Scottish Hamburger Recipe

I don’t know where people get off calling this Scottish hamburger, maybe 59th Street-Columbus Circle? Dunno, don’t care. 
In Scotland we called it simply “Mince” because a hamburger is a hamburger and it comes on a bun.

To say these two paragraphs in the dialect of Burnbutts, Cove Bay, Aberdeenshire where I grew up this would be: 

“I dinnae ken far on’y  idjit came up wi’ “Scottish Hamburger” s’mince. Mince is mince an’ aw’ should ken it. A hamburger s’hamburger an caimes inna bun ye festerin’ geordie bastards.”

Fun isn’t it? Possibly the reason my father was so adamant that I attend schools that taught English, not as a second language.

This was a staple at the schools and homes around Aberdeen in the 80’s. Usually it would appear in two meals. The first time as mince and tatties (mashed potatoes) with some sort of poor vegetable that had all the color and flavor boiled out of it. It would then appear at the next supper as stovies. Which is basically the same thing just all mixed up together and with more mashed potatoes added to stretch the meat. 

Stovies actually seems to have originated as a way of economically using up the leftovers from Sundays roast. Again the mashed potatoes make a good stretcher and I have had stovies with the addition of peas, cooked carrots, lima beans and cooked celery. Personally I like it plain: just beef, onions and mashed potatoes (Plus butter, lots of butter) all mixed up in a bucket and served with a wooden spoon. 

Mmmmm comfort food at its most “stick to you ribs-ness”. I have been making mince and tatties and stovies all week in preparation for Robbie Burns day on the 25th of January. Whoo hoo…hopefully I will be able to add Rumbledethumps, Kailkenny, Clapshot and Apple Crumble. We shall see, I hae a full month right now.
Basically that is a warning to be prepared for more Scottish recipes throughout the month. 
Yes WARNING! DANGER! POTTED HEID AHEAD! though I doubt I will have the energy to make potted heid. First off I need four pig trotters, one sheep’s head (whole), one whole rabbit (or a chicken), one beef hoof and a pound of lard. 

You will also find lacking in my Scottish recipes: Crappit Heids, which are haddock heads stuffed with the yummy oatmeal stuffing and Heid and Brains, which is just sheep’s head served with a sheep brain sauce. 

To tell the truth I have had neither of these, I probably would have been rather ill if I had been ever served them. I may make Cullen Skink if I can find the smoked fish. There are some mutton shanks in my freezer so I may make Scotch broth. 

Then again, roastit bubbly jock sounds good, mmmmm bubbly jock.

Wait Bubbly Jock? What the..? No it’s not a condition found among athletes it is simply roast turkey stuffed with oyster stuffing. There not so bad?
Not all Scottish cooking is frightening, it is often disguised to sound such just because the Scots take great pleasure in scaring the bejeezuz out of everyone. At one time they just striped naked painted themselves blue and rushed at you with a claymore. Now they just collectively terrify the world with descriptions of their “Native” foods. Yet on any idle Tuesday evening you will find the average Scot dining on pot pies, pizza and oven baked french fries.
Ok, Mince Ingredients for six peeps: 
2 Pounds of ground beef (not too lean)
3 Tablespoons of butter
3-4 Onions chopped roughly
2 cups of beef stock
Salt and pepper
Dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
A little chopped parsley if desired 
How you do this? I tell you now: 

Brown the beef in a large skillet with the butter, breaking up any big bad ol’ lumps that try to form. When it is all nicely brown add the onions and the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes uncovered until stock is reduced to a rich gravy. Add seasonings to taste and serve with mashed potatoes and peas. I love peas…
This should serve six marshmallowy peeps. 
If you want the full Scottish experience, cook up some oat cakes (recipe coming in the next few days) though I might recommend that you eat clumpy bits of fried kitty litter instead.The experience is much the same, and you might be less sickened by the fried kitty litter.

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