Scottish food historian Fraser Wright revisits this wonderful traditional Scottish recipe for Hairst Bree (Hotch Potch).

  • 140
  • 2
  • Easy
Hotch potch is a wonderful example of how good simple Scottish fare can be. Hairst bree is old Scots for harvest broth and is the alternative title for this one pot meal, quite apt for a dish that celebrates all those sweet summer vegetables. The recipe below is based on one from The Cookery Book of Lady Clark of Tillypronie, first published in 1909. What makes this recipe special is the shredded lettuce, spring onions and mint added at the end, making it instantly summer and fragrant.

Ingredients

  • 800g lamb neck (cut in half) or another cheap cut of lamb on the bone will be just as good
  • 500g peas in the pod, podded
  • 1 sweetheart cabbage, shredded
  • whole bunch of spring onions (8-10 spring onions), sliced into small logs
  • 2 lettuce heads (little gem), shredded
  • 3 carrots, sliced fairly thinly (some old recipes suggest grating it)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • generous bunch of chopped soft herbs to garnish such as mint, chives, parsley
  • sea salt

Method

Hairst Bree (Hotch Potch)

Put the meat in a large pot and cover with cold water, add a generous helping of salt and two bay leaves.

Slowly bring to the boil and simmer for 1 – 2 hours.

You may need to top the water up if it gets far below the meat.

Occasionally remove the scum with a metal spoon.

Never let it boil so the scum doesn’t get a chance to boil back into the stock.

When the meat is soft remove it to a dish.

While it is cooling prepare the vegetables.

When the meat is cold enough to handle shred it into bitesize pieces, getting rid of any gristle.

It is easier to do this when the meat is still warm.

Put the tougher vegetables into the pot with the lamb broth (carrots, cabbage) and simmer for 20 minutes.

Now add the peas, lettuce and spring onions and cook for another 10 minutes.

Check for seasoning and finish with the chopped herbs.

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About The Author

Fraser Wright

Fraser is originally from Glasgow and lives in a wee flat in Edinburgh. He writes the food blog www.redbookrecipes.com and wants to put Scotland on the map as a place for good food.

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About The Author

Fraser Wright

Fraser is originally from Glasgow and lives in a wee flat in Edinburgh. He writes the food blog www.redbookrecipes.com and wants to put Scotland on the map as a place for good food.