Tonight I planned to cook up some meaty mutton bones from the freezer, which were included in a budget mutton pack we bought from the supermarket recently. These are usually great for soup, so I decided to throw together the following recipe for a Scotch broth. Traditional Scotch broth is a mixture of light coloured meat stock, vegetables and pearl barley, and doesn’t usually have pieces of meat in it (which explains my utilization of the “neo” prefix in the above title). This made a very simple, nourishing and extremely economical meal that was very flavoursome. The recipe went something like this…
Meaty mutton or lamb bones (I used the bottom half of a mutton shank, a leg bone left over from the other night’s mutton roast and some type of forequarter chunk. You could use anything really – necks, breast or meaty forequarter off-cuts would all be suitable, too)
1 cup of pearl barley
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly diced
Rind off-cuts from four rashers of smoked bacon, very finely diced (I always keep these rinds from my bacon for soups and stocks)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 dried bayleaf
3 teaspoons of salt
3 teaspoons of chicken stock powder
A few grindings of black pepper
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon of light soy sauce (definitely not authentic but it adds a little body / depth of flavour)
3 teaspoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of vinegar
3-4 litres of water
Not much to do here!
- Throw all the ingredients in a pot, bring to the boil and skim off any scum and fat as it emerges (the fat can be strained and refrigerated, and thereafter used for savory European style cooking).
- Reduce heat to a simmer. In a standard pot it will take about 1&1/2 to 2 hours to cook. I used a pressure cooker and it only took about 45 minutes. The meat should be falling off the bones and the barley should be soft.
- When this stage is reached fish all the bones out of the broth with some tongs and remove any meat on them, dicing it into small peices.
- Return meat to the broth. Do a final skim, check the seasoning. If it’s too salty for you then add some more hot water to dilute it a little.
Serve with some decent buttered bread and maybe a good pint of homebrewed bitter ale.