Scotch Broth

Here is a traditional and very popular broth. The secret for success lies in removing as much of the fat as possible from the meat, both before and after cooking. Cook and serve Scotch broth straight from the saucepan or, if you wish to take the dish to the table, in a large flameproof casserole.

- 700 g [1½ Ib] mutton scrag or middle neck of Iamb
- 5 ml [1 teaspoon] salt
- 40 g [1½ oz] pearl barley
- 3 small carrots
- 3 small leeks
- 2 small turnips
- 1 onion
- 2 celery stalks
- freshly ground black pepper 15 ml [1 tablespoon]
- parsley

1. Rinse the meaty bones under a cold running tap and shake to drain.

2. Cut away as much fat as possible and discard. Chop the bones, if the butcher has not done this, so they will fit into our pan.

3. Put the bones into the pan and cover with 1.7 L [3 pt] cold water.

4. Bring slowly to the boil. When scum and surface fat form, skim them away with a flat skimmer or perforated spoon. Skim for several minutes as the fat rises.

5. When all the scum has been removed, add the salt and barley. Cover the pan with the lid and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Prepare the vegetables by scrubbing or peeling. Chop them into 2.5 cm [1"] dice.

7. Add the vegetables and cover the pan with a lid and continue simmering for a further ½ hours.

8. When the broth is cooked, turn off heat and lift the bones on to a plate, using a perforated spoon.

9. Using a fork, detach the meat from the bones and shred or cut it into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones and any fat or gristle.

10. Remove as much surface fat as possible from the broth, mopping it up with absorbent kitchen paper or slices of bread.

11. Return the meat to the pan. Reheat gently and adjust seasoning to taste.

12. Sprinkle the broth with chopped parsley just before serving.
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