vegetable broth.
The key to making a great mince is to let it cook slowly and gently until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together.
For the gravy, traditionally many families have used Bisto, a popular gravy powder.
To prepare it, one would take Bisto powder or Bisto gravy granules, mix with some beef stock or water and bring to a boil until it thickens. If it’s too thin for your liking, you can always add a little cornflour to thicken it to your preference.
Speaking of thickness and flavor, some also use beef stock, or a simple brown sauce to enhance the depth of taste. If you can find scotch beef, it’s an added bonus for the recipe. Ensure to taste and add salt as necessary, and salt and black pepper to your preference.
If you’re keen on trying new tweaks or new recipes, remember this dish is versatile. Whether it’s served with mashed potatoes or you want to mash with the butter for a different texture, the dish remains a testament to Scottish culinary tradition.
Lastly, always ensure your mince doesn’t just boil, but simmers on a low heat and simmer. The consistency should cook down into a nice, rich, hearty mince. Ideally, you should cook for 15-20 minutes but adjust as per your meat’s tenderness.
This Scottish dish is a blend of beef and mashed potatoes, a simple yet hearty meal that’s so easy to make.
So when you sit down with your plate of classic mince and tatties, remember, you’re not just having a meal; you’re enjoying a slice of Scottish tradition.
So, let’s raise a glass to Scotland and all the wonderful flavors that come from this beautiful country. And, most importantly, let’s enjoy every delicious bite of this traditional Scottish mince and tatties recipe. Sláinte!
Quick Note: There’s a printable recipe card available for those who need one. Also, we encourage reader interactions, so drop your variations and tweaks in the comments.
✨ Tips for Success? How to Make It Better?
- Choose Quality Minced Beef: To ensure a flavorful and tender mince, select minced beef with a fat percentage of 12-15%. The fat content adds moisture and flavor to the dish.
- Homemade Broth: Whenever possible, use homemade vegetable or meat broth. This can elevate the flavors of the dish significantly compared to store-bought broth.
- Select the Right Potatoes: Opt for higher starch potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds when making the mashed potatoes. These varieties yield the fluffiest and smoothest mash.
- Use Farm Butter: For a richer and more intense flavor in the mashed potatoes, consider using butter from a farm. Quality butter can make a noticeable difference in taste.
- Intensify Flavors with Flour: After adding the flour, consider frying the mixture for a short period. This can intensify the flavors of both the meat and vegetables, making the mince even more delicious.
- Slow and Gentle Cooking: To achieve tender and well-blended flavors in the mince, let it cook slowly and gently until the meat is tender and the flavors have melded together. This slow cooking process is key to a great mince.
- Adjust Mash Consistency: When making the mashed potatoes, adjust the consistency to your liking by adding milk. If you prefer a softer texture, add more milk until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Fresh Herbs for Garnish: For a pop of freshness and color, consider adding freshly chopped herbs like parsley over the dish when serving. Dill and coriander are also good options.
- Thicken with Flour or Starch: Control the thickness of the mince by using all-purpose flour or starch. You can also use oatmeal for a healthier thickening option.
❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- This recipe can be prepared in less than an hour from start to finish, making it an excellent choice for busy weeknight dinners or last-minute meal planning.
- It’s a family-friendly dish that appeals to both adults and children. The combination of savory minced beef and creamy mashed potatoes is sure to satisfy even picky eaters.
- The ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in most kitchens, making it a cost-effective choice for families on a budget.
- Traditional Scottish Mince and Tatties can easily be scaled up to serve a larger number of people, making it a practical option for gatherings, potlucks, or family reunions.
- The recipe provides flexibility with ingredient choices. Readers can customize it by using different types of minced meat or vegetables, allowing for personalization based on taste preferences.
- This dish is steeped in Scottish culinary tradition, offering a taste of heritage and nostalgia for those with Scottish roots. It’s a way to connect with the cultural heritage through food.
- The creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, paired with the savory minced beef, create a comforting and indulgent meal that’s perfect for cold evenings or when you need a warm hug in a dish.
- If there are leftovers, they can be easily reheated in the microwave or on the stove, making it a convenient choice for meals on subsequent days.
- The recipe encourages experimentation with flavors, allowing individuals to add their twists and ingredients. This flexibility can lead to exciting variations of the dish.
🥘 Ingredients Needed for This Recipe?
- Potatoes are the key component of the creamy mashed potatoes in this dish. They provide a starchy base and texture. You can substitute them with sweet potatoes for a different flavor profile or cauliflower for a lower-carb option.
- Onion adds a savory and aromatic base to the dish. If you don’t have onions, you can use shallots, leeks, or even onion powder for a milder onion flavor.
- Beef Mince is the primary protein source and contributes to the heartiness of the dish. You can substitute it with ground pork, ground lamb, ground chicken, or a plant-based option like textured vegetable protein (TVP) for a vegetarian version.
- Frozen Green Peas provide a burst of color and sweetness. You can substitute them with frozen corn, green beans, or edamame for a different vegetable twist.
- Carrots add natural sweetness and a slightly earthy flavor. You can substitute them with parsnips, turnips, or butternut squash for a similar texture and flavor profile.
- Celery contributes a mild, refreshing crunch to the dish. If you don’t have celery, you can use celery seeds, celery salt, or fennel bulb for a different layer of flavor.
- All-purpose flour is used to thicken the gravy. You can substitute it with cornstarch or arrowroot powder for a gluten-free option or with rice flour for a lighter thickening agent.
- Worcestershire Sauce adds umami and depth of flavor. You can substitute it with soy sauce or tamari for a similar savory kick.
- Vegetable Broth forms the base of the gravy. You can substitute it with beef broth, chicken broth, or mushroom broth for different flavor profiles, or use water with bouillon cubes if broth is unavailable.
- Butter is essential for rich and creamy mashed potatoes. You can substitute it with ghee for a similar buttery flavor, margarine for a dairy-free option, or olive oil for a lighter mash.
- Milk adds creaminess to the mashed potatoes. You can substitute it with almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk for dairy-free or vegan variations.
- Salt and Pepper. You can adjust the type and amount of salt and pepper to your taste preferences, using sea salt, kosher salt, or various types of pepper (black, white, or red pepper flakes).
- Garlic (optional): It enhances the overall flavor profile. You can substitute it with garlic powder or omit it if you prefer a milder taste.
🥑 How to Make This Recipe Vegetarian / Vegan?
If you want to opt for a vegetarian or vegan option, you could replace minced meat with minced lentils. Use vegetable broth instead. The butter could be replaced with olive oil or another type of oil you prefer.
Also, I will not advise using coconut oil because its aroma does not match the rest of the ingredients.
🥘 Slow Cooker & Instant Pot Instructions
If you want to prepare the mince and tatties in a slow cooker, you can follow the same recipe by browning the beef and vegetables and then transferring them to a slow cooker with 1 cup of vegetable broth. Set the timer to 6 hours on low heat or 4 hours on high heat.
If you plan to prepare this recipe in an Instant pot, select the “Sauté” function to brown the meat and vegetables. After that, cook them on high pressure for 30 minutes.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
As the potatoes need a little more time to boil, we will start with them. For that, wash well the potatoes, peel them, and cut them into cubes of about 1 “.
Put the potatoes in a large pan to boil. When the water starts to boil, add a tablespoon of salt.
Let the potatoes boil, and let’s jump to the gravy that we are going to prepare.
For this, take a pan, melt the butter in it, or just use olive oil. After that, brown the chopped onions for about 2-3 minutes.
When the onions start to become transparent, add the meat to the pan and mix well the ingredients. Let them cook for another 10 minutes.
Add vegetables and all-purpose flour. Mix all the ingredients and fry them a little to intensify their taste. This will take us another 5 minutes.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and the vegetable broth. Mix everything well and cover with a lid. Let everything cook for another 30 minutes.
In the meantime, return to the potatoes and check if they are cooked. When they are ready, remove the water from the pan and add the butter over the potatoes.
Grind the potatoes well and adjust the salt to your taste. If you prefer a softer consistency, add a little milk over the potatoes until you get the desired consistency.
Mix everything well and our easy and delicious puree is ready to be served.
Serve the meat sauce over the puree. For extra freshness, on the plate, add over some fresh aromatic herbs. I used chopped parsley.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to let the dish cool to room temperature before refrigerating.
Freezer (for future use)
If you want to prepare the mince and tatties in advance or have extra portions, you can freeze them.
Follow these steps:
- Allow the dish to cool completely.
- Portion it into individual serving sizes or in a larger container if preferred.
- Seal the container(s) tightly with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Label the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
- Store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
For reheating single servings, the microwave is a quick option:
- Place the desired portion on a microwave-safe plate.
- Cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.
- Reheat on medium power (50-70% power) for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
- Check the temperature to ensure it’s hot throughout before serving.
If you’re reheating a larger portion or prefer stovetop reheating:
- Transfer the mince and tatties to a saucepan or skillet.
- Add a splash of water or broth to prevent sticking and help with the reheating process.
- Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated. This may take 10-15 minutes, depending on the quantity.
- Adjust the heat as needed to avoid scorching.
Oven (for frozen portions):
If you’re reheating from frozen:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Place the frozen portion in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the dish is heated through.
- Check the center to ensure it’s piping hot before serving.
Slow Cooker (for frozen portions):
Another option for reheating from frozen is to use a slow cooker:
- Place the frozen portion in the slow cooker.
- Add a small amount of liquid (broth or water) to prevent sticking.
- Set the slow cooker to low heat and let it slowly thaw and heat for 4-6 hours, stirring occasionally.
🍽️ What You Can Do With Leftovers?
Mince and Tatties Lasagna
- Take leftover mince and tatties and transform them into a Scottish-Italian fusion masterpiece.
- Layer the mince between sheets of lasagna pasta with a creamy béchamel sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake until golden and bubbling. The flavors will meld together beautifully, creating a unique lasagna experience.
- Roast some bell peppers until they’re tender and slightly charred.
- Fill each pepper with your leftover mince and tatties mixture.
- Top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese and bake until the cheese is melty and golden.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil for that Italian touch.
Mince and Tatties Calzone
- Roll out some pizza dough and cut it into circles or rectangles.
- Spoon a generous portion of your mince and tatties onto one half of each piece.
- Fold the dough over to create a half-moon shape and crimp the edges to seal.
- Bake until the calzones are golden and crispy.
- Dip them in marinara sauce for a delightful fusion snack.
Mince-Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- Scoop out the flesh from baked potatoes, leaving a sturdy shell.
- Mix the potato flesh with the leftover mince, some grated cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
- Stuff the mixture back into the potato skins and bake until the tops are golden.
- Garnish with chives and a drizzle of truffle oil for that gourmet touch.
Mince and Tatties Arancini
- Roll small portions of the leftover mince and tatties into bite-sized balls.
- Dip them in beaten egg, coat with breadcrumbs, and deep fry until they’re golden and crispy.
- Serve with a zesty marinara sauce for dipping – a perfect Italian-inspired appetizer.
Mince and Tatties Pizza
- Spread a thin layer of mashed potatoes over your pizza dough as the “sauce.”
- Top with your leftover mince, some caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of Scottish cheddar or Italian mozzarella cheese.
- Bake until the crust is crispy and the cheese is bubbly.
Mince and Tatties Ravioli
- Make your own ravioli or use store-bought fresh pasta sheets.
- Fill each ravioli with a spoonful of the mince and tatties mixture.
- Cook until they float to the surface, and serve with a brown butter sage sauce for an indulgent dish.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
- Begin your Traditional Scottish Mince and Tatties experience by savoring a glass of crisp Scottish ale, its malty undertones elegantly complementing the savory mince while the effervescence cleanses your palate between each sumptuous bite. To fully immerse yourself in Scottish flavors, embark on a whisky-tasting adventure featuring an array of single-malt Scotch whiskies, each offering a distinctive profile that harmonizes seamlessly with the dish.
- Balance the robust heartiness of the mince and tatties with a side salad bursting with garden-fresh goodness. Crisp lettuce, sweet cherry tomatoes, and refreshing cucumber, dressed in a zesty vinaigrette, provide a revitalizing contrast to the dish’s comforting flavors.
- For a nutritious touch, include roasted vegetables on your plate. Caramelized carrots, parsnips, and turnips add both nutritional value and depth of flavor to your meal, creating a satisfying medley of textures and tastes.
- Introduce a dollop of homemade cranberry sauce to the mince for a touch of sweetness and tartness, enlivening your dish with a vibrant burst of color and flavor.
- After the main course, indulge in a selection of Scottish cheeses, such as sharp cheddar or creamy Crowdie cheese. Accompany them with oatcakes, fresh fruits, and a drizzle of honey for an exquisite cheese platter that offers a delightful contrast to the hearty mince and tatties.
- Conclude your Scottish feast with a citrusy dessert, like a zesty lemon posset or orange-infused shortbread, providing a refreshing conclusion to your hearty meal. Alternatively, savor Scottish delights like Scotch tablet, a sugary, buttery confection, or traditional shortbread cookies, their sweet and crumbly textures creating a delightful counterpoint to the savory main course.
❓Answering Your Questions:
How Do You Cook Mince So It’s Tender?
If you have picked tougher meat, cook it on low heat for a longer period (2-3 hours). And add the vegetables half an hour before the meal is ready.
How to Make Mince and Tatties Quicker?
If you have decided to prepare the mince and tatties but you’re limited on time, I have a few tricks for you that will allow preparing this recipe quicker. For the meat, pick tender meat. Which will allow us to cook it faster. If you want the puree to be prepared more quickly, cut the potatoes into smaller cubes. This will make the potatoes boil faster.
How to Cook Mince and Tatties Without Potatoes?
A perfect alternative to mashed potatoes for this recipe is to use dumplings instead.
What Herbs to Add for an Extra Flavor?
To add extra freshness to the plate, over the final dish, I decided to add a little fresh chopped parsley. Dill and coriander would fit just as well.
How to Thicken Mince and Tatties?
To control the thickness of the meal, I used all-purpose flour, but you could also use corn or potato starch. For an even healthier option, use oatmeal.
📋 Recipe Card:
Traditional Scottish Mince and Tatties
- 1 lb Potato
- 1 Onion Diced or minced.
- 1 lb Beef Minced. Ideally to use meat that has 12-15% fat.
- ½ cup Frozen Green Peas
- 2 Carrot medium
- 1 stick Celery Diced.
- 1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 cup Broth
- 7 tablespoons Butter
- Milk To taste
- Salt To taste
- Black Pepper To taste
- Garlic optionally
- Put the potatoes to boil.1 lb Potato
- Cook the onions for 2 minutes.1 Onion
- Add the meat and cook it for about 10 minutes.1 lb Beef
- Add the flour (or starch) and vegetables you have decided to use. Fry them for about 5 minutes.½ cup Frozen Green Peas, 1 stick Celery, 1 tablespoon All-purpose Flour, Garlic, 2 Carrot
- Add the worcestershire sauce and broth into the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer them on low heat for about 30 minutes.1 cup Broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Grind the puree with butter and adjust to taste with salt and milk.Milk, Salt, Black Pepper, 7 tablespoons Butter
- Serve the meat gravy next to the puree and optionally pour over the freshly chopped parsley.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Use quality minced beef: It’s important to use high-quality minced beef for this recipe. Look for beef that has a good amount of fat content, as this will help keep the meat juicy and tender.
- Slow-cook the mince: The key to a delicious mince is to let it cook slowly and gently. This will allow the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender. If you’re short on time, you can use a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process.
- Add butter and milk to the mash: The secret to making the perfect Tatties is to add plenty of butter and milk to the potatoes. This will create a rich and indulgent mash that pairs perfectly with the savory mince.