Clapshot is a traditional dish of boiled and mashed potatoes and turnips, and it is very fine. It could be regarded as Orkney’s national dish, although there are many versions from all over the British isles. It is best made with winter turnip (known in England as Swede) and with dry, floury potatoes.
- 700g potatoes, peeled and diced
- 700g turnips, peeled and diced
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp double cream
- salt and pepper
- Cook the potatoes and turnips together in boiling salted water until tender (about 15 minutes) then drain well.
- Mash together wtih butter and cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you have chives, chop them finely and sprinkle over the top.
This is an excellent recipe for using up left-overs. The key ingredients are potatoes, meat and onion. The version here is my basic recipe, but it can be adapted to incorporate all sorts.
- 30g lard, butter or dripping
- 1 onion, finely chopped (I sometimes add a leek too)
- 1/2 a turnip (or swede, if you are English), peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- (optional, shredded cabbage, diced celery, etcetera)
- 600g potatoes, peeled and roughly sliced
- Around 100ml stock or left-over gravy
- Around 200g chopped cooked meat (could be varied according to what is available, both in type and quantity)
- A grate of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the fat in the bottom of a large pan, and fry the onion (and leeks, celery, if you are using this) over a low heat until soft and almost browning.
- Add the potatoes and stir them in. When they are hot, add the carrots and the turnip and any other extra vegetables, and stir to mix.
- Heat the stock and pour it in, adding the chopped meat at the same time. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir again.
- Cover the pot and simmer over a low heat for around 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are beginning to break down. Check from time to time to see how the potatoes are cooking, to stir together and to assess whether any more stock needs to be added.
Very warm, filling and thrifty.
I have lots of turnips still standing in the garden, the last of the winter
vegetables. They are fantastic things, yellow and spicy and fresh after a long
winter. My only gripe about turnips is finding ways to cook them. Usually I
mash them with potatoes, or, more recently, I have been dicing them and
roasting them for 20 minutes in olive oil and pepper. Tonight I discovered why
I had found so little in the way of recipes in my books and on the web: the
English think they are swedes, and the French and the Americans seem to think
they are called Rutabagas. Anyway, no matter what they are called, tonight I
tried out this soup. It is from Lindsey Bareham’s incomparable recipe book, ‘A Celebration of Soup’.
- 75g organic butter
- 2-3 shallots, finely chopped,
- A bunch of parsley
- 450g diced turnip (about one large, or 2 small), home grown
- salt and pepper
- 1.1 litres of rich stock (I used some game stock, but ‘Marigold’ stock is fine
- A pinch of saffron, if available (optional)
- 100ml double cream
- Heat the butter in a large pan, and soften the shallots in the butter for about five minutes
- Add the parsley stalks (or dried herbs, if fresh parsley is scarce) and the turnip along with a pinch of salt. Stir, and make sure everything gets well coated in butter.
- Cover the pan and simmer on low for about fifteen minutes.
- At this stage, the turnip is tender and sweet and could be served as a vegetable dish in its own right.
- For to make the soup, add the stock and saffron, bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes
- Blend the soup with a soup wand, and reheat.
- To serve, whisk the cream with the finely chopped parsley, and swirl into the soup.
I served it with brown toast. However, you could make croutons, and the book
suggests polenta chips: small slivers of cooked polenta, coated in oil and
grilled to create a crunchy exterior. Very good indeed.
Here’s a twist on local ingredients. It looked a little pale and would have been improved with the addition of green beans and carrots.
- 900g lamb, diced
- 4 tbsp veg oil
- 2x7cm cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 10 cloves
- 10 cardamom pods
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 20 curry leaves (or 10 bay leaves)
- 2 tsps grated fresh ginger
- 1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 turnip, peeled and diced
- you could add chopped carrots and green beans
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- Put the oil in a large heavy pan, and set over a medium heat. When it is hot, add the cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom, and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
- Add the onion, and continue frying until it starts to turn light brown.
- Add curry leaves and ginger, and after another minute, add the lamb and stir for a few minutes.
- Add 1 litre of water bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes
- Add the potatoes and vegetables, salt and cayenne pepper, and simmer for a further 30 minutes, until the meat is tender.
- Add the coconut milk, and thicken sauce to taste by squishing the potatoes a bit.
We just had this as it came. Rice or bread would be good, but we didn’t bother.