Erica's Master Chef starter

January 28th 2015

How to make Erica's Rumbledethumps, topped with Orkney cheddar cheese, served with slow-roasted onions, Highland Park ketchup and a side of Granny Margaret's scotch broth.

Rumbledethumps (a rooty, greeny, healthy dish originating from Scotland)

You’ll need:

  • 1kg tatties and/or turnip, peeled and cubed – I use a 50/50 mix and you can throw in any root veg that you fancy.  Don’t forget to boil your peelings if you have hens – they love it!  Waste not want not and all that.
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (Cornish smoked sea-salt is especially yummy)
  • A lump of salted Orkney butter
  • A splash of warm milk
  • ½ a green cabbage or 3 large handfuls of kale, tough stalks removed and roughly shredded
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • A gloss of olive oil
  • 150g Orkney Cheddar, grated – I mix smoked and non-smoked
  • A couple sprigs of thyme – just the leaves only

The how:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 – this is amazing cooked in an AGA if you’re lucky enough to have one … which I’m not.  *Sighs wistfully.  *Looks pleadingly at husband.

2. Throw your roots/tatties into a large pot and cover with water. Pop in a healthy pinch of sea-salt and the garlic.

3. Bring it to the boil and cook until the vegismashably tender. Drain. Mash with butter and or milk. Season to taste – a twist of pepper won’t do it any harm.

4. Get a large frying pan lovely and hot and pop in the cabbage or kale and  the onion. Sizzle in a little oil till tender and glossy. Season well. Remove from the heat while the cabbage is still bright green. Stir through the mash.

5. Pop the everything into a good sized baking dish andscatter over the cheese – you can also add a wee bit butter too for extra gloss. Bake until the cheese is golden, about 25 mins and finish with a wee smattering of the thyme.

The special starter from Three Chimneys bound Erica Clarkson The special starter from Three Chimneys bound Erica Clarkson Highland Park Ketchup

This keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks – and just like the chef, it gets better with age!

You’ll need:

  • 15 ounces tomato sauce – organic always!  I make my own using Birsay Tomatoes (15 lbs of toms will give you about 5 pints of delicious concentrate), but if you’re short of time, Tesco stock a nice organic Tiptree sauce.
  • 1 5-ounce can tomato paste – again make sure it’s organic.  
  • 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2-3 mighty large tablespoonsof Highland Park … or a wee bit more if you’re that way inclined.  Which I am.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar – it’s not an exact science!
  • 1/2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce.
  • 1/4 tsp each smoked sea-salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional) – Maggi Liquid Seasoning will do the trick.
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

The how:

1. Whack all of the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine.

2. Cook until a bit bubbly and then reduce heat to low.  Continue cooking for 15 - 20 minutes just to allow the amazing flavours to develop.

3. Keep tasting and adjust your seasonings as needed. Add more Highland Park for a more boozy ketchup. More brown sugar will give it added sweetness, vinegar for more tang, and liquid smoke for extra smokiness.

4. Once you’re happy with the taste, pop it in a jar (let it cool before putting the lid on).  This makes quite a cool pressie for any foodie friends.

Granny Margaret’s Scotch Broth

This isn’t meant to be exciting, but it is delicious and tastes even better if you whack it into a slow-cooker or the bottom oven of an AGA.

You’ll need:

  • 1kg or so of Orkney lamb - or mutton shank - or breast of lamb – or whatever you can get your hands on – preferably chopped up for you by the butcher.
  • 3 large tatties, chopped small
  • 3 organic carrots, chopped small – I don’t bother to peel them – just give them a good wash.
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks, trimmed, sliced and washed
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped small
  • 50g pearl barley
  • 50g split peas
  • 2½ litres water enough to cover everything.
  • 1/2 a firm cabbage or kale - finely chopped
  • 1 dessert spoon of good quality sea-salt
  • A bay leaf
  • Plenty of freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 small bunch curly parsley, stalks removed and the leaves finely chopped

The how:

  1. Soak your barley and split peas, separately, for around 4 hours – or overnight. 
  2. Drain them and add them to the slow cooker. 
  3. Whack in all the vegetables except the cabbage or kale.
  4. Pop in the bay leaf, salt and pepper.
  5. Lay the meat on top and cover with the water.
  6. Switch the cooker on to low or pop it in to the bottom oven of your AGA (if only) and go to bed.
  7. Next morning, add the shredded cabbage or the kale and turn the cooker on to the highest setting for about half an hour – or move to the top oven of your AGA.
  8. Keep checking the taste for seasoning and tweak if needed.
  9. Turn off the cooker and remove the meat, leaving to cool.
  10. When the meat is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the bone and tear into small pieces.
  11. Remove any fatty layer left by the meat.
  12. Stick the meat back into the broth take out the bay leaf and you’re good to serve!
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