Burns night slow cooked collops of beef

So it’s that time of year when those of us with Scottish heritage eat sheep’s innards (Haggis) and pretend we like it.  Allow me to remind you about the ingredients (heart, lungs and liver of a sheep in a sheep’s stomach). Then there is the language of the old Scots when coof means a fool, fa means to have one’s lot and hame means home, etc Need I say any more?  In honor of Burns we drink Scottish whiskey and toast a man who still impacts Scottish culture an indeed our world after 213 years.

Last night I was an honored guest at a Burns night supper at the Old Blind Dog Irish pub to share the opening Selkirk Grace.  We dined on scotch eggs, lamb shanks and a rather interesting Black Forest Cranachan.

Tomorrow evening we will celebrate Burns with my wee family and I am making an Ulster Scots classic. Growing up as the daughter of an Irish beef farmer we used the simple method of cooking to tendering tough pieces of meat (and less expensive) by braising and slowly cooking to melt in your mouth tender. Ulster style comfort food!  When shopping for beef look for marbling of fat for the best flavor.

Ulster Scot Braised Chuck Steak

(serves 4)

  • 2 Lbs braising steak such as chuck (cut in to 8 pieces)
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp flour (blended with a little cold water)
  • 1 pint (2 cups) beef stock
  • 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp coarse whole grain mustard

How to make it:

  1. Season the steaks salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat cast iron skillet to medium high heat with a little oil and butter combined.
  3. Add the beef to skillet and braise the pieces in small batches for 2-3 minutes on each side to brown.  Remove the steak and place in to a Dutch style oven or casserole dish.
  4. Cook the onions in the skillet to soften and then add to the Dutch style oven.
  5. Combine the stock, flour, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and then pour over the meat.  Add the freshly chopped thyme and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and cook for 2 ½ hours until the meat is tender and falling apart.
  7. Remove the bay leaf prior to serving.
  8. Serve with creamed mashed potatoes and turnip and carrot mash (Neeps and Tatties).

Enjoy the celebration!

Judith the Irish foodie


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