GP recipe A tasty Highland accompaniment to meat

Recently I was introduced to Skirlie, a traditional Highland side dish to accompany any meat, made by cooking fine oatmeal by ‘skirling’ it around in the pan.

For the restaurant we simply developed the idea a little bit further by adding in some mashed potato and making the Skirlie with some spring onion to give it a little extra bite.

Our Skirlie mash would be a great accompaniment in the winter months to any meat-based main course.

At the restaurant we are currently serving it as a base on which we sit the fillet steak main course. The steak is on a layer of cooked spinach which is under the skirlie mash for an elegant presentation. 

Dr Chris Duckham is a GP in Tongue and Armadale, and runs the restaurant Cote du Nord, Farr Bay Inn, Sutherland 

Skirlie mash 

  1. Peel the potatoes and boil for about 18–20 minutes until tender.
  2. In the meantime sweat the spring onions in a little olive oil until translucent, then stir in the oatmeal.
  3. Stir round quickly in the pan so that the mixture dries out a little and the oatmeal is lightly browned but doesn’t stick to the pan. Keep warm.
  4. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them with the butter and double cream.
  5. Fold in the oatmeal and spring onion skirlie, season to taste and serve at once.

As an accompaniment to a main course for four people

Skirlie mash

  • 800g king Edward potatoes
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • A little olive oil
  • 60g fine oatmeal
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50ml double cream
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

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