Alison Morrison’s Mince & Tatties

by Elizabeth Atia -

Last weekend saw the village of Aith, on the west side of Shetland, host the annual Aith Regatta in combination with the Shetland Yoal Racing Association races. This event is usually held on the second weekend in July.

Despite the weather, plenty of folk turned out to watch the yachts race 10 miles around the voe and to cheer on the rowers in their yoals. The atmosphere was charged with the excitement of racers shouting words of encouragement to their teammates on the boats.

You can find the results of the races on the Bigton Rowing Club website.

West side resident Nick McCaffrey filmed and edited a video of the highlights of the Saturday afternoon, which was followed by a superb disco in the local hall that evening. Nick also edited a rowing races only video, for those who may be interested.

All this sailing and rowing is hard work though, and fuel is required! There was a BBQ stand on the go all Saturday afternoon, homemade ham and lentil soup was available in the RNLI Lifeboat shed along with hot teas and coffee, and the Mr. Stripey ice cream van was parked on site all day.

Back in the Aith hall, however, a team of volunteers was busy preparing a hearty lunch for the sailors and volunteers at the Regatta for the afternoon break in between races.

Local resident John Anderson donated 25 lbs of his home grown beef mince to the event, and volunteer Alison Morrison made her own version of mince and tatties to feed the hungry sailors.

When you’ve been out on the water for several hours nothing beats a steaming hot plate of comforting mince and tatties.

How do you make yours? Do you have any tips to share?

Alison Morrison's Mince & Tatties

Course: Main

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10

Cook Time: 30

  • Shetland beef mince - 1 lb
  • onion - 1 (finely chopped)
  • vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
  • carrots - 3 (finely chopped)
  • neep/swede - 1/2 (finely chopped)
  • water -
  • thickener (Bisto, OXO, gravy granules, etc.) -
  • salt and pepper - (to taste)
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  2. Brown the mince and the onions in the oil.
  3. Add the carrots and neep and fry for a few more minutes.
  4. Add enough water to cover and thicken with Bisto, OXO or gravy granules, as desired. The package will tell you how much to use depending on how much water you've added.
  5. Leave to simmer until the gravy is nice and thick and the meat is tender.
  6. Best made the day before and reheated. Serve with plenty of creamy mashed potatoes and vegetables.
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