Aberdeenshire The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain


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Aberdeenshire

Si and Dave explore Aberdeenshire where they cook a traditional county favourite in Aberdeen. They mill oats and pick up some prime cuts of Aberdeen Angus.


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We're on the road to find regional recipes to rev up your appetite.

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We're going from county to county to discover, cook and enjoy it the best of British.

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Come on!

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Today, We're in search of the real taste of Aberdeenshire.

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Oh, man!

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Dude, here we are, Aberdeenshire.

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One of the most northerly counties we visit.

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IN ABERDONIAN ACCENT: Fit like noo?!

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It's so remote, it's practically got its own language. I lived here for 15 year.

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"Fit like noo?" means, "How you doing, young man?"

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Right. Aberdeenshire is famous for the Aberdeen Angus cow.

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Great meat. It's also famous for the Highland cow, you know the one you get on the toffee bars?

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Could it be a piece or a fancy piece? That means, could it be a sandwich or a cake?

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-OK.

-Do you know, I'm so happy to be here in me Highland home.

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-We've got to get on, then.

-O'er yonder brae.

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On our quest to define the true flavours of Aberdeenshire,

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we make a naughty treat that's not very healthy but is too good to resist.

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-We need some world famous beef, Aberdeen Angus, and we're allowed a little nibble.

-Get in there!

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I get to set the wheels in motion when you visit an oat mill

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that's proud to celebrate its traditional methods.

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Representing Aberdeenshire in the cook-off later is David Littlewood.

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Will we be able to beat him in a blind tasting judged by local diners?

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Were in Stonehaven. It's raining.

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We're 15 miles south of Aberdeen.

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It's a bit of a food haven, Stonehaven, isn't it?

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It is. It's been called North East Scotland's food town.

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There's one thing, in particular, why we're here.

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One product, dude. Let's go.

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-Chef?

-Yes, sir?

-Could we have, please, two of your house specials?

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-Can I have two Mars bars, Doug?

-The Scottish legend.

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Tom, how did it all start?

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It started with two young laddies betting each other

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to do this and do that, and this laddie, John Davy,

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said to Brian McDonald, "I bet you wouldn't eat a fried Mars bar..."

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So they put the order in to Evelyn Balgowan, who was the fryer at the time,

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she phoned upstairs to the guy who owned it at the time, Ingram Mowat,

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and said, "Can we do this?" and Ingram said, "Yes, of course you can do it, it's not a problem."

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A wee coating of water, into the flour, then into the batter and into the fat.

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That's how it all started in 1992.

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I would swear that was a sausage.

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How do you know when they're done?

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It is. It's nice and soft on the inside so it has cooked.

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Don't do it in a one-er, don't, it's hot.

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-Told you.

-Boiling caramel.

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Eat the inside out, dude.

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-It works.

-It does, it's like a chocolate fritter, isn't it?

-It is, it's great.

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We have found an Aberdeenshire speciality, now it's time to find some more.

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-Aberdeenshire food, what's great?

-You must know all about Aberdeen Angus.

-We've eaten several herds.

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I can see that.

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-What d'you mean?

-Beef olives.

-What is the beef olive?

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Aberdeen Angus steak, wrapped around either sausage meat or haggis.

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How about skirlie? It's a bit like oatmeal and onions all mixed together

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and you can use it as a stuffing or beside your mince and tatties.

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Aberdeen Angus from McHardy's over there.

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Some of the finest steak you'll ever get your hands on. Absolutely grand.

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There's something for you all to enjoy. I heard you were in town so...

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Scottish hospitality.

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We've got beef olives with haggis, beef olives with oatmeal...

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The quality of beef in Aberdeen and the Aberdeen area is second to none.

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I'm going to try one of the beef olives. Is this the one with the haggis?

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Look at that. There's oatmeal, haggis, nice Aberdeen Angus...

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-That's sublime, isn't it?

-Are you enjoying it? I'm glad.

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I love that mixture of the beef, the haggis, the oatmeal.

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That to me is really Aberdonian. So is this like skirlie?

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Yes. Skirlie.

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-It's a tradition up here.

-It's quite different.

-We are very proud of our oatmeal up here.

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All that oatmeal is going to draw in and take all the lovely flavours.

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What's your recipe for skirlie?

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-It's handed down. It's a trade secret.

-It's good, man.

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That beef's really tender as well.

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Skirlie, we know that it's got some suet in it, so it tastes really, really juicy.

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Each little bit of oatmeal is full of flavour from the beef and from the gravy.

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-I'm happy in a place of wonderful belly loveliness.

-I'm glad.

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We have stovies.

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-We love our stovies.

-What's a stovie?

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It's the leftovers from the Sunday roast.

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Potatoes, the onions, small bits of meat, the gravy.

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Then you add a little bit of water and just let it cook.

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-Have them with oatcakes...

-Oatcakes?

-..and a glass of milk.

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There's tablet, obviously, a baking thing, but a local delicacy, a sweet, a fantastic thing to have.

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You've got Giulianotti's, the shop, the old style sweet shop just there.

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-Have you tried Scottish tablet?

-No. I'm up for that.

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This is a butter tablet that we sell.

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-Would you like a big bit?

-No, just a little... Give me a big bit but Dave a little bit.

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I'm more of a savoury soul.

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-That's nice.

-Do you like that?

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It's quite different, isn't it?

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-It's quite soft.

-I'm anxious to try the Scottish macaroon.

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This is another delicacy from Scotland.

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Macaroon is basically a fondant, like a vanilla fondant.

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-Who wants the big bit?

-Me.

-I'll give you another bit, if you like.

-Thank you.

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The outside of it is coated with chocolate and toasted coconut.

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There's coconut and fondant. It melts away.

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I've got the worst sweet tooth.

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What else have we got? Butteries.

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Yes, you have to try a buttery.

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-Full of salt and fat and really bad for you but it's absolutely delicious.

-They're lovely!

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They look like a flattened bun, really.

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Pastry like.

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Very greasy.

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Very nice, but probably not too good for you.

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Every now and again doesn't hurt, does it?

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Now these really are unique to Aberdeenshire, aren't they?

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Yes they are. They're a local delicacy.

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Delicacy is the word.

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I love them.

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A little bit like a croissant but much more substance. It's like a rich croissant.

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It's very much like the croissant,

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but the French are quite particular about rolling them and shaping them

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and we just push them out flat on a tray.

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Do you know what the history is?

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I believe the history was they were made to go out on ships,

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hence the high salt content - so they lasted longer.

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If we were to make our own butteries, do you have any tips?

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Just get your hands in and make a mess. The more mess you make, the better it is.

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You know, I think we need to introduce the nation to butteries.

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Aberdeenshire has kept the secret to itself for far too long.

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-That's it now, isn't it?

-Absolutely.

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-We're going to export them around the UK.

-No problem at all.

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The people have spoken.

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Aberdeenshire has loads of great local foods,

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but butteries sound like they're truly unique to the county and a well-kept culinary secret.

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We have to try making them for the residents of Aberdeen,

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and then we can show them off to the rest of the UK.

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Butteries are layers of pastry, butter and lard baked till they are golden brown.

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Naughty but nice.

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So, we are going to attempt the martial art of buttery making.

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So you start off with plain flour.

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Half a kilo.

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You add one sachet of dried yeast.

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I've got some brown sugar, sprinkle that in, and I have got clean hands.

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About a tablespoon of brown sugar.

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And three teaspoons of salt. The buttery has to be salty.

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The next step, we want 350ml of tepid water.

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It needs to be warm enough to activate the yeast, but not too hot or you'll kill it.

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-It does need kneading, this dough...

-It does, it needs kneading for about 10 minutes and you'll be fine.

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You need to knock the lights out of this for about 10 minutes.

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You could put windows in with this.

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That is how it's meant to be.

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Give it more. Is it working now?

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Nearly there.

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What you need to do is to get a bowl,

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oil the bowl, because you don't want the dough to stick to the bowl.

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I'll take over.

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You put that dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with some cling film,

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bit of oil...

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and then just place it over the bowl.

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That needs to go in a draft-free place for about an hour until it's doubled in size.

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However, this is telly land, so here's one we did earlier.

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There's one that has doubled in size. Has got to be kneaded for about another four minutes.

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Go on, mate!

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You're very good.

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It's lovely! But the heart of the buttery is lard and butter.

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Butter, lard.

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Creaming the butter and the lard together, it's hard work but it's worth it.

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At this point we have a bowl of dough.

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We have a brain!

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We have a bowl of lard....!

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Now, flour your board, you need a lot of flour.

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That on there. It's a bit like making puff pastry.

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-Take a quarter of the butter and lard and spread it over two thirds of the pastry.

-Look at that, man!

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You fold the virgin side over, roll that one up to there,

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then we roll out again and you've got to do this four times.

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As you can see, there's a lot of lard in here.

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Take some more lard and butter, spread it out to create another layer!

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When I lived in Huntley, one of the nicest treats was you'd go out to the pubs,

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and you know in Scotland, you've always been flexible with your opening and closing times.

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And the bakers would start making the butteries about four o'clock and the smell would come down the street

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so you'd be going down the street, that euphoric glow, buy a bag of six butteries straight from the oven,

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just sit there in the street and just sup up your evening. It was a perfect end.

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The final rolling out.

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-Can you get a couple of baking trays, lightly oiled?

-Yes.

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It's hard work down the buttery mines.

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Right, with the buttery, you take your pastry, turn it over,

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turn the corners in and this gives it a distinctive buttery shape.

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And just bosh it down.

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And that means it's gonna come out all lumpy on the top.

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-They're mega!

-They are, aren't they?

-Yeah!

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All we need to do with these, cover them over lightly,

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leave them for about another three-quarters of an hour.

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We haven't got time, have we? Cos we're on the telly.

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-So here's some we made earlier.

-Are you ready?

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-As you see, they've puffed up a treat.

-They have.

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380, 200 degrees centigrade, about 15 minutes.

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-Do you know what?

-What?

-I think they're ready.

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The big hand on the big clock says they're ready.

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Right-o! The clock says they're ready, then they're ready.

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-You've got them face down.

-Really?

-Turn them over.

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-Turn 'em over?!

-Yeah.

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-That's a buttery.

-So that's the right side?

-Yeah!

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Ah!

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That's it! Thank you very much! That's our butteries.

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APPLAUSE

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Thank you!

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Butteries might not be too good for the arteries,

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but ours proved a treat for the palates of local people.

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Time to hear what they think. Here you are, love. Hairy bikers butteries.

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Set up a stall. You'll sell them, no bother.

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-They are amazing.

-Not recommended eating for somebody who's just had a triple heart bypass!

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Set you up for a quadruple!

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-Best buttery I've had all day.

-Is it?

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How many have you had?

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-Are they as good as the ones you get from the baker's or are they better?

-Better!

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-They're fine!

-That's an Aberdonian one, "They're fine".

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-Probably the nicest one I've had.

-There you are!

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-I think that was fairly successful.

-So do I.

-We've officially made the Aberdeenshire buttery.

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-We've recreated a legend. Triumphed.

-Yes, we have.

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Our super-buttery butteries went down brilliantly with the locals.

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But next, a bigger challenge is just around the corner.

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We're taking on one of the county's top chefs, using local ingredients

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to see who can best define the taste of the region.

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It will be up to local diners to decide whose dish best represents the true flavours of Aberdeenshire.

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Our opponent today is

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David Littlewood, executive chef of the Milton in Banchory.

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At just 26, David's already been a finalist in the Scottish Chef Of The Year.

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The Milton has also won awards for its dedication to the local produce of Aberdeenshire.

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I never really wanted to be a chef. I kinda fell into it, really.

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I was at university studying law and took a job in a small restaurant

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and became inspired by seeing the chefs producing fantastic things and flavours from raw ingredients.

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I decided that that's what I wanted to be.

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I think we're very lucky in Aberdeenshire, in that we've got

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just about every possible source of produce that you can imagine,

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from the wild venison in the hills to the game birds to the salmon in the rivers, the Aberdeen Angus beef.

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As for the food, using quality ingredients, you don't need to do much to them.

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The food's very simple, but it's fresh, local and tasty.

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I think it's important to keep your team inspired and in order to do that,

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we have to keep changing ourselves and evolve and better ourselves.

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The most important thing is the customers, just to keep them coming back.

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It's very easy for some chefs to cook for their egos and to lose sight of who's important.

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At the end of the day, that's the customer, the person that's eating the food.

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To take on the bikers, my taste of Aberdeenshire is

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loin and slow-braised shin of Aberdeenshire venison

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with pancetta and potato dumplings.

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This is it, the Milton.

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-Hello!

-Great to see you. Cracking weather, eh?

-We brought it with us!

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Magic. Let's get the kettle on.

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The magic words!

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Dude! Headline your dish!

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I'm going to do a loin and a braised shin of roe deer from Aberdeenshire

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with a bit of pancetta and some potato dumplings, a little pearl barley.

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First of all I'm going to do the braised shin. We need to get that on. It'll take about two hours.

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-I'll grab some oil, shift you out of the way.

-Aye.

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In the hot pan, I'll just start this sealing off.

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Now that I've got that burning away, I'm gonna get another pan on with a bit of oil.

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Cold-pressed rapeseed oil. It's not like an olive oil, it doesn't burn.

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-It's got a much higher flashpoint, it doesn't go bitter.

-It's nutty, isn't it?

-Great flavour.

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While the oil is heating up, I'll get a little bit of root vegetables.

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A bit of celery, carrot, some shallots, and I'm going to roughly chop these up.

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Roast this off on a high heat.

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This is going to flavour the stock that I'm going to cook the shin in.

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I'll take this bulb of garlic, straight through the middle and straight in the pan.

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A couple of sprigs of thyme, I'll rub that.

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Chuck in my star anise.

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A couple of these juniper berries.

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Just give 'em a wee squeeze in my fingers, like that.

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A few peppercorns and a couple of bay leaves.

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I wish you could smell that at home.

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-It's lovely.

-I'm going to put just a little bit of tomato paste in there as well.

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Whack this bad boy straight into here.

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Deglaze that pan with a little bit of red wine.

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And then I'm going to pour it straight into there.

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To that I'm going to add some nice home-made venison stock.

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Just enough to cover the meat.

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-You see the steam?

-Yes.

-It's just about to come to the boil.

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The last thing I want to do is for this to boil. Because the meat will toughen.

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I'm going to tinfoil it up, into the oven, 200-odd degrees in a conventional oven.

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Next job, parsnip puree. I'm going to roughly chop these bad boys.

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The last one, I'm going to take

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a standard peeler and take a few shavings off of this and I'll show you what I'll do with that later.

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We'll cook these in some milk.

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When you cook it in milk, you get a much smoother texture at the end.

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I'll get a pan on here and we'll make some choux pastry to make our dumplings.

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Water in the pan and some butter.

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In the meantime, I've had potatoes boiling away.

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-They're nice and tender.

-Tatties!

-Tatties!

-These are for our potato dumplings.

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Stick them in there. With these, I'm going to whack them in a mixer

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and let that mash the potatoes down.

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-Dave, could you get me a mixing bowl from over there, please?

-Yes, chef!

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We'll get this choux pastry on the go.

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I've taken the flour, which I've already sifted,

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and this is my water with the butter,

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which I've only just brought to the boil, and I'm going to stir in this...

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-Is that big enough?

-Perfect.

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I'll stir this into here.

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We're gonna put it back onto the stove and just allow it to dry out.

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-Is this dough for your dumplings?

-Yeah.

0:18:130:18:15

What I'm going to do is fold the choux pastry through the mashed potato

0:18:150:18:20

and that's going to help it to hold and it'll give it a nice, light dumpling.

0:18:200:18:24

What we're gonna do is move the potatoes into this bowl.

0:18:240:18:30

We'll take some eggs, four eggs for this recipe.

0:18:300:18:33

Into the mixing bowl.

0:18:330:18:35

This is basically a lazy way of folding this dough through the eggs.

0:18:350:18:39

You can do it in the pan but I've got other things to do.

0:18:390:18:43

We'll put this into the mixer.

0:18:430:18:45

-You can see how that's...

-Wow.

-Lovely choux pastry.

0:18:530:18:55

We'll take...

0:18:550:18:57

our mashed potatoes, our wild garlic. Just add that into there.

0:18:570:19:01

That's going into the potato?

0:19:010:19:03

Straight into the potato.

0:19:030:19:04

I'm going to season that up again with some salt.

0:19:040:19:08

Have you got Italian ancestors?

0:19:080:19:11

-Look at the size of that!

-I'm going to take some of the pastry now,

0:19:110:19:15

about two thirds potato to one third choux pastry.

0:19:150:19:19

I'm going to fold that in together.

0:19:190:19:23

I'm going to add a little bit of nutmeg.

0:19:230:19:25

There you are, chef.

0:19:250:19:26

Just a pinch, we don't want it to be too strong.

0:19:260:19:29

I've got some vegetable oil here, so I'll take some little balls,

0:19:290:19:33

-dip the spoon in the vegetable oil.

-Ah!

0:19:330:19:36

And using my hand,

0:19:360:19:38

I'm just gonna run...

0:19:380:19:40

the potato across the palm of my hand like that, and that's gonna give me a perfect quenelle.

0:19:400:19:45

That's impressive.

0:19:450:19:47

Scottish flat kale. If you could do me a favour and just strip some of this off and take that...

0:19:470:19:52

Meanwhile, I'm just gonna chop up a clove or two of garlic.

0:19:520:19:55

So we're just gonna put some of the smoked pancetta into the hot pan.

0:19:550:19:59

Neeps and carrots into there.

0:19:590:20:02

A little bit of shallot,

0:20:020:20:03

-and that garlic.

-Are you done with this, chef?

0:20:030:20:06

Yeah, finished with those. What I'm doing with this is just roughly chopping it.

0:20:060:20:10

I'm just gonna add this to the pan now as well.

0:20:100:20:12

-That's that cooking down now. Gonna put these parsnips into the thermal mix.

-Thermal mix!

0:20:120:20:17

Note the thermal mix, ladies and gentlemen.

0:20:190:20:22

It blends, it mixes, it also heats at the same time.

0:20:220:20:24

-It's perfect for making, say, hollandaise sauce, would I be right?

-Yeah.

0:20:240:20:28

Just adding a little bit of butter to this parsnip now as well. Seasoning.

0:20:280:20:33

We can add our cream to our kale, now.

0:20:350:20:38

-There's one thing that we haven't touched upon yet, the other bit of venison.

-The loin?

0:20:380:20:43

-Yeah!

-That's the loin piece, there.

0:20:430:20:46

-I was just curious.

-You can turn that off now, it should be ready.

0:20:460:20:49

Right, little bit of salt and pepper, nice hot pan and then the meat in straightaway.

0:20:490:20:55

Getting a nice colour on there, you see? Turn that over.

0:20:550:20:59

What I'm gonna do is pull that aside and I'm gonna take a couple of knobs of butter

0:20:590:21:05

and just add it into this pan. So what I'm doing is I've put the butter into the pan,

0:21:050:21:09

I've allowed it to melt down and then we're just basting the meat with the butter.

0:21:090:21:13

-Oh, this is fantastic.

-So we're just going to move this into the oven now.

0:21:130:21:17

-So what's missing?

-Gravy!

-Magic.

0:21:170:21:20

Right, next one. I've got some pearl barley here which I've soaked in cold water overnight.

0:21:200:21:25

What we're gonna use for the sauce is the cooking liquor from the shin that we've made, so I'm just gonna...

0:21:250:21:32

Hold that for you?

0:21:320:21:33

Yeah, thanks. Just gonna pour that through that sieve, there.

0:21:330:21:37

I'm gonna bring it to the boil and let it reduce by just a very small amount.

0:21:370:21:40

-We're gonna warm a little bit of this barley through it as well.

-Let's check the venison.

0:21:400:21:45

And just let it rest.

0:21:450:21:46

-I tell you what you can do...

-Yes, chef?

0:21:460:21:50

You can go and fry me these nice parsnip crisps that I did earlier.

0:21:500:21:53

On its way, chef.

0:21:530:21:57

-Here you are, Si.

-Thanks, mate.

0:21:570:21:59

-Bit of blue roll.

-Lovely.

0:21:590:22:02

The dumplings...

0:22:050:22:07

Then I think we're just about ready to go.

0:22:070:22:10

Spoonful of our parsnip puree onto each plate...

0:22:130:22:16

Then I'm gonna take a little bit of our kale and just put a little bit on the plate.

0:22:190:22:25

A piece of our braised shin,

0:22:250:22:27

and sit it on the top, there, on each one.

0:22:270:22:30

One of our dumplings,

0:22:300:22:32

like that.

0:22:320:22:34

And then we're gonna carve the venison.

0:22:340:22:37

Oh, that is perfect.

0:22:370:22:39

A couple of our parsnip crisps to garnish each one up,

0:22:410:22:45

and then our barley gravy.

0:22:450:22:48

-So, there you go.

-Name that dish, dude.

0:22:480:22:52

So we've got loin and slow braised shin of venison

0:22:520:22:55

with a potato dumpling and pearl barley.

0:22:550:22:58

We've got some parsnip puree and some creamed black kale as well.

0:22:580:23:02

Oh, congratulations. Absolutely superb.

0:23:020:23:04

It's cooked perfectly well, isn't it? The shin's perfect.

0:23:070:23:12

Dumpling, Dave, dumpling...

0:23:120:23:15

This is something I wanna cook at home.

0:23:150:23:17

-Oh, what a mega plate of food that is.

-This is such a generous plate of food.

0:23:170:23:22

Whatever we do, we've got to find robust flavours...

0:23:220:23:25

Again, though, reflecting the countryside and the environment that we are in.

0:23:250:23:29

Brilliant food. It's all very well what we think,

0:23:290:23:32

but the real judges are the locals who will decide whose dish is best in a blind tasting coming up.

0:23:320:23:38

David's deer was mouth-watering and a great example of the produce that's on offer in Aberdeenshire.

0:23:380:23:43

We're gonna need something just as special to compete.

0:23:430:23:46

Everyone we speak to in the county can't help but be proud of Aberdeen Angus beef.

0:23:460:23:50

Well, it is world famous.

0:23:500:23:53

So we have to check out this delicious breed for ourselves.

0:23:530:23:56

The Store has been run by the Booth family for generations.

0:23:560:23:59

They supply Aberdeen Angus to the best restaurants in the county. We're meeting farmer Andrew Booth.

0:23:590:24:04

I'm quite excited, cos Aberdeen Angus is like...

0:24:040:24:07

of all they single breeds, it's the most well-known kind of brand in the world, isn't it?

0:24:070:24:12

There's no doubt about that. It is world renowned.

0:24:120:24:14

We're from Aberdeen, so why do anything else but Aberdeen Angus? There is nothing else.

0:24:140:24:19

How long have you been farming Aberdeen Angus?

0:24:190:24:21

We've been concentrating on Aberdeen Angus for the last 10 years,

0:24:210:24:25

and before that we were pretty much commercial production for the supermarkets.

0:24:250:24:29

We're finding as we go around the country, people's attitude to food is changing.

0:24:290:24:33

People are becoming much more clued-up to what they're eating.

0:24:330:24:37

When we started 10 years ago, to try and sell dark, red, matured,

0:24:370:24:40

21 day-plus matured beef, we were like, "Woah! That's not what we see every day in the supermarket."

0:24:400:24:46

And that's completely changed. People are expecting it now.

0:24:460:24:50

So, the beast's slaughtered, it's butchered, then what?

0:24:500:24:53

We're fortunate enough to have our own hanging facility down at the shop, and butchery.

0:24:530:24:58

-Why don't we go and have a look?

-Perfect.

0:24:580:25:00

-This is the chill.

-Right.

0:25:020:25:04

So, this is a major part of the whole process of what we're trying to do.

0:25:040:25:09

We hang our beef for a minimum, on the bone, for three weeks.

0:25:090:25:13

What does hanging beef do to the meat?

0:25:130:25:16

Hanging it is slightly different from beef being matured.

0:25:160:25:19

You sometimes see it in the supermarkets, "Matured for 21 days."

0:25:190:25:23

Matured for 21 days in the supermarket sometimes just means like in a vacpack bag,

0:25:230:25:28

so what we're getting here is blood loss.

0:25:280:25:30

So by getting blood loss, we are taking weight loss.

0:25:300:25:33

We are losing about between 5% and 10% of weight between that one and that one, between one and four weeks.

0:25:330:25:38

So when you put your steak or whatever bit of beef it is into your grill,

0:25:380:25:41

what you see is what you get, it doesn't shrink into nothing.

0:25:410:25:44

The beef that you're buying, it's lost a lot of weight in blood, you've lost a lot of the trimmings,

0:25:440:25:50

so what you're getting is absolutely really good condition to eat and you eat it all.

0:25:500:25:54

Yeah. It'll just melt in your mouth. It really will.

0:25:540:25:57

We're gonna cut this bit of beef.

0:25:590:26:01

This is the four week old roasting steak here, so let's cut it in half and see what happens.

0:26:010:26:05

Oh, man, you can tell!

0:26:050:26:08

You can actually tell...

0:26:080:26:10

-Oh!

-Crikey, look at that!

0:26:100:26:13

Oh, Mrs!

0:26:130:26:14

This is a fresh bit of beef, four days old, bright red meat.

0:26:140:26:17

So we're gonna cut it on the fifth rib as well.

0:26:170:26:20

-Cheers.

-So we've got four day, four week.

0:26:200:26:23

It's like a good red wine. You stick that in a glass and swirl it around, it'll be grabbing to the sides.

0:26:230:26:30

-Good legs on it.

-Good legs on it.

0:26:300:26:32

There's a great word an old butcher uses here, plappy.

0:26:320:26:35

-Plappy.

-Plappy.

0:26:350:26:37

-Look at that!

-It's plappy.

0:26:370:26:38

-Plappy.

-That's just...

-That's not plappy.

-That's not plappy, that's firm.

0:26:380:26:42

What we should do now is cut these, get a couple of rib eye steaks off them and maybe even try them.

0:26:420:26:47

That would be really interesting.

0:26:470:26:48

Cos all the talk about hanging meat and not, there's very few people actually get the chance...

0:26:480:26:54

-To do it.

-To do it.

-Yeah.

0:26:540:26:56

-So, guys, we've got the four week and the four day.

-Right.

0:26:560:27:01

Plappy, not plappy.

0:27:010:27:03

It's a sizzling sensation.

0:27:030:27:05

How were you taught to tell what stage a steak was at?

0:27:050:27:09

You'd use a temperature probe or just press it.

0:27:090:27:12

So you've got medium rare, medium... and we don't do that.

0:27:150:27:18

You don't go any further!

0:27:180:27:21

And another top tip when you've got a steak on a barbecue, don't keep turning it and turning it.

0:27:210:27:27

You see blokes on barbecues, oomph, oomph, oomph.

0:27:270:27:30

-Every time you turn it, it's gonna, you know, get a bit tighter.

-Four days, there,

0:27:300:27:35

and the four week. Look at that!

0:27:350:27:37

It's all about resting. Will we let them rest for a bit longer?

0:27:370:27:40

-A minute.

-A minute.

-Two, three, four.

0:27:400:27:42

-That'll do.

-Get in there!

0:27:420:27:45

Shall we taste the four day first?

0:27:450:27:47

Mmm. Good meat.

0:27:490:27:51

Flavours are coming through.

0:27:510:27:53

A wee bit of a chew to it. Right, let's try the four week old one.

0:27:530:27:57

Completely different, the way it's cutting.

0:27:570:28:00

-The texture's totally different on the four week old one.

-Absolutely totally different.

0:28:000:28:04

Flavour's different, the grain of the meat's different.

0:28:040:28:07

If everybody could get that eating experience every time they cooked a steak...

0:28:070:28:12

If we can keep doing this, and Aberdeen Angus can keep doing this,

0:28:120:28:15

producing beef like this, whether it's here or the other side of the world, it's gotta be a winner.

0:28:150:28:20

-That's really good.

-The beef in Aberdeenshire is too special to ignore,

0:28:200:28:24

and the idea of the beef olives we tasted in Stonehaven is great, so we'll make those.

0:28:240:28:29

And there's another local speciality that I remember from my time living here

0:28:290:28:33

that would be a perfect accompaniment to the olives, skirlie.

0:28:330:28:36

But to make skirlies, we need to find the best oats in the county.

0:28:360:28:40

Oats have always been a staple ingredient in the Scottish diet.

0:28:410:28:45

Oatmeal has been produced in Montgarrie Mill since 1888.

0:28:450:28:48

It's the last working mill of its kind as it produces flat kiln dried oats.

0:28:480:28:53

This is it, the nirvana of the oat world.

0:28:530:28:56

I used to come here and it's the best oatmeal you can get.

0:28:560:28:59

Do you know, it's a water mill as well, which is handy on a day like today.

0:28:590:29:03

Put your helmet on, it's raining, you loony!

0:29:030:29:07

Hello. This must be the engine rooms?

0:29:070:29:09

-It is, indeed.

-Hello, I'm Dave.

0:29:090:29:11

Hi, I'm Gwen.

0:29:110:29:14

-Nice to meet you.

-Look at that!

0:29:140:29:16

We use this for drying the corn before we make oatmeal.

0:29:160:29:20

-Any chance of having a look round?

-Yeah, surely. No problem.

0:29:200:29:23

Follow me.

0:29:230:29:25

-What's that, Gwen?

-That's how we get the corn upstairs to the kiln to be dried.

0:29:290:29:33

-Can we go upstairs and see where that goes?

-Surely can.

0:29:330:29:36

What's going on in here, Gwen?

0:29:370:29:40

That's Richie. He's laying the kiln, to dry the oats.

0:29:400:29:45

That's what gives our oatmeal its...different flavour from your normal oatmeal.

0:29:450:29:50

So does the floor get hot, then?

0:29:500:29:51

-It does.

-Right.

-Of a lunch time it should be about 168 degrees.

0:29:510:29:56

Is it warm in there, Richie?

0:29:560:29:58

-Yeah, I'm roasting!

-The fire that we saw, like, four storeys below us - is that what's heating the floor?

0:29:580:30:03

That's right, yes. We keep that stoked up all day and that keeps the temperature nice and toasty.

0:30:030:30:08

So what's the difference between yours and the others that you find in supermarkets on the shelves?

0:30:080:30:15

Our oatmeal is dried down to about 4% moisture,

0:30:150:30:18

which is a lot more than others. Others it's usually about 10%.

0:30:180:30:22

Well, we've got the toasted oats.

0:30:220:30:23

-What's next?

-After this it goes downstairs and sits in a dry bed for a week,

0:30:230:30:28

to reabsorb a little bit of moisture, which adds to the flavour.

0:30:280:30:33

And then it goes off to be milled.

0:30:330:30:35

Can we have a look?

0:30:350:30:37

Surely can!

0:30:370:30:39

-Gwen, as it's a watermill, presumably you have to let the water in.

-Yes.

0:30:410:30:45

-And that's the wheel that does it.

-It is indeed.

0:30:450:30:47

-Can I have a go?

-On you go.

0:30:470:30:49

There it comes. It's a tidal wave! Look!

0:30:520:30:54

The only thing is, it's stuck behind another sluice.

0:30:540:30:57

It's all right - I've found the next sluice.

0:30:570:31:00

It's the pin that does the what-d'you-ma-call-it. That should help.

0:31:000:31:04

Ooh! Ah, look at this.

0:31:040:31:07

-Everything's come to life here, now.

-It has.

0:31:110:31:13

Isn't that amazing?

0:31:130:31:15

How incredible is that?

0:31:150:31:16

It's all unleashed. What happens next, Gwen?

0:31:190:31:22

The milling's begun.

0:31:220:31:24

The first stone cracks the husk

0:31:240:31:26

and it goes upstairs through a series of fans.

0:31:260:31:29

It comes back to the second stone, which basically does the same job, in case it's missed any.

0:31:290:31:34

-And then down to the milling stone.

-Which is the third one.

-That's right, yes.

0:31:340:31:38

I've heard that you use something a bit bonkers to make the belts sticky.

0:31:380:31:43

-Yes, we use treacle for making the belts sticky.

-Treacle?

0:31:430:31:46

Yes. Because the belts expand in the summer with the heat, because they're made out of canvas.

0:31:460:31:51

So we stick them on to the pulleys with treacle.

0:31:510:31:54

-I'd think you'd get through a lot of treacle.

-We do!

-I bet you do.

-We do.

0:31:540:31:57

So what's happening here, Gwen?

0:32:000:32:03

These are the sieves. These help grade the oatmeal.

0:32:030:32:06

We can change the sieves depending on what size we're making.

0:32:060:32:11

Gwen, can you help us?

0:32:110:32:13

We need some oatmeal to make some skirlies.

0:32:130:32:16

Oh yes, we could. No problem.

0:32:160:32:18

-You'll sort us out?

-Yes, no problem.

0:32:180:32:20

I think you need medium for that.

0:32:200:32:21

-There you go.

-So that's what we want for our skirlies, medium oatmeal.

0:32:250:32:28

That looks just about spot-on.

0:32:280:32:30

I fancy a quick bowl of porridge before we go. It's like drinking beer at the brewery tap.

0:32:300:32:34

-Here we are, in the engine room of the mill, all the workers' lockers.

-There's such history here.

0:32:380:32:43

Look, C McPherson, killed the 25th September, 1915.

0:32:430:32:49

Jack Boat, killed here on 14th December 1918, deeply regretted.

0:32:490:32:54

There's lives on these walls, such history.

0:32:540:32:57

-Hundreds of years of little ditties.

-Ah, it's superb.

0:32:570:32:59

-Well, I think the writing's on the wall for the recipe. Don't you?

-It is. Look, beef and skirlies.

0:32:590:33:05

Can't knock it. Oh, yes!

0:33:050:33:07

-Long live porridge.

-It's lovely!

0:33:070:33:09

Ee, Dave, you've set us a challenge. You know, that was good food.

0:33:100:33:14

We know we've got to have good taste in food to stand any chance whatsoever,

0:33:140:33:17

and we've gone with what we think is Aberdonian tradition.

0:33:170:33:20

-Yes!

-So we've got Aberdeen Angus beef olives.

0:33:200:33:23

Served on a bed of skirlies.

0:33:230:33:25

-With a fondant neep.

-Some champit potatoes.

0:33:250:33:27

And Scottish spring water carrots.

0:33:270:33:29

But will the local diners think our dish is good enough to beat David's in the blind tasting?

0:33:290:33:34

This is Aberdeen Angus topside, slices of.

0:33:340:33:38

I'm going to put it in between two pieces of clingfilm and beat it out nice and thinly,

0:33:380:33:42

and then we're going to repeat the process with the other three.

0:33:420:33:46

Put your spuds on. These are for the champit potatoes.

0:33:460:33:49

While Mr King is creating chaos, I'll try and assemble the stuffing.

0:33:490:33:54

Some breadcrumbs.

0:33:540:33:56

-Some beef suet.

-There's nowt like it, is there?

-No. Good handful of chopped onions.

0:33:560:34:02

That'll be enough.

0:34:020:34:03

Some pork sausage meat.

0:34:030:34:04

The zest of half a lemon.

0:34:040:34:07

A teaspoon of lemon juice.

0:34:070:34:12

Freshly chopped parsley.

0:34:120:34:14

-Four rashers of local bacon.

-Streaky!

0:34:140:34:18

One beaten egg.

0:34:180:34:20

Black pepper. Sea salt flakes. Some good old-fashioned dried mixed herbs.

0:34:200:34:26

You know, nothing fancy.

0:34:260:34:28

A bit of this, a bit of that. It's gonna cook so the flavour will come out.

0:34:280:34:31

-There's good flavours there.

-Oh, definitely.

0:34:310:34:33

Once I've beaten that really, really thinly,

0:34:330:34:36

we're just going to put a lovely smear of Scottish mustard.

0:34:360:34:40

Mr King's topside burgers.

0:34:400:34:43

I'm going to get the gravy pan on. The mustard goes on.

0:34:430:34:47

-Let me take a bowl of stuffing. I'm bad with stuffing. I always put too much in.

-Don't, Dave, don't!

0:34:470:34:52

I'm just sauteing my onions off.

0:34:520:34:54

Some stuffing about the size of a mouse.

0:34:540:34:57

Wrap that over like that.

0:34:570:34:59

Now we've got to tie these. We've got these new-fangled things.

0:34:590:35:02

I was going to use string

0:35:020:35:04

but the people who we got the beef from said they always use these for the beef olives.

0:35:040:35:09

We call them a trussing band.

0:35:090:35:10

-I'll just repeat.

-That's trussed to an inch of its life, that, dude, I tell you.

0:35:100:35:14

All of the onions are now soft. We're going to add some diced kidney.

0:35:140:35:20

What we do next is get your pan, some butter...

0:35:200:35:24

..a big glug of olive oil.

0:35:240:35:27

-Get that to heat.

-While that pan's coming up to heat, I'm going to add about a tablespoon of flour.

0:35:270:35:33

And then just cook that through.

0:35:330:35:35

The olives, we're just going to roll them now in seasoned flour.

0:35:350:35:38

Now, to this pan, what we're going to do is I'm going to add...

0:35:380:35:44

To this pan, I thee wed...

0:35:440:35:45

..red wine.

0:35:450:35:47

And some beef stock.

0:35:500:35:51

Right, and the last thing to go in here now is a tablespoon of tomato puree. Right?

0:35:510:35:59

Now, these are just going to be browned. There you go.

0:35:590:36:03

There's butter for flavour and a bit of oil to stop the butter burning.

0:36:030:36:06

What we're going to do now is pour the kidney-onion gravy mixture onto the beef olives.

0:36:060:36:11

What I reckon is we give this half an hour with foil on

0:36:110:36:14

and then the last half hour with the lid off.

0:36:140:36:16

Well, let's see how it is. That's the beef olives on.

0:36:160:36:18

OK, the Scottish classic - the neep.

0:36:180:36:23

The swede, turnip. We're doing a fondant neep because we're trying to do a restaurant version of turnips.

0:36:230:36:29

-Not a fondant neep!

-We've never done it before. Need to cut those now. Put that on there like that.

0:36:290:36:34

-Oh!

-Mr Myers.

0:36:360:36:38

While Dave's knocking those out, I'm going to put some sour cream...

0:36:380:36:43

..some milk...

0:36:440:36:46

-Gone off there.

-Has it gone off one?

-Aye.

0:36:460:36:50

..and some nice, finely sliced spring onion.

0:36:500:36:55

Into this pan...I've got a lot of butter.

0:36:550:36:58

And the butter we flavour with garlic and thyme.

0:36:580:37:03

Sprig of thyme. Garlic.

0:37:030:37:05

Just give it a bash to release the flavour.

0:37:050:37:09

Put that on to warm on there.

0:37:090:37:11

Now, this is called a barrel sieve

0:37:110:37:13

and we're going to push those potatoes through that sieve

0:37:130:37:16

-so they're lovely, nice and fabulous.

-Super-finest mash.

0:37:160:37:19

In with the turnip. Swede.

0:37:190:37:22

Neep. These are bubbling away beautifully.

0:37:220:37:24

I bet there's a lot of people down south don't know what a skirlie is.

0:37:240:37:28

First off, I've got some suet, onions in the suet, and we're just going to soften the onions.

0:37:280:37:32

That's what you're after.

0:37:320:37:34

Fluffy, lovely mashed potato.

0:37:340:37:38

I'm going to add some butter.

0:37:380:37:41

Some finely chopped chive.

0:37:410:37:43

Some sour cream.

0:37:430:37:46

Right, let's see how these are doing. Yes!

0:37:460:37:50

I need some stock.

0:37:500:37:52

And you can get the skirlies on now. This is medium oatmeal, that we got from Alford.

0:37:520:37:57

So you put that in there. I may put some water in.

0:37:570:38:01

-That's it.

-We've got our sour cream into the potatoes. We've got our butter.

0:38:010:38:06

We've got some seasoning and chopped chives.

0:38:060:38:08

What we'll do, a little bit at a time, we'll add the milk that's been infusing with the spring onions.

0:38:080:38:15

So I'm just going to add a bit of that.

0:38:150:38:17

Mix it in.

0:38:170:38:18

And I'm going to season it up now. Potatoes and white pepper.

0:38:180:38:23

I think they're a match made in heaven.

0:38:230:38:26

I've just got some pinhead oatmeal in here that I'm dry-frying off,

0:38:260:38:30

this is going to be a crunchy topping on the fondant turnip.

0:38:300:38:32

Our Scottish carrot puree starts out in the pan, looking like this.

0:38:320:38:36

Now, what we got in the pan is some carrots, obviously, some butter and the zest of half an orange.

0:38:360:38:42

To that we add

0:38:420:38:44

about two teaspoons of caster sugar.

0:38:440:38:47

What we're going to do is put that in, sparkling water. That'll do. We're just covering it, look.

0:38:470:38:53

We're going to put them on.

0:38:530:38:56

The neeps are done. Yes. I'll get the beef out to rest.

0:38:560:39:00

Great. That's fine.

0:39:000:39:01

We can let that moulder. Is that going down, Kingy?

0:39:040:39:07

-Yeah, it's good.

-Right.

0:39:070:39:10

Not a puree. Nicely mashed, though.

0:39:100:39:13

-Kingy, would you hold my bag?

-Yes.

0:39:130:39:14

I wonder what the chef thinks of skirlies.

0:39:140:39:18

-Thanks, chef.

-Ah, chef!

0:39:190:39:22

Where are we having these quenelles?

0:39:220:39:24

I think we should put the quenelle in the centre.

0:39:240:39:26

It's like the sun setting over the North Sea.

0:39:300:39:33

I have an inkling of a sprinkling.

0:39:330:39:35

We're just going to put a little bit over here.

0:39:410:39:43

-That's just wrong.

-There we have it.

0:39:430:39:46

Here is our dish. We have an Aberdeen Angus beef olive.

0:39:460:39:48

-Served on a bed of skirlie.

-With a neep fondant.

0:39:480:39:51

And our carrot puree from Scotland.

0:39:510:39:53

With champit potatoes and banging gravy with kidneys,

0:39:530:39:56

made with the beef olives.

0:39:560:39:58

-Bob's your uncle.

-I'd eat it.

0:39:580:40:00

What do you think, David?

0:40:000:40:02

It looks great, eh?

0:40:020:40:04

Yeah, it's good. It is good.

0:40:040:40:06

Though I hate to admit it.

0:40:060:40:08

-Skirlies.

-You need gravy with your skirlies.

0:40:080:40:11

It's not as good as my mum used to make, eh.

0:40:110:40:13

-No, I can...

-Sorry, boys. But it's good. It's good.

-Just eat plenty of gravy with it.

0:40:130:40:18

Right, the beef olives.

0:40:180:40:21

What do we reckon?

0:40:210:40:22

It's good, eh.

0:40:270:40:29

-Very good.

-Good beef.

0:40:290:40:31

Well, chef, it's all in the hands of the tasters.

0:40:310:40:33

-Then we can go to the pub.

-Best of luck, boys. You're going to need it.

-Yeah?

-Well, well...

0:40:330:40:38

It's the moment of truth. The diners here will taste both dishes without any idea of who cooked which.

0:40:380:40:43

First up is David's roe deer with potato dumplings, parsnip puree and pearl barley.

0:40:430:40:48

I thought it was delicious.

0:40:480:40:49

The shin of roe deer, I shall certainly be looking for it locally to cook myself.

0:40:490:40:53

The word shin made me think it was a cheaper cut of the roe deer, but it was absolutely delicious.

0:40:530:40:59

The meat itself looked slightly underdone. It was slightly rose.

0:40:590:41:04

the potato dumpling might have been the ingredient to lose.

0:41:040:41:07

The gravy worked for me. Yes, it wasn't too rich,

0:41:070:41:11

and the pancetta flavour was coming through, and it was very tasty.

0:41:110:41:15

The pear barley somehow just gives a little nod to Aberdeenshire's more rustic roots.

0:41:150:41:21

It would be a dish anybody could be proud of round here.

0:41:210:41:24

Well, they seemed to like that. Next to be served is our dish.

0:41:240:41:27

Fingers crossed.

0:41:270:41:29

-It's very tasty, and you got the taste on the first bite.

-Quite attractive but but not a knockout.

0:41:290:41:34

I actually thought it looked a lovely homey dish and I couldn't wait to try it.

0:41:340:41:38

-Potatoes a little too smooth.

-The kidney gravy was fantastic.

0:41:380:41:42

I was very pleasantly surprised with the turnip.

0:41:420:41:46

It's grown widely throughout the North East.

0:41:460:41:48

The vast majority of the crop goes for animal feed, but lucky animals!

0:41:480:41:53

-Because it really was very, very nice.

-I eat a lot of skirlie.

0:41:530:41:56

This is very like my mother's, which is perhaps why I liked it so much.

0:41:560:41:59

This was a typical Aberdeenshire dish.

0:41:590:42:02

If this is Aberdeenshire, it's Aberdeenshire on a weekday.

0:42:020:42:05

It's not Aberdeenshire at the weekend.

0:42:050:42:08

Hello there. Good evening. How are you?

0:42:080:42:10

Well, hello.

0:42:100:42:13

-Oh, thank you.

-Thank you very much.

0:42:140:42:16

It's great to come back to Aberdeenshire. It's a county that Si and I know very well.

0:42:160:42:21

I lived here for 15 years.

0:42:210:42:23

We hate this bit. We're going to ask you to vote.

0:42:230:42:26

You're voting for flavour, of course, but you're also voting

0:42:260:42:30

for what you thought represented your county best.

0:42:300:42:34

A show of hands, please, for the venison dish.

0:42:340:42:40

That's one, two, three, four, five, six. Thank you very much.

0:42:400:42:43

So that's six for the venison.

0:42:430:42:45

A show of hands, please, for the beef olives with skirlies.

0:42:450:42:50

One, two, three. Thank you very much.

0:42:500:42:53

So I'm pleased to say the venison dish was...David's.

0:42:530:42:57

APPLAUSE

0:42:570:43:00

-Sorry, boys.

-No, not at all. It was great. Absolutely great.

0:43:000:43:04

I must say, you've got a very, very talented young chef in this area.

0:43:040:43:10

-You should be very proud of him. Back on the bikes.

-Yes. Well done.

0:43:100:43:14

-Thank you.

-Thank you. Goodnight.

-Bye.

0:43:140:43:16

David's roe deer was too good to beat but at least our beef olives and skirlies were truly local.

0:43:160:43:22

Aberdeenshire has so much great produce on offer, and wonderful people.

0:43:220:43:26

It was great to be back in this county and be reminded of the all the foodie treasures it holds.

0:43:260:43:31

With Aberdonian hospitality, you'll ne'er go 'wa hungry.

0:43:310:43:34

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:380:43:41

E-mail [email protected]

0:43:410:43:44

Si and Dave explore Aberdeenshire where they cook a traditional county favourite in Aberdeen. They mill oats and pick up some prime cuts of Aberdeen Angus. Finally, they face the challenge of a cook-off against top chef David Littlewood. Restaurant diners decide who has created the best taste of Aberdeenshire.