Scotch Broth

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

Broths make use of the cooking liquor from meat or poultry and much depends on the slow simmering to extract all the flavour. In many parts of Scotland broth is made all year round with peas or cabbage added according to the season.


  • 450 g/1 lb neck of mutton or shin of beef
  • 2.25 litres/4 pints water
  • 3 level teaspoons salt
  • 40 g/1ยฝ oz pearl barley
  • 2โ€“3 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 small turnip
  • 1 teacup shredded cabbage of fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley


    Trim away any excess fat and place the meat in a large saucepan.

    Add the water and salt. Place the pearl barley in a small basin and pour a little boiling water over to scald it. Stir and then drain. Add the barley to the soup pan. Bring to the boil, boil for 1 minute, then skim and lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour.

    Peel and finely dice the carrots. Peel and finely chop the onion. Trim the leek and split it open, then wash under cold water and shred finely. Peel the turnip, then slice and dice neatly. Add the vegetables to the pan of broth, re-cover and simmer gently for a further 45 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage or fresh peas and cook without a lid for a final 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked.

    Draw the pan off the heat and lift out the pieces of meat. Strip any scraps of meat off the bone, shred finely and return to the broth. Check the seasoning and reheat.

    Sprinkle in the chopped parsley just before serving.