Learn how to make Scottish Mince and tatties – a cheap, old fashioned, no frills meal that’s perfect for chilly weather days!
You know it’s starting to turn cold here in the Highlands when I start craving mince and tatties.
There’s certainly nothing fancy or very photogenic about a plate of mince and tatties, but it’s good old fashioned comfort food.
We had mince and tatties at least once a week when I was little. My Gran often made a mince round too which I absolutely loved.
It’s exactly the kind of thing I make for my family when the first signs of Autumn start to show.
The nights are fair starting to draw in, (which means it’s getting darker much earlier!) and it’s been very windy and nippy here this week so a warming plate of comfort food is just what I need.
I’ve also made a big pan of my tattie soup to keep us going this week – there’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup on cold days, don’t you think?
ingredients you’ll need to make mince and tatties
- Minced Beef – It’s worth going for the best quality you can afford. It really makes a difference.
- One large or two small onions, diced
- A couple of carrots, peeled and chopped into small dice
- Beef Stock or Bisto Gravy Powder, plus one Beef Oxo Cube for extra flavour
- Salt and Pepper
- Worcestershire Sauce (optional and not traditional, but it adds a certain something!)
Now before you think I’ve gone mad sharing a recipe for something as simple as mince and tatties, I’ve actually had lots of people over the years asking me how I make it, so I thought I’d better put it on here!
I’m sure everyone has a different way of making mince but this is the way I make it – it’s basic and has no frills but my family love it and that’s the main thing. It’s also the way my Granny made it!
how to make mince and tatties
You start off by browning your mince over a medium to high heat. I don’t add any oil – it isn’t necessary. Break the mince up with a fork and crumble in an Oxo stock cube (You don’t have to do this, but I always do.)
Add the diced onion, carrot, beef stock/gravy powder and Worcestershire sauce, if using.
Place a lid on the pan and simmer for 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the mince is soft and is coated in a nice thick gravy. While you’re waiting for the mince to cook, make the tatties.
When you’re ready to serve the mince, taste it to check if it needs any salt and pepper before serving.
Can you make mince and gravy in advance?
Absolutely, yes. In fact I would recommend you do so.
I like to make a big pan of mince and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days – it’s always better a day or two after making anyway, so if you can make it in advance your mince will be all the better for it.
Want to see more classic Scottish recipes?
Haggis neeps & tatties cottage pie
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Mince and Tatties
Learn how to make old fashioned Scottish Mince and Tatties - just like Granny used to make! It's a cheap, easy, nourishing and comforting meal the whole family will love.
- 500g pack Minced beef (I usually go for one with a 10-15% fat content)
- 1 Oxo Beef Stock Cube
- 1 Large Onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into small dice
- Around 400ml of beef gravy, made with bisto gravy powder OR beef stock
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce , Optional
- Place a large saucepan over a medium high heat and brown the mince, breaking it up with a fork to separate it. Crumble in the Oxo cube, add the onions and continue to cook on a high heat until the mince has browned and no traces of pink remain.
- Add the diced carrots, the gravy or beef stock and the Worcestershire sauce, if using. Turn the heat to low-medium, pop on a lid and cook for at least an hour or until the mince is nice and soft and the gravy has thickened. Season to taste. That's all there is to it!
- Cook your tatties, mash them with lots of butter (some people add milk but I don't usually bother) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I prefer to use Bisto gravy powder, but you can use any beef stock you like.
The Oxo cube helps make the gravy a little richer, but you don't have to add it.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1078mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.
Pure comfort meals are the best kind meals. looks so delicious and wholesome.
Thank you! I agree, comfort food is the best!
Mince and tatties are one of THE best comfort foods, ever! It’s got to be made with Bisto too – none of this fancy exotic beef stock stuff. Yum!
I absolutely agree. I’ve hummed and hawwed whether I should blog the recipe for ages, but I decided to go for it – after all, this is the kind of food I cook for my family. I’m 100% with you on the Bisto – I couldn’t imagine making it any other way!
there is absolutely nothing wrong with simple. I live in Edinburgh and it is almost mince and tatties weather here too. 🙂
Thanks Kellie! Yes it’s getting to that time of year when comfort food is most definitely needed!
I absolutely love mince and tatties! It always reminds me of my family. My Mum used to make it for us growing up and me and he would always mix the tatties with the mince and my sister and Dad used to eat theirs separately. Do you mix yours? My Mum doesn’t approve of me because when I make it I now serve it with sweetcorn and mix all of that in too!
Yes this is exactly how we eat it too – it has to be done! ? I’ve never tried it with sweetcorn, but when we were little it wasn’t unusual for us to have baked beans with it! Have to admit I’m no longer keen on it though ?
Made this today and the family loved it!!! Some great recipes you have, will have to keep trying more of them
I’m so happy to hear that! ?
My Mother always added a bit of nutmeg as well.
Hi Mitchell, I’ll need to give it a try – nutmeg is one of my favourite spices.
Haven’t made this in ages, but Mom, then me, always added a bit of Kitchen Bouquet for richer flavor and color. Anyone else? I don’t recall the W Sauce either? Also, the onion was added whole, not diced.
Hi Susan, I’m sorry for the delay in replying, I’ve been ill this week and I’m just starting to catch up ? We don’t have Kitchen Bouquet in Britain – is it like a gravy browning? My Gran didn’t add Worcestershire sauce to her recipe but I like to add just a little. That’s interesting about adding the onion whole – it would be good for little children who don’t like finding bits of onion in their food!
Nickki, yes, KB is like a browning sauce. Mom’s dad was born in Scotland and made it the same way. I haven’t bought it in years; I’ll have to look and see whether it’s still available! Now I’m craving Mince! I hope you feel better. Here is a link to Amazon. I wonder if the Amazon UK site might have it?
The ingredient list is further down the page.
Thanks Susan, I must have a look to see if it’s available. I would love to try it out. Thanks! Recovering from a chest infection. Will be back very soon with some new recipes!
Looking forward to them! ♥
Thank you so much!
How much beef stock do I use? You didn’t give any amounts. I won’t be using cubes or powder because of the salt content. I would be using liquid beef stock. Thanks
Hi Carrie – I usually use 400ml of stock. I’ve never used the liquid stock for mince and tatties before, but I’m sure it wouldn’t make too much difference. Hope that helps!
Hi Nikki. Thank you and yes that helps. I cant wait to try this. Its one of my fae comfort meals
No Problem at all. I really hope you enjoy it. Just a further tip – You *might* need a little more or less stock than 400ml while you’re cooking the mince – I tend to go by eye, which is why I’m vague on the amount you need. I always make sure I have enough liquid to cover the mince well at the start and I top up during cooking so it doesn’t dry out. What you’re looking for is a nice thick gravy that coats the mince nicely. If you have any more questions, don’t hesistate to reach out.… Read more »
I loved seeing this recipe. My mum always made this exactly the same way. I made it for dinner tonight.
Thank you Alison, it’s perfect comfort food!
It’s cool and rainy here in Oregon, a perfect day for Mince and Tatties! We really enjoyed this dish and will make it again soon when the grandkids are over. I am sure they will love it too. Thank you for posting the recipe. I made the recipe just as written.
Hi Linda, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you so much for letting me know!
I made this tonight and it was a nice change from hamburger patties! Hubs and I ate it all!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Tasty…a new favorite!
Glad you enjoyed it Mark!
I’m using bisto gravy powder, how many tablespoons in 400ml of water is it
I’m using bisto gravy powder, how many tablespoons to 400ml of water is it
For the bisto gravy powder I would use about 7 or 8 Teaspoons to 400ml. If it’s too thick you could always just add more water.
Hands down the best mince and potato recipe! Wow, thank you. So enjoyed that!
I’m so pleased you liked it! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
I always put swede in mine, turnip in Scotland but agree with your recipe, delicious
Thanks Kate! I don’t usually put turnip in my mince, but I will give it a try one day. Thanks for visiting!
This reminds me of a filling for cottage pie and my grandma made this and served over bread, like an open face sandwich. Never knew how she made it before, going to try it with my family. My grandma and her family were Scottish, but she died when I was a teen and I never really learned her recipes. So been looking them up, or versions of them. Discovered my oldest likes mashed turnips! I might add turnips to the mince for fun! Cant wait to try!
My Grandmother and my Mom both made this. When I came across your recipe I showed it to my husband and it said “ we’re having that for dinner tonight”. I didn’t have the family recipe as I’m sure they made it by memory. It’s such a simple but delicious meal. There was a question of Bisto vs beef stock and I told him that we were a Bisto family and I’m not even sure you could buy canned beef broth when my Grandmother (born in Scotland) made it. I’m 70 so she was probably making it close to a… Read more »
Hi Heather, I’m really glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for letting me know! I made mince and tatties for years from memory too – My Gran made it all the time.
This is exactly how I have been making it for 50 years! I even made it for my Mum when she came to visit. She said it was the best she’d ever tasted! Have you tried adding some turnip (rutabega) with the carrots? It adds another dimension and it’s delicious.
Hi Irene, I’m so glad you liked it! I haven’t tried adding turnip but I definitely will next time I make it! Thanks for the tip
You must surely be the cutest mom making all these delicious meals for your family. I am impressing my husband of more than 25 years with your recipes!
That’s so sweet of you, thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes 😊
Hahaha and another family favourite, so happy I found you blog
Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes 🙂
So excited to try this! My family loved the Scottish tattie soup! Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful recipes! ❤️
You’re very welcome, I hope you enjoy the soup 🙂
Hi there my late mom always made gravy using a mixture of cornflour (mazeina) and bistro mixed together with a little water but I wouldn’t know how much of both to mix together into a paste? Do you know if this mixture and quantities at all or do you solely use bisto if so do you mix 8 Teaspoons to app 400ml water? Sorry it’s.a gravy I have been wanting to try for ages but no idea on how to make, Many thanks Diana
I’ve never tried mixing cornflour and bisto for a gravy, but I would try mixing equal amounts – for instance 4 Teaspoons of each, then add enough water to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the paste to about 400ml water, mixing well with a whisk to avoid lumps. Then I slowly heat up the gravy until thickened and add to the mince. This is what I do when I’ve used Bisto powder in the past. I generally tend to use Bisto gravy Granules because it’s much quicker – 4 Heaped Teaspoons to about 400ml water.