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Scotch Broth

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 11 May 2012 at 11:28
When I was a kid, I tried a can of "Scotch Broth" from Campbell's once on a cold, snowy day, and absolutely loved it.

Here are three "vintage" (I hate that term) advertisements from Campbell's:







I only found it again once or twice after that first experience, and sales were eventually discontinued in the US. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen it anywhere in stores for over 20 years, but I still remember with perfect clarity how much I enjoyed it; it was one of those truly great "food memories" that we all carry around.

So imagine my joy when I found this really good-looking recipe, from Time/Life's Foods of the World - The Cooking of the British Isles, 1969:

Quote Scotch Broth

To Serve 6 to 8:

2 pounds lamb neck or shoulder with bones, cut into 6 pieces

2 quarts cold water
2 tablespoons barley
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely-chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely-chopped turnips
1/2 cup finely-chopped onions
1/2 cup finely-chopped leeks
1/2 cup finely-chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely-chopped parsley

Place the lamb in a heavy 4- to 5-quart casserole and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Add the barley, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and simmer partially covered for 1 hour. Add the carrots, turnips, onions, leeks and celery. partially cover again, and cook for 1 hour more.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate and pull or cut the meat away from the bones. Discard the bones, fat and gristle, and cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Return the meat to the soup and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes to heat it through. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2012 at 19:18
I've always enjoyed it from the can (it's sill available in Canada), but I think I'll have to try making it from scratch. I have a cast iron scotch bowl that I've been itching to use.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marissa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2012 at 10:28
This is on my list! I missed all the winter veggies, though, so I'll have to wait until the fall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 15:51
I made this last night. It's good, and it's nutritious but, IMO, there's really nothing there that makes me want to have it again.

It is the stereotypical bit of British food: edible but boring.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 15:55
Yikes!

Well, now i am definitely interested. I'll have to see if I can give it a go. I don't want to change the recipe, but at the same time I will challenge myself to see if I can get maximum flavor out of this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 October 2013 at 19:09
Shocked! How could lamb neck chops be bland? They are delicious.

After a careful read of the recipe, I would suggest soaking the barley overnight before use. I would also suggest using a clear stock instead of water, I usually use chicken stock with lamb stews.

Also, despite what the recipe says, the liquid should only just cover everything, so even if it says 2 quarts, don't add it all at once; just enough to cover your meat and veggies, then reserve the rest to top up as required as it cooks.

I am also remembering the old saying - "A stew boiled is a stew spoiled" - watch that it only ever simmers, not boils.

On another note - Hogget or Wether would be tastier than Lamb, just cook a couple of hours longer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 October 2013 at 20:15
I remember seeing that soup around as a kid. I don't think I ever tried it, though. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 January 2018 at 13:05
I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but lamb shanks are sold at the local butcher's shop - and, they are pretty darned inexpensive, around here. I picked up four of them last week and will make this at the first opportunity; which leaves some time to plan how I will do this!

When you strip away the improvisations, additions and other "extras" that Scotch Broth has acquired with changing times and tastes, there are definitely some essential ingredients that are quintessential and "necessary" (for lack of a better term) to the soup's identity. Onions, carrots, celery and barley are among these, and leeks are commonly found, as well. The meat of choice is, of course, mutton or lamb; while some cooks do make beef, chicken and even vegetarian versions, these are evidently not the norm, by any means. Other root vegetables, such as turnip, parsnip and "swede" (rutabaga)- or any combination of these - are commonly found, and I assume that celeriac would not be excluded.

In my research, I came across this blog entry from "The Farmersgirl Kitchen" -

https://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/2016/01/make-scotch-broth-like-a-scot/

I found it to be very informative for a couple of reasons. The first is that I learned that my FotW recipe is not too far off; there are a couple of differences, which will be discussed below, but they are minor. The second thing that I learned was that - like any "traditional" recipe - there is a lot of latitude where ingredients, methods and goals are concerned. I knew this already, of course, but one of my primary goals is to keep it traditional in the sense that it would be "recognizable" today, fifty years ago, seventy-five, or whenever. This blog entry, written within the last couple of years, pairs fairly well with the recipe that I started out with, which is almost 50 years old.

According to the Farmersgirl blog, traditional Scotch Broth can be as thick or thin as you like; this was very welcome news to me, as I prefer my soup to be thick. Other legumes, including lentils and split peas, are often used; in fact, a common product available in the UK is a bagged "Scotch Broth Mix" of dried legumes and barley. A typical mix includes 55% pearl barley, 18% yellow split peas, 9% green split peas, 9% blue peas and 9% red split lentils; to clarify, blue peas are the same peas used for green split peas, but whole and with the skin left on.

Probably the biggest surprise, for me, was that kale - one of the current "superfoods" that are all of the rage these days - is a very traditional ingredient of Scotch Broth. Again, it's one of those things that make perfect sense, but it was something that I hadn't thought of until I saw it in this recipe as well as one published by the BBC (which also included peas):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/scotchbroth_8116

Interestingly, the Farmersgirl Blog states that parsley can be used instead of the kale, which is exactly what the FotW recipe does.

Adding to the research, this article from The Glasgow Herald on 11 February 1926 describes a Scotch Broth that is not too far off from the FotW recipe above:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GJdAAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OqUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3967,5193338&dq=scotch+broth&hl=en

The article also seems to underscore the versatility and possible variations when making Scotch Broth.

For my first preparation, I will most likely stick close to the FotW recipe; the only thing that I might do differently is to follow Anne's suggestion above to use a stock or broth (perhaps vegetable, in this case), rather than water - or maybe I will build it from the ground-up, using the lamb shanks. I am not a fan of kale, so the parsley will be just fine for me; as for the other legumes, I am certainly not opposed to them, but since my goal is something close to the Scotch Broth I remember from my childhood, I will leave them out, for now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2018 at 13:54
Based on some reading, research and brainstorming with some great folks, my plan for this is coming together fairly well; I will share it here for anyone who might be interested.

My two primary goals, as stated above, are:

a) to keep this traditionally "Scottish," with no (or a bare minimum of) foreign or modern intrusion, and

b) to squeeze every particle of flavour that I can out of it, based on what would be available and/or practiced to the typical Scottish kitchen in days gone by.

To sum it up, I want a flavourful Scotch Broth that will be fit for a cottage in some remote corner of Scotland, or perhaps a lighthouse on the Orkney Islands. I want something that a young lad would enjoy after spending the morning building a snowman, or shoveling sidewalks in order to earn a little spending money - and I want that lad to savor and remember the experience when he is an older man sitting by a fire on a cold winter's evening.

Can it be done? I think so!

I am loath to claim that Wikipedia is a final authority on anything; however, I did pick up a few essential bits of information regarding Scottish foodways in general, which I will summarise here:

Quote Scotland's natural larder of game, dairy products, fish, fruit, and vegetables is the chief factor in traditional Scots cooking, with a high reliance on simplicity and a lack of spices from abroad, as these were historically rare and expensive....

In common with many mediaeval European neighbours, Scotland was a feudal state for a greater part of the second millennium. This put certain restrictions on what one was allowed to hunt, [and] therefore to eat. In the halls of the great men of the realm, one could expect venison, boar, various fowl and songbirds, expensive spices (pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc.), and the meats of domesticated species. From the journeyman down to the lowest cottar, meat was an expensive commodity, and would be consumed rarely. For the lower echelons of mediaeval Scots, it was the products of their animals rather than the beasts themselves which provided nourishment.... It would appear that the average meal would consist of a pottage of herbs and roots (and when available some meat or stock for flavouring), with bread and cheese when possible.

Before Sir Walter Raleigh's introduction of the potato to the British Isles, the Scots' main source of carbohydrate was bread made from oats or barley. Wheat was generally difficult to grow because of the damp climate. Food thrift was evident from the earliest times, with excavated middens displaying little evidence of anything but the toughest bones. All parts of an animal were used....

The availability of certain foodstuffs in Scotland, in common with the other parts of the United Kingdom, suffered during the 20th century. Rationing during the two World Wars...limited the diversity of food available to the public....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_cuisine


The primary lessons that I learned here are that:

a) Traditional Scottish food is from Scotland, with little or no influence from outside.

b) Traditional Scottish food is thrifty - it is simple, basic and down-to-earth. Some spices existed in Scotland, but beyond simple salt, they were not commonly available to most people; even pepper was a rare treat, to be used sparingly.

c) Traditional Scottish food comes from the land, primarily by way of grains, herbs, vegetables and livestock produce. Long ago, what little meat that was available was a bonus - to be utilised in every way possible - and this has remained much the same throughout the years.

d) Traditional Scottish food is minimalist, restrained, and limited by nature; yet nourishing, good-tasting and loved enough that a culture of the cuisine has persisted to this day.

For this to be the case, I am sure that love is a final, essential ingredient that will tie together the rest of the characteristics of Scottish cuisine. With that in mind, the primary rule for this project will be a fundamental truth that every grandmother knows: good soup takes preparation, time...and love! Preparation to take the necessary steps in order to make good food. Time to make it right and extract as much flavour as possible, given the limited resources. And love to bind it all together, to create something that wraps itself around you and take you back to the first, cold winter's day when you experienced Scotch Broth as a child.

I am going to quote a recent conversation with Brook here, because I agree with his words very much:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

Good soup is not the slap-dish, throw-some-leftovers-in-a-pot sort of thing usual to far too many Americans. Time is essential to prepare the vegetables...to make stock...to develop the layers of flavor. I’ve never understood how the same person who insists that stews have to simmer for hours can turn around and make a thin stew (which is, at base, all a soup is) in 15 minutes; it is a real puzzlement. Back in the day when wood- and coal-fired stoves were common, soups had depth of flavor because they stayed on the back of the stove, slowly simmering and developing richness, body, and flavor.


To that end, I have decided to part from the posted recipes a bit, at least as far as the procedure goes:

The night before, I will set my barley to soak, so that it will be more tender the next day. This has been suggested by almost every source I've consulted, and it was surely a standard practice. I do think that I will double the barley in the FotW recipe; 2 tablespoons seems like far too small an amount. For this first preparation, I will use barley only; however, the next time I make this, I will add the pulses. I might even see if I can get some "Scotch Broth Mix" via Amazon or some other online source; but if not, I should be able to put together a similar mix at a specialty/health store that sells individual grains and other ingredients.

Next I will prepare my mise en place, taking the time to cut the vegetables as nicely and as uniformly as I can. This will, ironically, be quite a challenge for me, but one well worth it, not only from a visual aspect, but also so that they can cook as evenly as possible.

I will then set the vegetables aside, covered and refrigerated, and move along to the next step, which will be to make a stock from the lamb shanks. Doing so is a universally traditional way of preparing soups, and I believe that the result will be a better Scotch Broth. It will also allow me to put into practice some of the thrift that is so common in Scottish foodways, as I can use components that might otherwise be discarded by someone with less incentive to make full use of available resources. The trimmings from the leeks, carrots, onion, turnip and celery - and perhaps even the parsley stems - can go right along into the stock pot, there to give up their vital flavour and nutrition.

To prepare the stock, I will start with the lamb shanks, using the procedure outlined here:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/making-better-meat-stock_topic4967.html

I will then add my aromatics, including the trimmings mentioned above from the preparation of the vegetables of the soup. A halved onion, some unpeeled carrot chunks, some chunks of celery and the green inedible part of leek will complete the ensemble.

I want to do a bit more research before I add much else, but there are some other possible candidates for the stock; thyme and a few peppercorns would surely find their way into this, but other ideas might be a bay leaf, rosemary, 2 or 3 nails of cloves and perhaps a few whole all-spice corns, to lift the stock. On a side note, the French name for "clove" is clou de girofle, where clou means "nail." Do the Scots traditionally use any of these ingredients? I do not know, but will see if I can find out. These herbs and spices would certainly have existed in Scotland, and may have even found their way to a lowly peasant household, where they were saved and used for a special or holiday meal.

Anyway, once all of this is introduced to the stock, I will add more water, if necessary, bring it just barely to a boil and skim again, if necessary, then reduce the heat to a mere simmer until the meat is done and offers no resistance to a knife.

This preparation of the stock sounds like a complicated process, but it is really very easy and in my mind is a natural beginning for nearly any soup or stew. I do not know for sure if the typical Scottish wife and mother had the time to do this; but then again, maybe she did, in a slightly-modified form. As Brook said, there was always something bubbling along at the hearth or the back of the stove.

Once the meat on the shanks is ready, I will remove them and allow them to cool. In the meantime, I will coax some flavour out of my aromatics; this is most likely not a traditional step, but it is indeed an ingrained habit that pays big dividends where flavour is concerned. I will start over medium-low heat with the onion in a little butter, immediately adding salt and pepper. I will then let the onions sweat for maybe 10 minutes; a good indicator that they are ready will be that the aroma wafting up from them will get sweeter. I do not want the onions to take on any colour, and will keep an eye on that. At this point, I will add the carrots, celery and - after a few minutes - the other root vegetables, letting them sweat also, for at least a good 10 minutes. Again, I want no colouring of these vegetables.

All this is designed to get a maximum of flavour in my Scotch Broth. When the vegetables are ready, I will introduce them to the warm stock and the barley, cooking gently until the barley is just done. While this is happening, I will remove the meat from the lamb shanks and cut it into bite-sized pieces. When the barley is ready, I will taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary, then add the pieces of lamb and let them warm in the broth until it is ready to serve.

By all indications, it looks like I'll probably be looking for a good bread to serve with this soup; after putting so much time and effort into this project, it seems almost mandatory. Taking a cue from the Wikipedia article above, I'll probably see if I can go with some sort of barley and/or oat bread; I have a great book for this, (The Breads of the World and How to Bake Them at Home, by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter (2003)), so I will consult it and see what I can find; if all else fails, some Irish soda bread might hit the spot rather well.

Anyway, that's the plan, for now, and I don't think that it will change in any fundamental way. All that is needed now is the opportunity to put it into motion, and I am still hoping that the weekend after this one will be a good time. If anyone does want to try this, please feel free to do so; be sure to let us know how it goes and what you think of it! And please, keep in mind that my self-imposed restraints to keep it "traditional" apply to me only; if you experiment, please do so!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 January 2018 at 11:55
While discussing strategies for my Scotch Broth project (and other soups or stews), a friend in Europe provided some good informationwith a perspective from across the pond:

Quote Firstly, you have let's say unprocessed barley grains.

Secondly, there's also a version called groats where around 15% of the grain is taken off (like they also do with rice); they simply grind off the outer tough skin.

Thirdly, there is pearl barley, where 30% of the barley grain is taken off. Pearl barley is more rounded; that's why they call it "pearled."

For Pearl Barley, the cooking time is 25 minutes, which might be perfect for Scotch Broth, because it matches much better with the cooking time of the vegetables. Also, it does not have to be soaked, like unprocessed barley; in fact, it's like choosing between brown and white rice, where cooking times and processing are somewhat similar: soaking plus 45 minutes cooking, or not soaking plus 20 minutes cooking...


In addition to the above, Brook also offered some good thoughts regarding the various forms of barley available, particularly pearled barley:

Originally posted by Brook Brook wrote:

I don't know how far back pearl barley goes, but it certainly isn't new. My mom and her cohorts were using it in the '40s and '50s, and I'm sure it was available long before that. Here is some information from Wikipedia:

Originally posted by Wikipedia Wikipedia wrote:

Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove its hull and bran. All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

It is the most common form of barley for human consumption because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of the grain such as "hulled barley" (or "barley groats", also known as "pot barley" and "Scotch barley". Fine barley flour is prepared from milled pearl barley.

Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content, though some varieties are higher in lysine. It is used mainly in soups, stews, and potages. It is the primary ingredient of the Italian dish Orzotto.


One correction to the above: all other sources I checked say pearling does not, always, remove all of the bran.

The other usable format is hulled barley, which has the hull removed but the bran layer left behind.

Personally, other than experiments like our Mesopotamian bread, all I use is the pearled version. I don't think using it would detract from the Scotch Broth at all. We're not talking about a major flavor change. Pearling just affects the cooking time, sort of like the difference between steel-cut and rolled oats. Eaten alone, you can tell the difference. But, when incorporated into something else, they're basically the same.


With this information, along with the likelihood that pearled barley is most likely my only available choice, I'll probably be using pearled barley for my preparation, and will adjust my procedure outlined above accordingly; in essence, the soaking of the barley will not be necessary, and the barley will be added to the Scotch Broth at the appropriate time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 January 2018 at 09:43
An update on this project:

After some discussion on the bread that I want to make to accompany this meal, it didn't take me long to decide that I wanted to try a Scottish favourite: bannock. A little digging pointed me toward a splendid-looking recipe for this traditional and unique bread:

http://rootsandwren.com/old-school-shetland-bannocks/

As I learned a little more about bannock, it became clear that this just might have been the perfect choice:

Quote Traditionally made on a griddle or stone in a peat fire, it’s probable that this quick flat bread has been cooked here [In Scotland] for thousands of years. They’re as integral a part of [our] culture now as ever.


If you read the rest of article, you can see why this appealed to me...greatly.

For the sake of convenience, I will post the recipe here, with full credit to the author:

Quote Shetland Bannocks



225g beremeal (try barley flour if you can’t get beremeal)
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
240mL buttermilk

Heat a griddle or heavy frying pan over medium heat.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.

Make a well in the center of the flour and add the buttermilk. Bring the flour in bit by bit until you end up with a fairly sticky dough.

Generously flour a worktop and turn half the dough onto it. Being careful not to get any flour on the top, gently begin to bring the floured sides up and over the top working the dough around in your hand until you have a smooth ball.

Place the ball back onto the floured worktop and flatten it gently with your fingers until you have a round, flat disk about a 1 1/2cm thick. Cut evenly into four quarters gently wiggling the blade a bit as you do to separate the pieces from one another.

Once the griddle or pan is hot, but not so hot as to burn a bit of flour sprinkled onto it, carefully place the bannocks onto it.

Leave the bannocks to cook for about 5 min, until the bottom is dark golden, and then flip and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes on the other side.

Once the bannocks are cooked remove them from the pan and wrap them loosely in a clean tea towel.

Repeat the forming and cooking steps with the second half of the dough.

Note - If you don't have any buttermilk you can measure out 240mL of regular milk, add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and leave it to sit for five minutes, and then use as you would the buttermilk.

http://rootsandwren.com/old-school-shetland-bannocks/


As you can see, one key ingredient is beremeal, which is - as far as I can tell - only grown on the Orkney and Shetland Islands. It is an ancient, unique and much-loved grain that in many ways is representative of Scotland itself, as well as its people:

Quote Bere (pronounced ‘bear’) is a form of six-row barley which has been grown in Orkney [and Shetland] for thousands of years. Beremeal bannocks are a staple food...and it is also used in the brewing of ale. Bere is quite possibly Britain’s oldest cereal grain still in commercial cultivation and was likely brought here by Viking settlers way back when. It has adapted to growing in soils with low pH and in areas with long daylight hours, such as Orkney and Shetland, when it doesn’t really get dark during the summer months. It grows rapidly and being sown in the spring and harvested in the summer it has been called “the 90 day barley”.

https://www.elizabethskitchendiary.co.uk/2013/04/orkney-beremeal-bannocks.html/


The source above (Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary) also has a recipe for Orkney's version of beremeal bannocks, and it looks very good; however, the Shetland version calls to me, so I will endeavor to make it.

I have a friend with "Scottish connections" who might actually be able to procure some of this; if not, then "regular" barley flour is an acceptable substitute. I am looking into options, where that is concerned.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gunhaus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 08:09
Hey Ron,
Scotch Broth really takes me back! When my son was just a baby, and was transitioning to solid foods, we had a helluva time finding anything he would eat. I had grown up making Scotch Broth (Largely with lamb, but also with goat, and venison - which one might think is actually in keeping with soups like this as they were to an extent, typical peasant foods or foods of the land where ingredients would be variable within a basic structure.) Anyway, I made a big pot for me and the wife, and on a whim she cooled some down, and put it through the blender, and sure enough the little rugrat DEVOURED it. It became a staple for some time after that! In fact i think we burned out a bit on it, as I never did go back to making it with any frequency.  I may have to dig out my old recipe and give it a whirl again, it has been years. MY paternal grandmother who was quite a cook, and a bit of a food historian herself gave me this recipe, and she used to serve it with what she called oat cakes. They were a fairly bland flat bread that I do not recall much about, other than I did not like them when I was youngster. And you know how that goes! Don't like it- don't end up paying attention for later. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 09:49
Good morning, John -

Hey, thanks for sharing your Scotch Broth memories. That's another of the prime reasons for this forum! For so many people, myself included, food memories are some of the best in a lifetime.

If you do make your grandmother's Scotch Broth again, let us know how it goes! I do have a recipe for oat cakes, if you'd like to try them again. Brook and I were discussing oat cakes versus bannock, and I elected to go with bannock; but for you, you might re-discover something from your past, and like it! Tastes change, over time. I sued to strongly dislike some foods, but now enjoy them very much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gunhaus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 10:31
Heck ya! I am game to try them again. I dug around in the freezer and found a neck from one of the lambs we butchered this spring - Got it thawing, and if I am a little short on meat when i trim it up  I can pick up some shanks to add to it. I think I will trim the meat as close as I can when the neck thaws, and I'll roast of the bones for a bit and then brew up a little stock off of them. All this lamb stew stuff has got me thinking about shepherds pie now too! I gotta get healed up and back to work! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 10:44
Now that sounds pretty good.

Also, Brook (HistoricFoodie) has been experimenting a bit with rendering lamb fat. He was skeptical at first, worrying that it would be a little off, but he reported that the resulting lard/schmaltz/rendered fat actually works pretty well for a lot of things, and smells just fine.

Might be something to consider - from nose to tail!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gunhaus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 11:15
I have never considered that! You would think it might come out a bit funky - but i may have to try that. HMMM, maybe even end up with some lamb cracklings? And I am a big fan of rooter to tooter 

You never know what you'll get with fats do ya! I was on a hunting trip way north in Canada many moons ago, and the cook used rendered fat from beavers as a sort of dipping sauce. He would grill or fry us chunks of meat - whatever was on the menu that night, I believe we had moose loins, pork chops, and smoked sausages at different times! - and he would heat the oil and  put it in little bowls and you would skewer a chunk and dip it in the oil and chow down. It was really excellent. 

My dad had two uncles that were cops out in your part of the country starting back in the late 20's. They used to hunt mountain sheep every year as a regular part of their larder for winter, and my grandma used to claim they used the rendered lard from those for all their baking in preference to anything else. She used to tell us that if these old boys had had their way, they would have eaten that wild sheep meat in preference to anything else wild or tame, and they were always bummed out if they got skunked or came up short on their annual quota. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 February 2018 at 11:20
I've heard that, both about beaver fat and from bighorns. I've never tried either, but it makes one wonder.

I know that most venison fat has always been considered "gross," but I am wondering if it depends on the type of fat used, because there are 2 or 3 different kinds of fat, it seems. Caul fat, for example, is supposed to be great from a deer. My youngest son and I intended to save some this last season, but events prevented that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gunhaus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2018 at 09:15
Well, yesterday I trimmed up my lamb neck, and then I trimmed a shoulder that I picked up from the store. (I decided to make a whopping batch of Scotch Broth intending to eat half as soup, and then to modify the other half a tad bit to use for shepherd pie). I also grabbed a small package of shanks that was there, and i then roasted off the bones and shanks for a couple hours with some fresh thyme, sage, and a little onion and garlic. Then the lot went in the big stock pot with some more aromatics -celery, carrot, and a little more onion, and a bit of salt and some whole peppercorns. I let the whole simmer for about 8 hours until it was down to about half, and called it good. This morning i defatted it, and i have a pretty wicked stock to work with. It'll be a day or two before i can make the soup though. Other food chores today. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 February 2018 at 09:52
It sounds like a really nice beginning, John - I'm guessing that it's going to turn out wonderfully!
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