Mince and Tatties

5 from 24 votes
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Scottish mince and tatties, ground meat with root vegetables, herbs and spices, alongside creamy mashed potatoes. It’s easy to make, versatile and satisfying. Any ground meat will work here, but I used venison.

A plate of Scottish mince and tatties with a glass of beer.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Mince and tatties is part of a grand, worldwide tradition of ground meat, vegetables and spices, served with a starch alongside.

Think Mexican picadillo. Sloppy joe’s. Loose meat sandwiches. Ground pork stir fry. You get the point.

Arguably Scotland’s national dish, alongside Haggis and a good Scotch broth, mince and tatties hinges on what the ground meat is cooked with. I’ve seen and eaten it as sad cafeteria food and as elevated as a white linen entrée.

This recipe lies somewhere in between. I do use a variety of flavorings you’ll see in a British larder, as well as diced carrots and rutabagas, plus some dark beer.

My recipe is inspired by one in a great new book The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the foods of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Close up view of a plate of mince and tatties.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

The traditional recipe calls for ground beef and beef broth, which are of course fine, but I prefer venison and venison broth. You could make this with lamb, mutton, bison, even dark meat turkey if you wanted to.

Basically the idea behind mince and tatties is to brown onions and meat, then make a loose gravy to cook the diced vegetables, and let this all cook down into a proper gravy that is lovely alongside mashed potatoes, thus the “tatties.”

If you should have leftover mince and tatties, I highly recommend you use it as a filling for Cornish pasties or Scottish bridies, which are fairly similar. And while not traditional, it is amazing as a filling for the bread dough-based Finnish meat pies called lihapiirakka.

You can also freeze mince and tatties, and you can pressure can it as if it were beef stew.


You might also like these other classics:

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

A plate of Scottish mince and tatties with a glass of beer.
5 from 24 votes

Mince and Tatties

One of Scotland's national dishes, this is easy comfort food perfect for ground venison, beef or whatever meat you have handy. Leftovers make great filling for pasties or bridies.
Course: lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 3 tablespoons bacon fat, beef drippings, butter or oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground venison, beef, lamb or turkey
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons oat flour, or regular flour
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 large, fat carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups porter or other dark, malty beer
  • 2 cups venison or beef stock
  • A few dashes of Maggi seasoning (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)



  • Heat the bacon fat or other cooking oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until they are nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in the ground meat, salt everything, and brown the meat well, which should take another 6 to 10 minutes. This stage is important, as the browning adds a ton of flavor to the finished dish.
  • Sprinkle the oat flour (or regular flour) over everything and mix well. Let this cook a minute or two, then add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Bring this to a rolling boil, then drop the heat to a simmer and let this cook down into a nice gravy. This usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes.


  • When the onions and meat are cooking, put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add a good pinch of salt, and simmer until tender.
  • Drain the potatoes, then return them to the pot. Drop the heat to low. Let the potatoes steam out for about 30 seconds, then add the butter and mash well. Keep mashing while adding the cream. Mix in the white pepper, if using, and salt if it needs it.


Calories: 828kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 558mg | Potassium: 2218mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3142IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is a fantastic recipe. I used radishes we had on hand instead of the rutabaga and made it without the Maggi seasoning option. I also used ground turkey. There’s usually someone in our family that doesn’t like something about a dish but they all loved it.

    Thank you for posting the great recipe!

  2. Exceptionally delicious and quick to assemble. I made it with Innis and Gunn and it had a wonderful creamy sweet flavour to it. Thanks Hank!

  3. Made this tonight with half venison, half beef. The rutabaga I had was huge so I used half in the “mince” and cooked the other half with the “tatties” which mashed up real nice with the potatoes. This is going into the rotation for the rest of winter for sure.

  4. Used Yukon Golds, carrots and HUGE radishes from our local CSA along with local rutabaga and WI venison and porter. As always, Hank, you knocked it out of the park!

  5. I used a barrel aged stout and it somewhat masked the elk flavor. The dish was a hit, but I think I will try a proper Porter next time. The surprising thing was how much I enjoyed the rutabaga.

  6. This recipe was a hit with the whole family, so it’s going in the regular rotation. It’s a really easy week night meal.

  7. great comfort food meal. I am an urban forager, so used carrots, garlic & parsley from my garden, and beef raised by rancher friends.

  8. There is no more Scottish dish than this.
    Served in almost every pub in Scotland a true staple of any Scottish granny’s kitchen
    Done Hank’s way, crazy delicious