Tattie scones are a Scottish breakfast food that, in my family, are so coveted that all manner of subterfuge and ‘forgotten phone calls’ will ensure that only one or two of us can get them out of my Grandfather at a time. I remember one time my sister texted me en-route to their place, taunting me that she would eat ALL THE TATTIES. Another time, she bribed me with the promise of sharing the take home pack she’d gotten, and then blatantly ran away before I could collect. I assume giggling with manic glee.
Well, I’m also guilty of secret visits for heart attack inducing levels of fried breakfast at the grandparents’ house. No one quite cooks like Grandad, except now maybe me.. That’s right fools. He taught me how! Now, these things have literally 3 ingredients, but I don’t think I would have gotten the cooking right, as they are twice cooked, once in bacon grease. I would have just done it in butter or something, which although assuredly tasty, not the same.
When eating a fried Scottish brunch at my grandparents’ place, you can kind of see why my Grandfather has had so many heart operations. I felt a murmur just after this breakfast and I had to go home and have a nap afterward. It doesn’t help that brunch is washed down with a glass of Glenlivet. It’s the Scottish way.
1 x packet of instant mashed potatoes
1 x tblspn butter
dash of milk
OK, so I told you it was simplistic. Basically stir in the butter til the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, and add a dash of milk. It should still be doughy and all stick to the spoon. Add a dash of cold water and mix til you get a ball of dough.
You may be questioning the validity of using instant mash. Well, my grandad says he’s always used that and not fresh potatoes as removing the starch (sticky stuff) from potatoes takes too damned long, and I have to agree, having tried it once for a mashed potato dish, that while nice, took over an hour. It involves boiling potatoes for a minute, rinsing them, boiling them in fresh water, rinsing them again, and then baking or boiling them for real. Without the starch, potatoes take FOREVER to go soft, not to mention the frequent water changes. Screw that.
Anyway, take a small ball of dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Make it about 3mm thick. Use a curved knife to trim around the edge, and then cut into quarters. Grandad says using a curved knife is best because it makes you look like a pirate. Actually he really said it’s so that you can trim evenly without tearing the edges.
Heat up a frying pan, DO NOT ADD OIL and dry fry til there are slight char marks on each side, about 1 min each on med. Leave to cool.
OK, now you can start frying up the bacon. He always makes too much bacon (his words, not mine. Never mine) so that he has enough bacon grease to fry in. He then makes French toast and stewed tomatos, and finally he re-fries the tatties in the bacon grease til crispy.
An old Scottish tradition is that you eat these with the stewed tomatos, but we go ghetto sometimes and eat them with ketchup. Eat too much, wash down with 12 year old scotch and have a great, if not scary heart skipping day.