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By Sue Lawrence. Published by Headline, 2000.


I am a huge, huge fan of Sue Lawrence's - for those who haven't come across her, she is a passionate exponent of Scottish food and cooking, combining lightly-worn erudition, ease and helpful practicality. I like reading her; I love cooking from her.

I have, actually, drawn on her recipe for Clapshot (think Scotland's answer to Irish Champ or Colcannon) before, but that was a decade and a half ago, and I wanted to draw your attention to it again. I like to add a topping of crisp-fried thin-cut slices of onion on top too.



This dish from Orkney is similar to Northern Ireland’s champ and also similar to colcannon, which is found in southern Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland. Clapshot differs by having turnips – called swede in England, for short, neeps in Scotland – mixed with the potatoes instead of cabbage, spring onions or leeks. Because neeps and tatties are typical accompaniments to haggis, I suggest serving a dish of clapshot to ring the changes.
It also makes a very comforting vegetarian dish (if you use butter, not dripping), served in warm bowls with thick oatcakes and a glass of cold milk or buttermilk.


Serves 4 - 6
500g/1lb 2oz (peeled weight)
potatoes, peeled and cut up
500g/1lb 2oz (peeled weight) turnip, (swede) peeled and cut up
50g/2oz butter or dripping
1-2 tablespoons chopped chives


Put the vegetables in a pan of cold salted water, then cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 -20 minutes, depending on the size, until tender, then drain.
Return them to the pan, cover and shake the pan over a very low heat to dry them off completely.
Remember, turnips are rather watery so unless you
dry them off well the mixture will be sloppy.
Mash the vegetables with the butter or dripping, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the chives.
Serve piping hot.