Oo is for – Old Scottish Recipes

Here I am, a South Ozzie girl, with the Highlands of Scotland pulsating through my veins. It’s always a delight to learn anything, at all, about my Scottish Ancestors and this “Family History Through the Alphabet” post is focussing on Scottish recipes from the year 1828. I have no idea whether any of my Ancestors actually cooked and/ or ate these foods, but they fascinate me, non-the-less.


Skin the birds; cut out the back bones season them with pepper and salt. Lay a beef-steak in the bottom of the dish, and put a good deal of thickened melted butter over the birds. Cover with a common crust. A quarter of an hour will bake them.

Mince good beef-suet, but not too finely, and mix it with about a third of its own weight of nicely toasted oatmeal. Season very highly with pepper salt and finely-shred onions. Have the skins thoroughly cleaned, and cut of equal lengths. Fill them with the ingredients, and fasten the ends with a wooden pin or small feather. Boil the puddings for an hour picking them up as they swell in the pot, to let out the air. They will keep for months in bran or oatmeal. When to be used, warm them on the gridiron, and serve very hot.

Mince apples and grate biscuit; take an equal weight to those of minced mutton suet. Sweeten this with sugar and season with cinnamon and grated nutmeg. Moisten the whole with wine, or any well flavoured liquor and fill the skins, but not too full as the bread swells. Boil and serve hot.
Observations – These will keep for a week or ten days, and re-warm. Another kind is made of rice boiled in milk, with suet, currants, sugar and seasonings. The suet in these puddings should not be shred too small, nor left yet in lumps.

Mince a pound and a half of good mutton, and four ounces of mutton suet. Stew this in broth or with butter, and add greenpease, young onions and a little shred of lettuce. Season with salt, cayenhe, and white pepper. Heap rice round a shallow soup-dish, and serve stew in the middle.
Observations. – Veal or fowl may be dressed as above. A little currie-powder may be added to the seasoning.

This dish may be made of either fresh beef, or of a neck or back-ribs of mutton. Cut four pounds of meat into handsome pieces. Boil and skim this well, and add carrots and turnips sliced small leeks and parsley cut down, and some German greens finely shred, and put in only before the soup is completed. Season with pepper and salt. The quantity of vegetables must be suited to the quantity of meat so that the soup may have consistency but not be disagreeably thick. Serve the meat and soup together.

Fruit pies require a light and rich crust. Fruits that have been preserved are generally baked in an open crust, and are ornamented with paste bars, basket-work, stars &c. The fruit must not be put in till the crust is baked, as the oven injures the colour of preserved things. 
Rhubarb Pie. – Peel off the skin from stalks of young rhubarb, and cut them into bits of about an inch and a half. Stew them slowly in sugar and water till soft, mash and make them into a covered pie or an open tart.
Observations. – Fresh good cream is a very great improvement to all fruit pies and tarts. The next best thing is plain custard. In England the cream is often sweetened, thickened with with beat yolks of eggs and poured over the fruit. In Scotland cream for tart is usually served by itself, either plain or whisked.


RESOURCE:  The cook and housewife manual. SCOTLANDS PRIMARY COOKBOOK. Miscellaneous National Dishes. (1828) by Magaret Dodds. http://www.books.google.com.au

Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. “Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family.

18 thoughts on “Oo is for – Old Scottish Recipes

    • ha ha ha … Chris. What would you choose to put on that yummy fruit pie? … “Fresh good cream”… “Plain Custard” or the English practice of sweetening and thickening the cream with beaten egg yolks??? … Just too many choices, eh? 🙂

      • Dad always solved this problem simply…when asked Custard, cream or ice cream,, he simply said “Yes please!”. One of the family’s famous memories of him.

    • How wonderful that you actually knew someone who cooked with Suet, Pauleen. I had to use it in making “flaky pastry” in my School Cookery class, late 1950’s. Just knowing it was the fat wrapped around kidneys made me chuck & chunder…

  1. What a great find in the Scottish cookery book, but Rook Pie!!! Sounds horrible to prepare and horrible to eat. The only dish that remotely appeals was the rhubarb tart.

    • Yeah… brilliant, eh Susan? … Also have located some very very old Welsh recipes. Absolutely fascinating to me. Am wondering if the taste of “Rook” differs very much from “Quail”? … probably does.
      I was pleased to see the recipe for “Scotch White Pudding” cos my Cockney Grandpa LOVED “White Pudding” and me, the child, wondered what it was. Grandpa also loved “offal” of various kinds… and I’ll never forget coming home from school one day and finding half a pig’s head grinning at me from the interior of our fridge. ooohhheee…

  2. The fruit pies sounds lovely, but the rest .. ummm …. well … I’ll leave that to our Scottish ancestors. It’s a great post, as being in a cookbook, it probably was something that was reasonably common – or at least, not unusual. So reading the recipes gives a little insight into what people ate in Scotland around that time,

    • Yep, your’e right Alona re: what people were eating in Scotland around that time… however, I’m not real sure that my Ancestors, given what I’ve learnt about them so far, actually ate these foods… but clearly some Scottish people did 🙂 … Colour me weird but I LUV stews and thick/ tasty soup so the “Winter Hotch Potch” is not too far out of the “ball park” for me 😀

  3. fascinating to see how times change….in cooking –something we do every day….and to know most of us would have to look up half the terms in an older recipe (like these)….”Suet” for example….Thank You for sharing 😀

    • Thanks for dropping by and so pleased you enjoyed this post… I LUV reading old recipes, old household hints, etc… Learning about the daily activities of my Ancestors helps me understand where I’ve come from and understand myself that little bit better. Delighted to know that my “discoveries” are also interesting to others. Thanks again 🙂

  4. I’m happy to see I’m not the only one who would eat the fruit pies (plain, thick cream please) and give the rest a pass. “They will keep for months in bran or oatmeal” What does that mean?? You stick the sausage in a barrel and cover with oatmeal, unrefridgerated or ice-boxed I’m thinking. Yikes??

    • Oh yes Kristen THICK cream is yum… I also delight in a very tasty Custard 🙂 The rhubarb pie tickles my tastebuds but I’d like to include apples and maybe a few spices… but how fascinating is that “China Chilo”, with it’s Cayene pepper and chillie powder and served with rice, eh? Clearly I need to do more research to understand the effects of “the Spice Trade” and the “British Raj”, in India, on the culinary habits of the Scots. My questions NEVER end 😀

      • A good custard is fine but I’ve never had it on pie. I looked at the hotch potch again after seeing your comments and it does not sound bad at all. No suet added, just a stew. I do like mince meat pie but have never had a made from scratch homemade one so I’m not sure the canned variety actual use suet.

  5. Wow, this is a really old “receipt” book. It’s interesting how they used the word receipt rather than recipe back then. What we eat sure has changed over the years.

    • Indeedie Sheryl … have always wondered why “recipes” were previously referred to as “receipts” ? … So love learning about the changes in language, food tastes, etc which are prompted by my obsession with researching my personal family history 🙂

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