Central, Fife & Tayside is a central-west region of Scotland, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Central, Fife & Tayside area. All of the recipes below are regionally authentic, originally coming from recipe books published in the 1800s or 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted (alongside the old standards) where appropriate for the modern kitchen.
2 chicken breasts, 4 oz (115g) lean boiled ham (diced), 1 medium onion (sliced), 1 stick of celery (sliced), a sprig each of parsley and thyme (chopped), 1 blade of mace, 2 tbsp cream, 1 quart (2 pints or 1.1L) water, salt and pepper to season, 2 egg yolks.
Cut up the chicken breasts fine and add to a saucepan with the diced ham, sliced vegetables, seasonings, chopped herbs and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for an hour, skim off any rising impurities. After an hour leave to go cold and remove any grease from the surface. Put back on the heat when you want to serve, heat through gently for 10 minutes and stir in the egg yolks which have been beaten with the cream. Do not boil, once warmed through serve.
4 oz (115g) fine oatmeal, 4 oz (115g) flour, 2 oz (60g) lard, 2 oz (60g) sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful salt, a little egg to mix
Rub the fat into the flour, mix in all the other dry ingredients and make into a paste with lightly beaten egg. Roll out thinly. Bake till a pale brown in a slow oven, so that they will be crisp.
PLAIN SODA SCONES (girdle recipe)
1 lb (500g) plain flour, salt, 1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda, good buttermilk.
Make as soft a dough as is compatible with being handled. Mix soda and salt into the dry well-sieved flour. Make into a dough with enough buttermilk. Form into a bannock, (bannock – a round the size of a meat plate) then cut the round into four. Put on to a hot girdle (or frying pan) and let them cook until light brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, turn and cook on other side. When edges are dry scones are ready.
STUFFED SHEEP’S LIVER
Take one sheep’s or lamb’s liver and cut down the side, make a cavity in the centre and stuff with the following mixture:
1 cupful oatmeal (or breadcrumbs), 1/3 – 3/4 cup fresh suet, 1/4 cup chopped onion, salt and pepper to taste. Stuff liver with the mixture, sew up and dust lightly with flour. Brown on both sides and stew until tender.
DUMPLINGS – can be used with many other recipes
3/4 lb (375g) flour, 1 cupful sugar, 1 cupful breadcrumbs, 1 cupful finely shredded beef suet, 1/2 lb (250g) currants, 1/2 lb (250g) raisins, 1/4 lb (125g) sultanas, 1 teaspoonful cinnamon, 2 teaspoonfuls allspice, a little ginger, grated apple.
Mix flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and suet, then stir in the spices. Add the fruit and grated apple and mix thoroughly. If self-raising flour is used, then make the above mixture into a fairly stiff consistency with milk. If plain flour, a teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda. Buttermilk for mixing. Have a strong calico cloth ready, wring out of boiling water as dry as possible, spread out and rub all over with flour, turn your dumpling mixture on the cloth, allow room for swelling. Tie securely, put into a pan of boiling water with an old plate at the bottom, keep boiling for 3 to 4 hours.