Old Scottish Recipes – Savoury

[Recipes Contents]

If anyone is brave enough to try any of these recipes out, gies a wee shout either in the comments to let us know how it went, or contact me via the Contacts Page to send any pictures or videos of your attemps or results. We’d be really interested to see if anyone takes the notion off the back of a recipe they feel might be interesting to make.


Bran Stock 

Put a large handful of bran into a quart of water, boil, and then leave to simmer till the quantity is reduced to half. This will furnish an excellent and most nutritious stock, which may be used in many ways. It will do excellently for the ‘thickening’ of meat soup. It will make very good soup of itself, if onions, salt and pepper, with a few vegetables, are mixed in it. It will be very nice sweetened with treacle or honey. Indeed, for hoarseness, soreness of chest, and colds, nothing is better than bran tea sweetened with honey, and taken hot in bed. 

A Food for Delicate Stomachs 

Melt about two ounces of lard, dripping, or ‘rendered fat,’ and when liquid, rub it into about twice as much oatmeal, so as to make a paste. While you are doing this, boil four or five quarts of bran stock or barley broth, into which some three or four onions have been sliced. Add a little of the hot stock to the paste to thin it – this should be done at first only a spoonful at a time – and when thinned, put it into your boiler, add pepper, salt, a little spice if you have it, and any leaving of food you happen to have, whether bread, meat, or vegetables. In an hour you will have a good thick soup, with no grease, fragrant, and fit for the most delicate appetite. 

Kidney Soup 

Take three pints of well-flavoured white stock, slice finely one or two gherkins, have ready half-dozen small button mushrooms previously cooked in a little lemon juice. Slice a small onion, and put it into a saucepan with a little butter, let it just take colour, add to it a veal kidney cut in small dice, season with pepper and salt, and toss together for a few minutes, but do not overcook the kidney, drain them from the butter, and put them into the soup tureen with the gherkins and the mushroom. Make the soup hot, and add to it, off the fire, the yolks of two eggs and a little milk or cream; pour it over the kidney, &c., add a dash of cayenne, and serve very hot. 

White Soup 

Remove the flesh from the remnants of a couple of roast or boiled fowls, taking care to exclude all the skin; add half the quantity of breadcrumbs soaked in stock free from grease, and pound thoroughly in a mortar; season with pepper and salt, and a little nutmeg. Pass through a hair sieve. Add as much stock as you want soup, warm it without letting it boil, and stir into it off the fire a couple of yolks of eggs strained and beaten up with half a cup of cream. Serve with dice of bread fried in butter or with peas, or carrots cut in the shape of peas, both previously boiled. 

Lettuce Soup 

Three lettuces, one and a half quarts of stock, two yolks of eggs, half a pint of milk, one dessert-spoonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of pepper. Warm the stock and remove from it with a sheet of kitchen paper all the grease. Wash the lettuces well and cut from them the outer leaves, cut the centre leaves into very thin shreds and add them to the stock. Add the salt and pepper, and boil gently for half an hour. Beat well in a basin the yolks of egg and milk, and add to them a little of the stock from the saucepan, then pour together and stir over the fire till the yolks of egg begin to thicken, then serve at once. 

White Oyster Soup 

Take four toast-biscuits, roll them fine, mix with a pint of water; add a pint of milk, and ounce of butter, pepper and salt to taste, and bring to the boil; then add a dozen oysters and serve. 

Veal’s Head Soup 

Take the brains out. Put the head on in plenty of water. Boil until perfectly done. Take out the meat and chop very fine. Then add the water in which the head was boiled. Add the following seasoning: One tablespoon of ground mustard, one teaspoonful of spice, a little cinnamon, cloves and spice, salt, of course; one glass sherry wine, one cup of tomato ketchup, the same of walnut ketchup, a small quantity of thyme and sage. Boil until done. Beat the brains with two eggs. Make it into small cakes and fry in hot butter and drop them in the soup after it is taken off the fire. The thick part of the soup is very nice baked. Add one onion to the soup. 


Onion Stew 

To two quarts of bran stock, add eight onions cut small, three ounces of lard, fat, or butter, salt and pepper. Nothing else is necessary, but if you have any bits of potato, cabbages, or other vegetable, a pinch or two of thyme, mint, or other sweet herb, some waste pieces of bread, so much the better; your stew will be richer and more delicious for the addition. This really excellent stew would be still further improved, if, when the onions, potatoes, and bread were soft, they were brayed fine, or mashed into a pulp. 

Potato Pie 

Make a thin pie crust in the usual way, and line with it a basin or deep pie dish. Fill to the top with finely shredded potatoes, among which mix an onion or two sliced very thin, pepper and salt, and a little butter, dripping, or lard. Pour over all as much good milk or cream as the dish or basin will hold. Either cover with a crust or not, according to option, and bake in a slow oven. 

Curried Potatoes 

Fry some onion in very thin slices in dripping. Cut up some boiled potatoes and fry with the onion, dredge them with curry powder, add a little gravy, salt, and a little lemon juice, if you have it. Allow all to stew fifteen minutes and serve. This is a very cheap dish, and also a very savoury one. 

Hominy with Cheese 

Put 1 teacupful of hominy in a basin, and pour over it 2 teacupfuls of boiling water. Let stand all night. Put the soaked hominy in a basin or jar with 1 pint of milk; stir all together. Put a piece of greased paper over the mouth of the basin or jar. Place the basin or jar in a saucepan containing a little boiling water, or place the jar in a steamer. Cover the sauce close, and cook for an hour and a half. The hominy will then have absorbed all the liquid. Put into a small saucepan 1 teacupful of milk, 3 oz. of grated cheese, ½ teaspoonful of made mustard, pepper and salt to taste. Stir till all boils up; then mix it with the hominy. When well mixed, turn out on a flat dish or tin, smooth the top. Put into a very hot oven for a few minutes to brown the surface, or brown before the fire. N.B. – Skim or cold milk is the kind intended for the use in following out the above recipe. 

Baked Tomatoes 

Time, nearly one hour. Five or six tomatoes, a saltspoonful of salt, half as much of pepper, a piece of butter the size of a nutmeg. Wash five or six smooth tomatoes, cut a small piece from the stem end, and put a little salt, pepper, and a piece of butter the size of a nutmeg in each; place them in a dish, and bake them in a moderate oven for nearly an hour. Serve them up hot. 


Wash it well through several waters, as it is apt to be gritty. Put it into a pot without any water; let it cook slowly until it is very soft. Then drain and mash it with a piece of butter, pepper and salt to taste. Put it in a vegetable dish, and strew over the top eggs which have been boiled hard and finely chopped, or poached eggs. 

Lentil Croustades 

Wash half a pint of lentils. Put them in a saucepan with a quart of boiling salted water, and one large, sliced onion. Boil till quite soft. The drain off all the water. Rub the lentils and onion through a wire or hair sieve. Mix well into the hot lentil pulp one and a half ounces of butter, two teaspoonfuls of chopped parsley, one hard-boiled egg chopped rather coarsely, and season well with salt and pepper. Have ready some croustades of potato. Fill them in with the lentils. Sprinkle over each some finely chopped capers. Arrange on a lace paper garnished with fried parsley. Take care these are served very hot. 

Lentil Rissoles 

Ingredients: Lentils, two teacupfuls; rice, one teacupful; one small onion, one carrot. Wash lentils and rice, chop onion, scrape and cut carrot small, put all together in a stewpan, cover with water, and cook gently one hour, adding more water as required, stirring occasionally; the mixture must be stiff. When cooked, turn out to cool, then form into cutlets or rolls. Flour with wholemeal, thinly. Fry till brown. Eggs and breadcrumb are not necessary. 

Potato Rolls 

When mashed potato is left from the table, add one or two eggs, according to quantity; a little salt, pepper, butter, and flour; mix into small balls, and bake three-quarters of an hour on a buttered pan. These rolls make a cheap and nice breakfast relish. 



One pint of warm milk, a little salt, half a yeast cake, and flour for a not very stiff batter. When light add half a cup of melted butter; let it stand half an hour, and bake in muffin rings. This is a nice breakfast dish. 

Egg Savouries for Breakfast 

1. Egg cutlets: Boil three of four eggs for ten minutes, dip them in cold water for a moment or two, and strip off the shells. Cut off the ends of each egg and divide it into four slices, dip each piece in the well-beaten yolk of an egg, then in bread crumbs rather highly seasoned with pepper, salt, and a teaspoonful of very fine minced parsley. Fry in a boiling butter until brown, serve with a thickened gravy round them. 

2. Eggs in purgatory: Melt a little butter in an omelet pan, sprinkle salt upon it, and sprinkle into it as many eggs as may be required, fry for a few minutes, and be careful to turn up the edges to keep them from spreading. Sprinkle pepper over them, and send to table covered with tomato sauce. 


Gooseberry Sauce for Boiled Mackerel 

Boil half a pint of green gooseberries, and wash a little green sorrel; drain the berries from the water and rub them through a sieve; put the sorrel juice into a stewpan, allowing about a wineglassful of it to the pulp of the berries; add a teaspoonful of butter, half a saltspoonful of sugar, and a very little nutmeg; add enough hot water to make it thin enough, and serve in a tureen. 

Fried Oysters 

Beard some oysters, and wrap in a very thin slice of fat bacon; roll them up, dip them in batter, fry in plenty of boiling fat; then drain well, dust with pepper, and serve very hot, garnished with nicely-fried parsley. 

Conger Eel Pie 

Cut the eel into pieces, and dip each into a mixture of chopped herbs and flour. Put into a pie-dish. Place the bones of the fish in a saucepan with an onion and seasoning. Let it boil gently for an hour. Pour the stock over the eel in the pie dish, cover with a good crust, and bake for about forty minutes. 

Creamed Salt Codfish 

Creamed salt codfish is pronounced by the best medical authorities to be highly nutritious. It should be prepared as follows: Shred the fish, wash thoroughly, cover with cold water, and let it simmer for half an hour. Prepare a white sauce by stirring two tablespoonsfuls of sifted flour into one of boiling butter, and adding gradually a pint of boiling milk. Put the fish into this. When it comes to a boil it is ready to serve. 

Broiled Trout 

Take off the fins, cut the fish down the back close to the bone, and split the head in two – some cooks, after the fish have been cut open, rub a little salt over them. Let them lie three or four hours, and then hang them up in the kitchen. They will be ready to broil the next morning for breakfast. 

A Pretty Dish of White Fishballs 

To make white fishballs, chop fine one pound of uncooked halibut or any white fish. Wash the trimmings with a quart of water, a slice of onion, a bay leaf and four cloves. Simmer gently for half an hour. After the fish has been chopped, pound it in a mortar, or rub it in a bowl to a smooth paste; add a teaspoonful of salt, a teaspoonful of grated onion, a quarter of a teaspoonful of ginger, the same of mace and the same of curry. The add the unbeaten white of an egg, and form into balls about the size of walnuts. Strain the stock from the bits of fish, throw in the balls, allow them to simmer, not boil, for five minutes, and then take them out with a skimmer. Beat four eggs until quite light; add to them half a pint of fish stock, half a teaspoonful of salt, and stir over hot water until it has become a thick jellylike mass; add carefully the juice of two lemons, and then stir in a tablespoonful of butter, just a little at a time, and strain through a fine sieve. Dish the fishballs, pour the sauce over them, and stand aside until very cold. When ready to serve garnish with parsley and slices of lemon. 

Codfish and Eggs 

Soak some codfish, pick it to pieces, and to every teacupful add two well-beaten eggs; mix well together, and pepper if liked, drop from a spoon into boiling lard, and fry a nice brown on both sides. 

Matelotte of Eels 

Clean and skin the eels and cut them in pieces two inches long; wash and dry them. Melt two ounces of dripping in a stew-pan with two large onions sliced, a bunch of herbs, four peppercorns, and a blade of mace, and the pieces of eel; cover, and let all fry gently for fifteen minutes. Now pour in a gill of good stock or gravy and a gill and a half of claret, and cook gently for another twenty minutes. Take cut the fish, keep it hot, add an ounce of glaze to the liquor in the stew-pan, boil up, and strain it over the eel, which should be arranged in a pile on the dish. 

Carp a la Bacchus 

Put some thin slices of bacon at the bottom of a fish-kettle, and sprinkle over a chopped carrot, onion, and mushrooms. Lay a well-washed carp on this mixture, and pour enough beer into the fish-kettle to come half-way up the fish; cover with a sheet of greased paper. Cook in a moderate oven for about twenty minutes; turn fish over and cook for fifteen minutes longer. Take out the carp, lay it carefully on a dish and keep it hot. Strain the liquor and skim away the top from it; bring to the boil and thicken with breadcrumbs; run through a sieve, add pepper and salt, and pour the sauce over the carp. Garnish with button onions and mushrooms that have been cooked separately. 

Broiled Salt-Herring 

Salt-herrings are best broiled. Dip them quickly into hot water – do not allow them to remain a moment – the outside must simply be moistened. They may then be placed in the broiler, then over a hot fire about ten minutes, turning the broiler once. This is about the only way salt-herring can be served, unless you split them in the centre; then broil and serve with butter and lemon-juice. 

Steamed Sole 

Put a saucepan of boiling water on the fire. Lay over it a plate or saucer that fits closely. On this place a fillet of fresh sole rolled up, and a saucer or plate on the top. Keep the water boiling, and steam for twenty minutes. Serve with a little nice white sauce. 


To Prepare a Fowl 

For boiling put the legs under the wing and “shut” them, that means, bend upwards, and tuck into the belly. For roasting leave the legs out, and skewer them down. In drawing poultry be careful not to break the gall bag, for no washing will take away the bitterness of the gall where it has touched. 

Stewed Chicken 

Truss a young chicken and stuff it with fine bread-crumbs, a little butter, a slice of white onion, flavoured with a little pepper and sweet herbs. Press down the breast-bone and put a skewer through the wings into which place the liver and gizzard, and tie the whole together. Place the chicken in a flat enamelled stewpan, with a pint and a half of water, a tablespoon of butter, a little clarified dripping, an onion – cutting two incisions on the top – and a little bag of spice. Turn the fowl breast downwards, and let it simmer for an hour. Now remove the spice, and add two tablespoonfuls of vermicelli and one of tomato-sauce. Stew for half an hour, and, just before serving, add the yolk of an egg whipped with a glassful of white wine, stirred into the pot and then poured over the chicken, which must be served hot. Turkey done in this way is delicious. 


Pork and Potato Pie 

Put into a deep dish some pork bones, from which the meat has been removed for sausages or other use. Amidst these bones put slices of apple and potatoes, with chopped onions, salt, and pepper. Add a little water, cover with crust and bake slowly. 

To Jug Beef Steak 

Cut a piece of beefsteak in nice square pieces, roll them round your finger; take a deep stone jar, pile the rolls one above another, add two whole onions, one glass of port wine, pepper and salt to taste, a few peppercorns, but no water; cover close, put the jar in boiling water, and steam till tender. This dish resembles jugged hare. 

Fillet of Beef with Tomatoes 

Take a nice fillet of beef from the under part of a sirloin, tie it up in a roll, and put it to soak for half an hour in two tablespoons of oil, two ounces of vinegar, with herbs, carrots, and turnips sliced into it. Then wrap the fillet in well-greased paper, and roast, being careful to baste it with the oil, vinegar, etc. Remove the paper and brown the fillet before serving. Take four large tomatoes, cut in halves, bake for ten minutes, and serve round the fillet. 

An Excellent Way of Cooking Stewed Steak 

Take one and a half pound steak, about half an inch thick, and cut it into pieces of a convenient size for serving – say, two or three inches square – removing all traces of fat. Put it into a jar; add two teaspoonfuls of water and one of mushroom ketchup; cover the jar, put it into a saucepan of water, and let the water in the saucepan boil for one hour. This is an excellent way of cooking stewed steak, and it has the great advantage of requiring no attention. The steak, being in the jar never gets hotter than a simmering temperature, and cannot therefore be spoiled by boiling. It may be garnished with different vegetables – carrots, cauliflowers, green peas, &c. – or differently flavoured by the addition of olives, &c. 

Veal Stew 

Take all the meat off a knuckle of veal, and put the bones on to boil with three pints of cold water. Let it stew till the broth measures about a pint and a half. Strain off the bones and then add to the broth the meat cut in meat pieces, season and add mace, and a little allspice, forcemeat balls, onions, a carrot, and a little celery. Cover the saucepan and allow it to simmer for an hour. Dish up the meat, thicken the gravy, add a little milk poured over the whole and serve. If the vegetables are chopped finely it is a nicer dish. 

Stewed Tripe 

Peel and slice thin two large onions. Melt a tablespoonful of dripping into a frying-pan, add the onions, and fry them slowly, till slightly coloured; if allowed to get black in colour, they will render the sauce bitter in taste. While the onions are frying, smooth up in a basin a tablespoonful of flour in two tablespoonfuls of cold water; add a breakfastcupful of the water in which the tripe was boiled. Put it into a small saucepan, stir till it boils, pour it over the pieces of cooked tripe; add now the onions, salt and pepper, and a tablespoonful of ketchup if you have it. Cover close, and stew gently for half an hour, by which time the onions will be quite tender. Dish the whole up together, and serve up with whole potatoes, mashed haricots, or boiled rice in a separate dish. Tripe may be dressed in several other ways. 

Bullock’s Heart Stuffed 

Boil four onions in water in which a little carbonate of soda has been dissolved; take out and chop fine. Put twelve sage leaves in boiling water, pour the water off, and add 8 oz. breadcrumbs and seasonings to the onions. Stir over the fire for a few minutes, then add one egg, and stuff the heart. Put the heart in a tin with plenty of dripping, and bake for two hours, basting constantly. 

Stewed Beefsteak 

Take 2 lb. steak, cut thick; brown on both sides in fat, and cover with broth. Add fried 2 oz. bacon, a bay leaf, and a sprig of thyme; pour on a glassful claret; simmer gently for two hours; strain if necessary, and thicken the sauce. 

Curried Kidneys 

Three good-sized kidneys, cut, skinned, and stewed in broth, to which an onion should be added. Boil gently for an hour, then thicken with a teaspoonful of flour, mix carefully with a little water, and add a teaspoonful or more of curry powder and a teaspoonful of butter; pepper and salt to taste. Line the dish with hot, well-boiled rice and serve hot. 

Swedish Jelly 

Cover a knuckle of veal with water; let it boil slowly with one onion, one carrot, one small head of celery, until the meat is ready to drop from the bone; add one teaspoonful of salt and one saltspoonful of black pepper. Mince the meat very fine and return it to the liquor, which must first be strained; let it boil up once, and pour it into a mould. A large knuckle requires two quarts of water, a small one three pints. Wine and lemon-juice improve it. 

Liver Pudding 

Stew slowly a pound of liver cut into pieces suitable for the pudding in a small quantity of water for one hour and a half. Then season it with pepper, salt, and chopped parsley, and either some pieces of bacon, fat, or suet. Make a plain dripping crust and line a quart basin, flour the liver and fat, pour in the gravy, scatter over a few pieces of onion, cover with crust, tie a cloth over, and boil for two hours. This served with boiled potatoes and greens, will make a very savoury meal for a small sum. 


Thin slices of cooked or uncooked veal should be soaked for an hour in four tablespoonfuls of vinegar and one of oil, in which a sliced onion, a little thyme and pepper and salt are mixed. Drain the meat, dip in batter, and fry brown and crisp. The best garnish is tomato-sauce. 

Mock Venison 

Bone and skin a loin of mutton; stew the bones with two anchovies, one or two onions, a bunch of sweet herbs, some white pepper, mace, a crust of bread, and a carrot; strain it off, and put it in a stewpan, with the fat side of the mutton downwards; then add half a pint of port wine, and let it stew till tender; brown it in the dripping-pan, and serve it in the sauce. 

Dry Curry 

Half a pound of lean (leg) mutton or rump steak chopped small, quarter of a pound of lean ham or bacon cut small, one onion and one chilli, also cut small, one tablespoonful of curry powder [available from 1817], three hard-boiled eggs chopped small, one tablespoonful of fine breadcrumbs, and a quarter of a pint of cocoanut milk [imported into Glasgow from the 18th century colonies]. First cook the onion in butter in the stewpan to be used for taking the curry in; then add the mutton, ham, chilli, curry powder, and milk; cook these until quite dry. When ready to serve, add the breadcrumbs and chopped hard-boiled eggs, and serve finally with sambol instead of lemon. 

Egg and Ham Patties 

Cut a slice of bread two inches thick, from the most solid part of a stale quartern loaf; have ready a tin round cutter, two inches in diameter; cut out four or five pieces, then take a cutter two sizes smaller, press it nearly through the larger pieces, then remove with a small knife the bread from the inner circle; have ready a large stewpan full of boiling lard; fry them of a light brown colour, drain them dry with a clean cloth, and set them by till wanted. Then take half a pound of lean ham, mince it small, add to it a gill of good brown sauce. Stir it over the fire a few minutes, and put to it a small quantity of cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Fill the shapes with the mixture, and lay a poached egg upon each. 

Mutton Pie 

Cut mutton into pieces about two inches square, and half-an-inch thick; mix pepper, pounded allspice, and salt together; dip the pieces in this. Sprinkle stale bread-crumbs at the bottom of the dish; lay in the pieces, strewing the crumbs over each layer; put a piece of butter the size of a hen’s egg at the top; add a wineglassful of water, and cover in, and bake in a moderate oven rather better than an hour. Take an onion chopped fine, a faggot of herbs, half an anchovy, and add to it a little beef stock or gravy; simmer for a quarter of an hour; raise the crust at one end, and pour in the liquor – not the thick part. 

Stewed Rabbit 

Cut a large rabbit into small joints; put it into a stewpan; add 2 large onions sliced, 6 cloves, and one teaspoonful of chopped lemon peel. Cover with water, and when the rabbit is nearly done, drop in a few forcemeat balls, to which has been added the liver finely chopped. thicken the gravy with flour and butter, add a large tablespoonful of mushroom ketchup, give one boil up, and serve. 

Pig’s Liver 

Slice the liver and lights of a pig, and wash very clean. parboil some potatoes, mince a large bunch of parsley and two sage leaves, and chop two onions rather small. Put the meat, potatoes and six or seven slices of bacon, in a deep tin dish in alternate layers, with a sprinkling of the herbs, and a seasoning of salt and pepper between each. Pour on a little water or broth, and bake for two hours. 

Hare Saute 

Cut up a young hare and fry it brown. Put it into a stewpan, add salt, pepper, chopped parsley, a little tarragon, and mushrooms. Dust in a little flour; moisten with a glass of broth and one of white wine. Let it simmer, and, on serving, squeeze over it a little lemon-juice. 

Stewed Beef and Celery Sauce 

Cut three roots of celery into two inch pieces; put them in a stew-pan with some strong stock, and two onions sliced. Simmer gently till the celery is tender, then add about two pounds of cold roast or boiled beef, cut in thick pieces. Stew gently for ten minutes, and serve with fried potatoes. 

Braised Tongue 

Boil a well-soaked dry tongue for two and a-half hours, with a few vegetables, herbs and spice; then skin it, strew it thickly with breadcrumbs (after it has been brushed over with beaten egg), and either bake or roast it for half-an-hour, basting it well, and browning it carefully. Serve with a rich brown sauce, flavoured with port wine and cayenne. Equally good hot or cold. 

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