Food from a Physicist who loves to cook

Tag Archives: st andrews

So this is the third time I’ve attempted to write a post on here and hopefully it will be a successful attempt, what with uni work and the weather and just general winter blues I haven’t had the motivation to write, and sometimes I haven’t even had the motivation to cook. However, my little sister was visiting this weekend which gave me the opertunity to cook for more than one person, which to me means only one thing. MEAT!! As many of you know I live with a vegan, which means we rarely cook together, so when I do get to cook for other people I kind of go all out and cook a fancy meat dish. This time it was Braised Oxtail, and the recipe was in fact from the times so here it is with a few modifications.

Braised Oxtail

  • 4 chunky rounds of oxtail
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 big carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 plump cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bushy sprig of rosemary
  • 2 large bay leaves (or 3 small ones)
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500ml red wine
  • Juice of 1 orange
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Cut off the larger bits of hard white fat from the oxtail. Put the flour in a bag with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Throw in the oxtail rounds and shake until they are all dusted with flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a casserole large enough to hold all the meat and vegetables. Brown the meat and then set to one side.
  3. Add the vegetables, herbs and star anise. Sweat over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until starting to soften, then stir in the tomato purée. Add the browned meat (plus any accumulated juices), wine and orange juice, then season well. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  4. Place in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours, stirring halfway through. Depending on the oxtail, it may be ready half an hour earlier or later. Prod it – you want the fat to be soft and gelatinous and the flesh falling off the bones. Check the seasoning and spoon off as much of the fat as you can.


I removed the star anise half way through cooking as the smell coming from the pan was starting to be over powered by its scent, but it is up to your own tastes what you do. I like this recipe as it seemed very festive, the wine and spice mix put me in mind of mulled wine and the combination of flavours is lovely and warming. The Oxtail was from the new farm shop out side of St Andrews, somewhere that is well worth a visit, the butchers is amazing and very reasonably priced, and the veggies are impressive, with onions the size of my head!


With Wills and Kate announcing their engagement St Andrews has been the focus of the media this week, with everyone wanting to know more about the place the two met and fell in love. My friend says that the BBC are camped outside of sallies ( St Salvator’s hall for those of you from outside our little bubble.) since that’s where WIlls stayed when he was here. On top of that out lovely union has decided to put on a Kate and Wills bop this friday with the tag line “Get your tweed out, don your pearls and bare your Barbours for this weeks WILLS AND KATE BOP!”

This is what they think we want?

And then of course there is the much discussed (in St Andrews at least) telegraph blog by Andrew M Brown “Kate Middleton is a typical St Andrews girl” Please feel free to read the full article here

Now I know so many people have already commented on the blog, but it really does need commenting on. Its portraying a stereotype as a majority. I cannot say if this is in fact what St Andrews was like when Wills was here but it’s defiantly changed now.  Here is the authors opinion of a St Andrews girl

“Kate Middleton belongs to this group. In fact you could almost say she’s a classic St Andrews girl. They are fresh-faced and wholesome and they typically wear Barbours, pashminas, tailored tweed jackets, padded bodywarmers, pearls and Tiffany hearts. They’re prosperous, obviously – they drink spirits in the bars, not beer – and they’ve probably picked up the habit of flicking back their expensively highlighted hair when it falls into their eyes. Not that they’re a bunch of squares. Underneath the demure exterior there may lie a streak of raciness: witness that university fashion show when Kate sauntered down the aisle in a see-through dress.”

This is basically a description of a yah girl, never heard the phrase, well urban dictionary it. Now walking through town you could be convinced that theses are the only girls who go to St Andrews. LOOK CLOSER, they are just the girls who make their presence known, walking in big groups, talking loudly flicking their hair in your face, and congregating at night in the lizard, or the Westport. The rest of the girls in St Andrews, well they are bundled up, it is Scotland after all, usually with their hair in a style that can’t be destroyed by the north sea wind, and are normally found in their department, or the library or at home, working. Because St Andrews is a prestigious university, it has high standards and for those of us who have come to university to get a degree and help our futures. (Instead of those who came because they thought that should or because it is what society accepts.) Those of us working, are working hard to secure a high class degree, one that will help us with future academic pursuits or career.

So yes there are Yahs in St Andrews, but not as many as you think, it’s just that the normal girls (though normal doesn’t really fit such a broad spectrum) are keeping themselves to them selves and either working or catching up with friends, or having fun, but mostly not caring about what people think of them.

Oh and Andrew M Brown if you’re going to write about a university at least do your research, the fact you got the universities name wrong says it all,  WE ARE THE UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS, goodnight.

So I’ve been in the bubble now for 7 Days. For those of you who don’t inhabit it yourselves, the bubble is St Andrews. I guess it’s called the bubble for a few reasons, it’s pretty secluded for one, everybody kind of knows everybody else and it’s got it’s own microclimate. Very Bubble like.

So I’ve been back a week, freshers last week, and so hectic and busy and mad. Today Lectures started again, and since I’m in senior honours they have piled on the work, with online lectures and tutorials and books to look up in the library. All very scary. Plus with this being my third year here, I’m allowed to adopt my own little academic children to mess with, so far I have two little American children – yay!

Framing the bridge

Anyway, back to the food. Today has been a hard day, only one lecture but over 2 hrs of personal study already and that’s scary. Plus I’m really not sure I’ve fully recovered from freshers, so a hearty meal is in order.

Haggis Stuffed Chicken with rich Gravy

  • Chicken ( I used de boned thighs but breast would probably be better)
  • Haggis (Shamefully mine came from a can but hey it was cheap.)
  • Stock
  • Whiskey
  • Seasoning
  • Cream
  1. De bone the chicken if you are using thighs, and place about a teaspoon of haggis in the middle, roll this into a tube, imagine the haggis is the bone, and tie in place.
  2. Brown the chicken in a pan with a little oil, then roast in the oven at about 200.
  3. In the pan you browned the chicken in, add about half a pint of stock, if you like you can add a little haggis to this. To the stock and haggis add some cream, the amount depends on how you like your gravy. Finally add a little whiskey, I used about a tbsp, and then season with pepper.

This was served with cabbage, parsnip and pots, all mashed together, and as per usual  when I mash I got the

proportions wrong. Sorry there are no photos of the actual food I have a new camera and can’t quite figure out the flash, so everything is overly bright, plus it’s not the prettiest of meals anyway. Hope you all like it.

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