Hotch Potch from Scotland

Cathy Smith


I was stationed in Edzel Scotland in the Navy which was so lucky since my family originated in that area. I loved it and one of my favorite pastimes was travelling and staying in little Bed and breakfasts and they were NOT like today. It was truly a bedroom in these people's houses. Then I would chat them up and come away with wonderful family recipes. This is a family recipe of Ms. Mary Walker. Taditionally made with mutton (yuck) it can be made with venison, lamb, or beef.


★★★★★ 1 vote

6-8 or 4 Highland Scotsmen
2 Hr 30 Min
30 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 lb
    neck of lamb, beef, venison, bone in
  • 8 c
    plus water
  • 1 c
    diced carrots
  • 2 medium
    diced onions
  • 1 c
    cup peeled and chopped turnip, can use leek instead
  • 1 c
    diced celery
  • 1-2 c
    shredded cabbage or kale
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    chopped rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp
    parsley chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 c

How to Make Hotch Potch from Scotland


  1. Before going to bed soak the barley in water. It doesn’t really matter what the temperature of the water is but I prefer to set the barley in boiling water.
  2. The next day place the beef in a saucepan, cover with cold water add the salt and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about an hour. Whilst the meat is cooking chop up the carrots and turnip into small cubes. Also chop the onion, leeks and cabbage (or kale) finely. Add the soaked barley to the boiling mutton or beef and then add the prepared vegetables and allow the mixture to simmer for a further hour. If the level of the liquid should fall too low add extra boiling water
  3. Fifteen minutes before the end of the second hour add the chopped fresh parsley together with a little freshly ground black pepper.
  4. The broth can be served straight away but tastes even better upon re-heating the next day so never make small quantities of Hotch Potch, always plan on two days worth. It is said that in some households the broth pot is constantly on the stove and is merely added to as required. Personally I prefer my broth during the winter months only but that is perhaps just a modern taste.
  5. Note: You still need to soak the barley but you can certainly do this in a crockpot these days. The above is Ms. Mary's writings and she vascillates between mutton and beef when she writes cause she knew I did not like mutton, bless her heart.
  6. Just for your entertainment... Hotch Potch or Hot Pot was recorded at it's earliest in the 17th century and it had remained just as popular when I was there. However, a lot of places had kind of come up with their own versions such as Scotch broth and Lancashire hot pot. But it was a stick to your ribs dinner back in the day and still to this day it is satisfying.

Printable Recipe Card

About Hotch Potch from Scotland

Course/Dish: Other Soups
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: UK/Ireland

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