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Traditional Scottish recipe: Hairst Bree (Hotch Potch)

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

Published: August 27, 2015
Categories: ,

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.

Modern Scottish recipe: Roast salmon with wilted spinach and Old Pulteney whisky cream reduction

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.

Drink recipe: Cadbury Creme Egg Frappuccino



  • 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
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