Mince and tatties

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Mince and tatties

Mince and tatties is a popular Scottish dish, consisting of minced beef and mashed potato. It sometimes contains other vegetables or thickening agents. It has had a longtime connection to school dinners, while other chefs have attempted to modernise the dish.


There is no set recipe or form of cooking and large variations can occur from cook to cook. Essentially the dish consists of varying amounts of minced beef, onions, carrots or other root vegetables, seasoning and stock.[1][2] Some cooks add thickening agents such as flour, oatmeal or cornflour.[1][3]


Despite concerns that British people are no longer eating traditional dishes,[4] mince and tatties remains popular in Scotland. A survey by the Scottish Express in 2009 found that it was the most popular Scottish dish, with a third of respondents saying that they eat mince and tatties once a week.[citation needed] This placed it above other dishes such as smoked salmon, haggis, Scotch pies and Scotch broth.[5] An annual competition is held in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, to determine the best mince and tatties.[6][7]

In 2006, the European Union introduced new rules on meat processing which was reported by The Daily Mail as meaning the end of mince and tatties because of the limitations on resting meat for mincing.[citation needed] This resulted in Scottish National Party leader and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond announcing "They can take our lives but they will never take our freedom to make mince and tatties. I am confident that, if some European commissioners were allowed to taste delicious mince and tatties, we would see off the threat to this dish. But we will fight them on the beaches and we will fight them in the butcher's shops to make sure we never have to surrender our mince and tatties."[8]

Mince and tatties is well known for being used historically in school canteens,[9] where the quality of the ingredients and the ability to feed a large number of children made it popular.[10] However, this usage has meant that it is often looked down on.[citation needed] In recent years, there have been attempts by some to modernise[clarification needed] the dish, which resulted in it appearing on Time Out magazine's list of the top 100 dishes available in London in 2012. The version from the Dean Street Townhouse restaurant placed on the best of British section of the list.[11]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Maw Broon (2007). Maw Broon's Cookbook. Waverley Books; (18 Oct 2007) ISBN 1-902407-45-8, p17


  1. ^ a b Henderson, Fergus (17 August 2014). "St John at 20: five classic Fergus Henderson recipes". The Observer. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Swann, Yvonne (21 March 2011). "My life in recipes: Phyllida Law's Huntington fidget pie and mince and tatties". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  3. ^ O'Donnell, Jacqueline (8 February 2013). "Simply Special: classic mince and tatties". The Herald. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Cowie, Eleanor (9 November 2004). "Days of mince and tatties are disappearing as Britons plump for more exotic dishes". The Herald. HighBeam Research. Retrieved 26 September 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Duffy, Judith (8 September 2009). "Mince and tatties is top dish". Scottish Express. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Friends lift culinary crown after entering mince and tatties contest for 'a giggle'". The Scotsman. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Mince & Tattie Championship". Round & About Mull & Iona. March 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Livingstone, Jamie (13 July 2006). "Mince and Batty; How the Hygiene-Crazy Eurocrats Could Spell the End for a Great Scottish Favourite at the Tea Table". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 September 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Shields, Tom (28 December 2003). "School Dinner Maladies". The Sunday Herald. HighBeam Research. Retrieved 26 September 2014. (Subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Just batty for mince and tatties". Evening Times. 20 February 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "The 100 best dishes in London 2012 - British". Time Out. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 

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