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Travelling with CalMac


At CalMac we are proud to have used and introduced our previous passengers to some of the best produce of the west. Let us share with our favourite recipes you. 

Arran Blue Cheese Soufflé

Arran Blue Cheese

packed with protein, this rich and flavourful soufflé is great as a side or starter

Arran Blue Cheese Soufflé

This one is easier than it sounds, though there are a few tips that will make a difference;

The bowl used for whisking the egg whites and the whisk, needs to be spotlessly clean, dry and cool

When you put your soufflé in the oven do not open the door for a sneaky peek before times up!

The soufflé should be served immediately though you can prepare hours in advance before cooking if you stick to the recipe


You will need (serves 8 as a starter):

70g butter 

25g plain flour

300ml full cream milk

4 large eggs

130g Arran Blue cheese, lightly chopped

1 tablespoon Arran Mustard or English Mustard

Pinch of sweet smoked paprika or cayenne

Freshly ground black pepper



Prepare the oven proof dishes first. Use either 8 x 7cm (2.8 inch) ramekins or one large 15 cm round or oval dish. Both need to be at least 5 cm (2.25 inch) deep. Clean and cool.

Melt 35g (1.5 oz) butter and coat the inside of the dishes using a pastry brush, lightly dust with fresh black pepper and nutmeg and place in the fridge.

Using a thick-based saucepan gently melt the rest of the butter (35g), gradually stir in the flour and cook out the mix for a couple of minutes until it thickens.

Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the milk and return the pan to a gentle heat whilst whisking until it boils. Remove to one side.

Carefully separate the eggs. Avoid any yolk in the whites. Whisk the whites, adding a pinch of salt, until you are confident that you can place the upturned bowl over your head without anything departing the vessel!

Whisk the egg yolks as individually as possible, in to the slightly cooled white sauce.

Fold in the Arran Blue and stir until melted, then whisk in the mustard and paprika, add a few generous twists of black pepper, whisk again and warm through on a gentle heat for a few minutes.

Whisk again and leave off the heat for 20 mins.

Set your oven to 200 oC / 400f / gas mark 6. For a non fan assisted oven add 10 oC / 425f / gas mark 7.

Place a baking sheet in the oven large enough to fit your dish or dishes. For individual ramekins the cooking time is 8-9 minutes.

If making one large soufflé the cooking time is 20-25 minutes with a reduction of heat to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4 after 15 minutes.

Fold in a couple of spoons of whisked egg white in to the cheese mix, bit by bit, until the thickness breaks down. Keep folding in gradually until all the egg white is incorporated and evenly mixed.

Fill the dish or dishes three quarters full. Smooth the tops as flatly as possible with a spatula or spoon. Dusting the tops is optional. You can use grated parmesan, nutmeg or paprika. 

Take a small amount of cold water, dip a finger in it, shake off the excess and run round the lip of the dishes before putting in the oven.

Once cooked, serve straight away with a rocket salad and sauce vierge or simply with good, warm crusty bread.

Cullen Skink Pie

Cullen Skink Pie

Smoked haddock & leeks in a creamy sauce with mashed potato

Cullen Skink Pie

It's a reinvention of the well-known Scottish soup recipe which appears in many traditional Scottish cookery books and hotel and restaurant menus. It takes its name from the town of Cullen in Moray, and 'Skink' is an old Scots word for shin, knuckle or hough. Enjoy.

You will need:

Suitable large pie dish or four single pie dishes

500g of Scottish haddock

1 dried bay leaf

6 whole black peppercorns

50 g of unsalted butter

285ml of fresh double cream

450ml of fresh whole milk

2 fillets of Scottish smoked haddock

250g of leeks, finely chopped.

200g of peas (frozen is fine)

45g of plain flour

Enough mash potatoes to cover 4 pie portions

Parsley to garnish



Prepare your mash potatoes.

Put the milk, cream, haddock and smoked haddock into a pan, adding bay leaf and peppercorns.

Carefully bring to the boil, and then simmer for 7 minutes.

Remove the fish from the pan.

Once cool, remove the skin from the fish and flake into large chunks.

Strain the liquid and then return it to the pan.

Add the leeks, finely chopped.

Melt 50g of butter in another pan. Add the flour to make a roux.

Slowly whisk in the cooking liquid and carefully bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the fish, leeks, peas and parsley. Seasoning to taste.

Spoon the mixture into your pie dish or individual pie dishes and cool, then chill.

Cover the pies with cooled mash potato.

Brush the top of the pies with melted butter.

Heat through in the oven at 180C until the topping is golden and the pie is thoroughly heated throughout.



CalMac and Cheese

CalMac and Cheese

Macaroni smothered in a creamy Lockerbie cheddar sauce

CalMac and Cheese

Now seems like a good time to open up the CalMac recipe book and share with you the recipe for one of our all-time favourite dishes - the simple but very comforting CalMac and Cheese. It's one of our most popular menu items. Last year we served up an incredible 50,408 portions of this aboard our vessels. Here's how you can recreate it at home, using one of chief cook's easy-to-follow recipes. 


You will need (serves 4): 

400g macaroni 

70g butter 

50g plain flour 

900ml milk 

100g of Mull of Kintyre Cheddar - grated 

2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese - grated 

1 tablespoon of Isle of Arran mustard, or English Mustard 

Salt and pepper to taste 

An oven proof dish. 



Preheat your oven to 180°C 

Cook the macaroni as per the packaging instructions. 

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes 

on a medium heat, stirring continuously. 

Gradually add in the milk and keep stirring to ensure a smooth consistency. 

Next, stir in the Mull of Kintyre Cheddar and Parmesan and allow to melt. Keep a little back for the topping. 

Add the Isle of Arran mustard and then remove from the heat. 

Drain the macaroni once cooked, then add it to the sauce. 

Place in an ovenproof dish and add some of the left-over grated cheese as a topping. 

Cook for around 20-25 minutes. 

Serve with a side salad of your choice. 

For additional variety, you could add 150g of Stornoway Black Pudding - cooked and crumbled, which can be added to the sauce, prior to placing in the oven. This will create a delicious Mac'n'Black. 


Traditional Steak Pie

Traditional Steak Pie

Scotch Beef in a rich gravy and topped with puff pastry

Traditional Steak Pie

While we all stay safe at home, we are once again opening up the CalMac recipe book to share another of our most popular dishes - our traditional Scottish Steak pie. It's a firm favourite with our passengers - last year we sold 25,444 portions aboard our vessels. Here's how you can recreate this at home, using one of our chief cook's easy to follow recipes:

You will need (serves 4):

500g puff pastry

600g diced Scotch beef

½ onion, finely chopped

500ml beef stock

6/8 stalks of fresh thyme

50g soft flour

1 tablespoon tomato puree

20ml oil

½ tablespoon of Worcester sauce


Pie dish



Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Then, preheat your pan with oil, making sure it is really hot before adding the diced beef. Seal the beef on all sides. Then, add the finely chopped onion, and cook until they soften, before adding the Worcester sauce. Mix well.

Add in the flour to the pan, again mixing well. Cook everything for a few minutes and slowly add the stock while stirring continuously.

Add in the thyme and tomato puree, bringing the mixture to the boil, before simmering gently for around 2 hours until the meat is tender. The sauce should be of a thin coating consistency.

Once the meat has been simmered, fill your pie dish with the mixture. For guidance, it should be 2/3 filled with all of the pie mixture.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut to the size of the pie dish, brushing the outer edges with egg wash. Place this on top of the pie dish making sure the edges are sealed. Finally, egg wash the top of the pastry too, before baking in a warm oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy.


Summer Solstice Whisky Cocktail

Lagavullin cocktail

Enjoy a 16 year old Lagavullin whisky in a cocktail

Summer Solstice Whisky Cocktail

Join Mixologist Eric Ribiero to create a Lagavullin smoky cocktail using ingredients you have in your kitchen, so get your Lagavulin ready begin the Virtual Fèis Ìle festivities!

You will need:

1 1/4 oz Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

3/4 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 oz Raspberry Syrup*



Combine Lagavulin 16 Year Old, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice, and raspberry syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.

Strain contents into a Coupe glass.

Garnish with a raspberry


*Raspberry Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup Raspberries (fresh or frozen)

2 cups Sugar

1 cup Water


*Raspberry Syrup Preparation:

Combine sugar and water and stir over low heat until sugar has dissolved.

Add raspberries, stirring until the berries form a pulp.

Strain into a jar and refrigerate.


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