Recipes: Jak O'donnell shows why whisky is the perfect accompaniment to any meal

Award-winning Scottish chef Jacqueline O’Donnell has teamed up with Tomatin Distillery to create three excellent whisky and food pairings to show how well a dram can go with some excellent Scottish dishes. 

Published 29th Sep 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The Great British Menu star Jacqueline O’Donnell urges customers to swap wine for whisky as the perfect accompaniment to any meal and shows how by pairing these three recipes with drams from Tomatin distillery.

Jak O'donnell with Tomatin distillery manager Graham Eunson. Picture: Tomatin
Jak O'donnell with Tomatin distillery manager Graham Eunson. Picture: Tomatin

Jacqueline explains: ‘The complexity of our national drink means that often it can unlock more flavours than wine when paired with the right food from our natural Scotch larder. Great food and whisky have always been a perfect combination and the light, fruity characteristics of Tomatin lend well to pairings.

"As Scotland’s main export, we wanted to showcase the diversity of the spirit alongside a medley of local produce to offer a mouth-watering and authentic experience for our guests."

The Starter

Cured Scottish trout in 12 year old Tomatin served in a refreshing salad of crispy native apple & ginger paired with the 12 year old Tomatin

Jak said: "With the fresh taste of crisp apple & spiced ginger as the base for the salad also bringing the ginger through the with the warmth of the smooth 12yr old Tomatin the sweetness of the crispness of apple blended well with 12yrs malt to cure the fresh rainbow trout still having enough balance to taste all aspects of the trout, whisky & the apples."


• 4 x 120gr Trout fillets pin boned & skinned
• 2 cox pippin or Braeburn apples
• 2” knob of fresh ginger grated
• 1 box of watercress
• 1 x 25ml Tomatin 12yr old malt
• 1tbsp Summer harvest rapeseed oil


1. Mix 25ml of ginger juice with 25ml malt & set aside

2. Cut apples with skin on into julienne

Isle of Tiree Distillery to release first single malt whisky

3. Toss apples & watercress in remaining ginger juice with rapeseed oil

4. Season very slightly with sea salt

5. 10 minutes before serving pour ginger/malt mix over trout fillets

6. Serve salad mix in bowl and lay cured fillet over the top

The Main

5 spice Scotch lamb rump with spiced toasted hazelnut on Asian greens and a glazed sauce with a dram of cask strength

Black Friday deals: 12 whiskies under £100 to buy this November - including Lagavulin and Aberlour

Jak said: "The powerful nose behind the Cask works exceptionally well with the sweetness of the finish with the depth of New season Scotch lamb again with a subtle warmth in the spice of the hazelnut crust."


Hazelnut Dukkah

• 400gr chopped skinned roasted hazelnuts
• 300gr sesame seeds toasted
• 6tbs coriander seeds
• 4tbsp garlic powder
• 6 tbsp cumin seeds
• 4 tbsp cracked pepper
• 3tbsp hebridean sea salt

The Lamb

Christmas 2023: 10 whiskies for under £60

• Scotch Lamb rump 4 x 200gr individual portions
• 4tbsp Summer harvest rapeseed oil
• 250gr A selection of Scottish greens & vegetables
• 250gr local potatoes
• 1ltr lamb stock
• 25ml Tomatin Cask Strength


1. Ask butcher to prep 4 individual lamb rump portions

2. Mix 1tbsp of oil with 2 tbsp hazelnut dukkah and rub over lamb then seal in a pan place in oven (200c) for 20 mins

3. Half potatoes and place in the pan in the oven with the lamb for 10 mins

4. After 20 mins remove lamb from oven and leave on a tray to rest for 15 mins

5. Meanwhile cook the greens quickly in the lamb pan before making the sauce

6. Take lamb stock and pour into to lamb pan & reduce by 2/3

7. Season sauce to taste and add malt at the last minute before serving

To serve

Place potatoes on a plate along with the greens then add sliced rump over the top, spoon some gravy & sprinkle with more crust for some crunch.

The Dessert

Scotch raspberry and dark chocolate chilli tart with a clotted cream ice cream paired with 14 year old


Jak said: "With Honey & toffee as a finish on the 14yr Tomatin starting with a burst of red berries, The powerful chilli chocolate in the tart works with the sweetness, the clotted cream ice cream pulls the fruit & spice combination together then the zest of lime cuts through all the richness of the bitter chocolate."


• Pastry case
• 250g of plain flour
• 100g of icing sugar
• 35gr ground almonds
• 125g of unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
• 1 egg & 1 egg yolk
• Chocolate and chilli filling
• 400g of 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
• 350ml of double cream
• 3/4 tsp chilli flakes
• 150ml of milk
• 2 eggs, beaten


1. To begin the chocolate tart, prepare the pastry case. In a mixing bowl, crumb the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds and butter together

2. Add 2 eggs and blend together, handling as little as possible, until just mixed. Wrap in cling film and rest the pastry in the fridge for 1 hour

3. To begin the filling, heat the double cream and milk to the boil, then add the chilli flakes. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour

4. Grease and line your tart ring. Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Push the pastry into the corners evenly and then line with baking parchment before filling with baking beads. Blind bake at 190˚C/gas mark 5 until the pastry is lightly golden, around 10 minutes. Remove the baking beads and return to the oven in order to colour the base until the pastry is golden brown, around 10-15 minutes
5. After removing the pastry from the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze it with the remaining egg yolk. This will seal the case for the chocolate mixture

6. To make the chocolate mixture, place the chocolate in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Strain the infused chilli cream and bring back to the boil. Once boiled, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has fully melted. Slowly add the beaten eggs and mix well

7. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/gas mark 2. Pour the mix into the prepared pastry case and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake until the mix is just set, approximately 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool but do not refrigerate

8. Served with Clotted cream ice cream & Scottish raspberries with Honeycomb spikes

Copyright ©2023 National World Publishing Ltd
Cookie SettingsTerms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy
crosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram