David McDonald is a third-generation Scottish butcher. His grandfather started his first shop when he was 19, and his father joined the trade at 15.
When he moved to Sydney, McDonald intended to enter the corporate world but ended up getting a job as a butcher. Word got out there was a Scottish butcher in town and soon he was inundated with requests from fellow expats for haggis and black pudding.
He runs David’s Larder, a two-armed business that consists of a butcher in St Mary’s and a roving market stall specialising in the same goods his family made. The most famous of which is haggis, a traditional sausage that has inaccurately gained a reputation for being a putrid food reserved only for Scots and those who have lost dares. But the filling is just liver, onion, oatmeal and white pepper – he says the liver makes it rich but it’s far from pungent, more like a heavy, peppery meatloaf.
McDonald makes all his goods from scratch. There’s black pudding (a rich sausage made with pig’s blood, pork belly, oatmeal and heap of white pepper), tattie scones (potato cakes texturally somewhere in between a hash brown and a flat bread), white pudding (like black pudding but with pork mince, onion and ginger rather than blood) and cold-smoked Scottish bacon.
David’s Larder also dabbles in pastry. The most popular is the traditional Scottish pie. Unlike the classic Australian pie, these are gravy-less mince pies (traditionally with mutton but here pork is more common) made with hot-water crust pastry: a mix of lard, boiling water, flour and salt, cooked in an iron press. They’re often eaten cold but at St Mary’s they’re served out of the oven.
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