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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. 

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

Mac and Cheese

Our famous 'CalMac & Cheese' with Lockerbie cheddar

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.


Slow Cooker BBQ pork

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker BBQ pork

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):

  • Pork shoulder boneless (approx 1.2kg)

  • 1 onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 1 green pepper

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 ham stock cube in 400ml hot water

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 4 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Pinch all spice or Chinese five spice

  • Pinch cumin

  • Pinch oregano

  • Fresh thyme (place into a dish so you can remove easily at the end)



  1. ​​​​Take the pork and remove the string and thick fat from the top. Put into a heavy cast iron casserole dish or your slow cooker. 

  2. Roughly chop onion, carrots, and peppers and put them into the dish.

  3. Put the rest of the ingredients in ham stock and mix together and pour into a casserole dish with pork.

  4. With a lid on, cook at 110 degrees or medium setting on slow cooker for seven hours.

  5. Remove pork shoulder and thyme and bay leaves from liquor and blitz sauce until very smooth. Pork can be pulled with two forks and then combine with some of the sauce or eaten in chunks with sauce poured over.

  6. Serve with mashed buttery potatoes or brown rice. 


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