Scotch Broth the Highland Way!

Posted by True Highlands in Scottish Recipes | 5 comments

Can there be a more satisfying one pot meal than a thick and steaming bowl of Scotch Broth. For Highlanders over a certain age this would have been a staple which varied, depending on what was available in the garden or what meat was available. Recipes vary enormously around the country but my mums is still obviously the best I’ve ever tasted.

I’m a purist when it comes to this, so there is only one acceptable recipe in my eyes (and taste buds) so this is it. If you want to substitute beef for lamb or add potatoes, you’ll be making stew, not broth!


Ingredients (serves 2 hungry Highlanders)

1kg of lamb neck or similar cheap cut from your local butcher

2 litres water

100 grams pearl barley

100 grams dried peas (previously soaked overnight and drained)

1 large leek, chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

2 small neeps, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

salt & pepper

1 tablespoon diced fresh parsley to garnish

Remove any excess fat from the meat and put it in a large pot with the water, barley, peas, salt and pepper. Bring this to the boil before simmering gently for an hour. While this is simmering, head to the garden to harvest the necessary veg. Chop them rustically after a quick wipe then toss in the pot to cook for another 30 minutes.

Next, fish out the chunk of lamb and gently remove the meat from the bone. It should come away easily and can then be added back into the pot.  The health conscious of you can skim any fat off the top but personally I think it adds to the taste so I don’t bother.

Chuck it into the biggest bowls you can find, sprinkle with parsley and serve with oatcakes.

One particular variation which I think is worthy of a mention is from Shetland and features reestit mutton. This originates from crofting households where there was no refrigeration and mutton was soaked in brine then hung up in the cottage rafters to cure over burning peat. Used as a base for a broth this gives a distinctive robust flavour, unique to the Shetland Isles.

Tuck in and enjoy!

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Comments (5)
  1. Hugh Macleod says:

    brings Bach happy memories

  2. Morag Garrow says:

    I already left a comment about this Scotch Broth, but it says at top of the page ” 0 COMMENTS ”

    • True Highlands says:

      Hi Morag

      We haven’t received it I’m afraid. We have been receiving an unprecedented amount so spam so it possibly got caught in the net. Please can you resend?

  3. Morag Garrow says:

    Scotch broth should be made with boiling beef, lamb is used for tattie soup.

  4. Jean Andrews says:

    I agree with morag not lamb for broth we come from ayrshire 👍

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