Orkney pattie recipe

A recipe for perfect Orkney Patties

For visitors to Orkney, a culinary experience we’d recommend is trying a Pattie supper in a local chip shop. This is mince, tattie and onion mixed together, battered and deep-fried and it is delicious! At NorthLink Ferries we’re lucky enough to know George o’Neill, who is the Sous Chef on MV Hamnavoe, and an expert pattie maker. He was kind enough to lend us his recipe and has provided top tips to make approximately 12 perfect Orkney Patties in your own kitchen! Please note: a deep fat fryer is required.


  • 500g Beef Mince
  • 1 Onion
  • 750g Potatoes
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 500g Plain Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Power
  • 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 25ml Malt Vinegar
  • Aprox 1 litre Cold Water
  • 1 Egg Yolk


Mince and tattiesFor the Pattie Mix

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes in half. Boil them in a pan, seasoning the water with salt.
  2. Once the potatoes are soft, drain with a colander. Then return the potatoes to the pan, covering with a lid for a few minutes (this removes excess water from the potatoes)
  3. Mash the potatoes but don’t add milk or butter; it’s important to keep the potatoes as dry as possible.
  4. Orkney pattie mixFry the mince in another pan with some vegetable oil. Season the mince with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Once the mince is the right colour, dice a large onion and add it, along with a crushed beef stock cube to the pot, and mix it all together. (Adding a stock cube gives the mince a depth of flavour.) Cook until the onion is slightly softened.
  6. Spoon the mince out onto a baking tray and place in the oven at 180°C for 5 minutes to bake the mince (which slightly removes excess fat and gives the patties a better texture)Orkney Patties, batter to be added
  7. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the mince into the mashed potatoes, leaving behind any excess fat on the baking tray. Mix the mince and potatoes together with a wooden spoon.
  8. Allow the pattie mix to cool and once cool enough to handle, use all the mix to make roughly 12 balls. Press down with the palm of your hand to create the shape. (A small ramekin or cup can be used to ensure all your patties are the same size!) Lay the patties flat on a plate and put in the fridge to set.

For the Batter Mix Orkney patties and the batter mix

  1. In a large bowl, sieve in the flour then make a well in the centre. Add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda to the well and then add the malt vinegar; this will activate the powder, resulting in a crispy batter.
  2. Using a whisk, add the egg yolk then the cold water a bit at a time, whisking vigorously until the batter mix is the consistency of double cream (you may not need to use all of the water to achieve this). Cover the batter and chill in the fridge.An Orkney pattie supper
  3. Preheat your fryer to 180°C
  4. Remove your patties and batter from the fridge. Give the batter a final whisk and dust the patties individually with flour. Dip a pattie in the batter mix and drop in the fryer gently, being extremely careful!
  5. Cook the patties in batches until golden in colour. Remove them from the fryer and put them on a baking tray in the oven (set to 180°C) until piping hot.

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A Recipe for perfect Orkney Patties

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