More whisky, more oats

We have now settled into our daily life here in Edinburgh. We are up at 5:45am to get ready for the day (we never really settled into the time zone here, so it’s not so bad) and leave home just as the sun is rising at 6:45am. Together we walk to the hospital, passing autumnal parks, the Edinburgh Castle and grand old houses in what is clearly the ritzy area near the hospital – it’s a 6km walk which gets Shannon there in time for ward round. I run the way home, get stuck into my studies/business planning for the day and meet with my friendly butchers to pick up my challenge items to cook for the day. At the end of the day Shan catches the bus home, tells me stories of the operations he was involved in (I won’t go into detail, they would turn you off my food blog!), sit down to one of my Scottish creations, then finish off the day with a wee dram of Whisky and occasionally watch really bad British reality TV.

Back home in Oz I really only ever bought meat from the supermarket – mostly for convenience – however, since arriving here, I have discovered how wonderful butchers really are! The butchers are well aware of my challenge and they are keen for me to take on Haggis (nobody actually makes it from scratch here, as you can get it so easily). They have even given me the odd discount and when they are asking for $25 for 4 small steaks, any pound off helps.

Which brings me to my next recipe: Hielan Steak
It’s a quick and naughty number requiring:
4 steaks
Knob of butter
2 tbsp of cream
2 tbsp of whisky
75 grams of cheddar cheese
Melt butter in the frying pan, cook steak to your liking. Remove the steaks from the pan to rest. Pour cream and whisky into pan and heat gently. Pour over steaks and garnish with cheese.

Yes whisky again – it features in just as many of the recipes as oats do! Now this recipe sounds basic, all the recipes do … But the flavours from these simple recipes are amazing! It makes me realise how easy it is to overcomplicate a meal by “adding flavour” but only to mask the true flavour of the basic ingredients.

The Whisky cream sauce is to die for. Beware not to keep the sauce on the pan for too long or your sauce will turn to clag! The cheddar cheese addition on top of the steak may appear random and old school initially, but it was a tasty finishing touch! We teamed the steak with roasted parsnips, carrots and sautéed red cabbage which drank up the sauce beautifully.

Breakfast is usually my beloved porridge, but for those who know Shan well, know he’d much rather tuck into a savoury breakfast. This week I trailed – Skirlie: which is simply 1 diced onion, pan fried in butter and a small handful of oatmeal – yes oats are in everything. We used smoked butter from a food market we stumbled across in Leith. I rarely indulge in butter, but if the butter is smoked… I indulge! The Skirlie is served onto buttered toast. That is a scraping of butter for me and lashings for Shan. We accompanied our Skirlie with smoked butter scrambled eggs. Who’d have thought onions on toast would be that delish! A must-try for your Sunday breaky this weekend.

Shannon's first day at the Western Hospital
Shannon’s first day at the Western Hospital
Our walk to the hospital
Our walk to the hospital
Our smoked butter supply from a market in Leith
Our smoked butter supply from a market in Leith
Market grub!
Market grub!
Hielan' Steak
Hielan’ Steak
Skirlie on toast
Skirlie on toast
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