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Posh Mince & Tatties

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

by Coinneach MacLeod from The Hebridean Baker: My Scottish Island Kitchen (Bonnier Books)

Is there anything more hearty, traditional and Scottish than a bowl of mince and tatties? But I wondered if there was a way to give it an upgrade! Venison is lean, nutritious and sustainable, with lots of flavour. Support your local butcher and ask them to mince the venison for you. For an added twist, I have swapped the classic mashed potato for rumbledethumps, recipe below.

A hearty meal for two – or three if you have a friend visiting!


1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, diced

1 parsnip, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

500g (1lb 2oz) minced venison (or steak mince)

2 tablespoons plain flour

100ml (1⁄3 cup + 1 tablespoon) red wine

500ml (2 cups) beef stock

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 heaped teaspoon cranberry sauce/jam

Freshly ground black pepper and salt


Once you have chopped your onion and diced your veg (all to a similar size), add to a large pan with a little oil for about 5 minutes until softened. Then increase the heat, add the mince to the pan and fry until browned.

Reduce the heat, add the flour and stir until combined.

Add the red wine and let it bubble away; it should be absorbed by the mince quite quickly.

Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper.

Stir, then cover and cook for about 45 minutes at a low simmer. If it needs to thicken, remove the lid for the final 5 minutes.


Are rumbledethumps:

a) a side dish

b) the name of a cèilidh band

c) what your head feels like after a night on the whisky

The answer is probably all three! But in this case, a) is the best answer. Sometimes the side dish takes centre stage and that’s definitely the case with rumbledethumps. This traditional baked dish from the Scottish Borders of potatoes, turnip and cabbage topped with mature Cheddar will be your new favourite way to serve veg, and will go perfectly with my Posh Mince recipe.



400g (14oz) potatoes

300g (10½oz) turnips (or swede), peeled and chopped

125g (4½oz) cabbage, shredded

20g (¾oz) unsalted butter

20g (¾oz) mature Cheddar cheese

Freshly ground black pepper and salt


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan (350°F).

Peel and chop the potatoes and turnips to similar-shaped chunks and cook in a pan of boiling water until tender. Drain, season well and mash together in the pan.

In a frying pan gently fry the shredded cabbage in butter for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cabbage to the pan and stir into the mash. Dollop the mash into an oven dish and grate the cheese on top.

This should be baked in an oven dish for about 40 minutes, taking the lid off for the final 10 minutes until toasty brown on top. Serve in bowls and feel as posh as the dish does!

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