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    Proper Stovies?


    Postings on this topic in the 'Everything Scottish: Scottish Cooking' chat forum

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    Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Wed 26/11/08 16:58

    What's everyone's idea of "proper" stovies??
    Mine is made with Roast Beef, dripping, and just sliced potatoes&onion. I've been offered different variations of this Scottish dish when out&about, and get really annoyed when I'm given "Corned Beef hash", which I'm lead to believe is the English way of making it. (Ha ha ha, I'm not saying I won't eat it, 'cause I think it's English, but I personally don't think that's a proper plate O' Stovies!) :-)

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Jim M: Ex-Member (deleted:sleepinggiant) on Wed 26/11/08 17:54

    A prefer it with fillet steak, only the best or a bit venison thats even tastier..... with potatoes, onions, thicken it up with a gravy and add some oragano and tymme....... yummy yummy, av never had ma tea yet donna .your making me hungry.... you should ask michael mc that same question, he seems tae be the one for making dishes........

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Wed 26/11/08 21:26

    Christ, Fillet steak or venison? Gid tae yersel Jim-bob eh?? ha ha ha ha. Sounds braaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww though. Right everyone on Scotster,- JIMMY'S FOR DINNER! ho ho ho.... :-)

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Neil M: 100% SCOTTISH.......... (ochilocal) photos on Wed 26/11/08 21:34

    My maw makes stovies with Lorne Sausage and onions and tatties. Not as posh as your Roast Beef or Venison! but tastes Brawwwwwwwwwwwww. Specially with Tomato Sauce. I have had the Corn beef version as well when times were hard.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Darkside G: SAOR ALBA A NIS (darkside1314) photos on Wed 26/11/08 22:47

    Here is the traditional recipe

    4 oz cold, diced lamb (two-thirds of a cup)
    1½ lb potatoes, peeled and sliced. Some people use alternate thin and thicker slices - the thin ones then turn to mush.
    1 (or two if you prefer) large onion, very thinly sliced.
    1 level tablespoon good quality dripping (from meat or bacon). If dripping is not available, cooking oil will do (though not as good a flavour).
    Stock or water
    Salt and pepper, nutmeg or all-spice for seasoning
    Chopped parsley or chives

    Melt the dripping in a large pan (preferably with a tight fitting lid), add a layer of sliced potatoes, then a layer of onion and next a layer of meat. Add enough stock or water to cover (though some prefer their stovies dry, in which case add only 2-3 tablespoons). Then repeat the layers once again and season the dish thoroughly - in addition to salt and plenty pepper, add some nutmeg or all-spice).

    Cover and cook over a low to moderate heat (shaking the pan occasionally) for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or chives (or chervil).

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    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Scocha C (scocha1514) photos on Thu 27/11/08 01:06

    Jist like ma Granny yist tae make ....Mmmmmmmmm
    Played at a Burns Supper in Englandshire once and we were served...Haggis, Neeps, Tatties and Hash Browns and Gravy ....what`s that all about ?

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Jim M: Ex-Member (deleted:sleepinggiant) on Thu 27/11/08 09:13

    aye , av had the lorne sausage version aswell, a wish a could affored fillet steak or venison . but thats off ma menu. a dinae like the thought of the tomatoe sauce, a prefer hp.....

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from John M: Ex-Member (deleted:john_of_lochbuie) on Thu 04/12/08 07:10

    Me Gran made Stovies wit' sausage or lamb; na'er beef. God were they good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Thu 04/12/08 21:55

    Just goes to prove there must be upwards of a hundred versions of stovies. A takeaway near my work makes them with corned beef. To my mind that's corned beef hash without the beans. I like colcannon, a sort of vegetarian version of stovies with tatties, cabbage, leeks and onions all mashed together.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Thu 04/12/08 21:58

    Your "Colcannon", I'd call that "Bubble&Squeak". (Scottish).

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Thu 04/12/08 22:36

    Na. My recipe for Colcannon comes from north-east Scotland and is in a Victorian Scots cookbook I own.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Colin G (cj81) on Sun 07/12/08 23:42

    Taken from Wikipedia:

    "Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders. The main ingredients are potato, cabbage and onion. Similar to Irish colcannon, and English bubble and squeak, it is either served as an accompaniment to a main dish or as a main dish itself."

    "An alternative from Aberdeenshire is called kailkenny which replaces the butter in the potatoes with cream."


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    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Colin G (cj81) on Sun 07/12/08 23:50

    According to Wikipedia, corned beef (and mince) is the East Coast Scottish ways of making stovies. Corned beef hash is pretty much the same as stovies made with corned beef though.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Mon 08/12/08 00:48

    Are you really going to trust Wikipedia over common Scots knowledge? It's always been my experience that it's never been that accurate on a number of issues.

    I was interested, however, in their mention of 'kailkenny'. One version of Colcannon uses kail instead of cabbage. Seems to me all these things tie in, depending on what was available at the time.

    Corned beef hash, as my Mum taught me to make it is chappit tatties, corned beef and beans, mashed together.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Colin G (cj81) on Mon 08/12/08 01:56

    I agree with your wikipedia comments! I must say that stovies made with corned beef are fine for a quick meal but is nothing compared to proper stovies! I liked the sound of rumbledethumps though!!! Sounds fun! :-)

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Mon 08/12/08 02:16

    I'm not altogether fond of corned beef. To my mind it's not stovies unless it contains sausages. My work's canteen recently had rumbledethumps - cooked on the premises - and they were smashing. Not unlike Colcannon to tell the truth, so maybe "Wiki" is onto something there.

    I can only repeat what I've already said, my recipe for Colcannon comes from a Victorian Scots cookbook. But let's face facts, these were peasant meals (as haggis was once), so there's every chance that Irish migrant labourers brought it to Scotland. Who cares? It's all good.

    I'm feeling hungry now.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Mon 08/12/08 08:12

    Interesting.............. :-)
    Still prefer them made with Roast Beef&Dripping though!

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Philip A: Cogito, sumere potum alterum (phil) photos on Fri 19/12/08 15:43

    Must confess, I'm a fan of the dripping, and roast beef or lamb versions! Thought traditionally they were a way of using leftovers from the Sunday roast!

    Recently I've tried stovies as a pub lunch in Elgin, and was horrified to get a watery corned beef gravy with wee bits of potato and well overcooked onion! More like a soup than a stew! Nothing to get my teeth into, and very disappointing!

    Should be the consistency of Irish Stew, Lancashire Hotpot and the like! Never heard of it done with sausages!

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Fri 19/12/08 22:22

    Dripping! Outrageous. Can't have that. It's not allowed nowadays. The Food Police say NO!

    Oh how I long for chips deep fried in Lard.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Raymond B (raybell_scot) photos on Sat 20/12/08 08:48

    I keep on hearing stuff about fancy stovies, or stovit tatties, but the real point is that they're peasant food, i.e. cheap and cheerful and easy to make. Just like stew, mince, and all the other dishes we got fed regularly as children!

    It's just meant to be mince and potatoes mashed and mixed. Anything fancier, simply isny stovies.

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    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Sat 20/12/08 08:50

    Depends what you're brought up on, to regard what's proper&what's not.

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Raymond B (raybell_scot) photos on Sat 20/12/08 08:53

    Hmm... I think you're missing the point. Stovies are meant to be simple - and cheap. All this talk of silverside beef, and venison etc doesn't sound anything like what stovies are meant to be. If you can afford to put that kind of stuff in there, you really shouldn't be making stovies!

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    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from :-D O (aries) on Sat 20/12/08 08:55

    Erm...........Think you're missin' the point! Each to their own-NO? My way, and what I like, and was brought up on, is with ROAST BEEF leftovers! You gettin' me now??????????????

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Sinclair E: Ex-Member (deleted:dutchscot) on Sat 20/12/08 13:30

    In Edinburgh they have the usual corned beef, onions and potatoes, but i did see some fancy stovies in the sense of someone left the skins on the spuds. Pobably to do with the revelation that the vitamin C is concentrated in the skin of spuds, so all the middle-class trendies kept skins with everything.

    But I'd like to tell you of the stovies made in my home town of Prestonpans. Pans stovies where, I'd say rather opulent compared with the Edinburgh corned beef stovies.

    Basically, you had onions, mince, sausages and potatoes that where chopped into very small pieces. That way they would break down and thicken up the liquid, but never mashed. The potatoe would end up as a small pebble like shape, in a thick stew. All the sausages would be chopped up as well.

    I loved it, but I also like Edinburgh stovies.

    I'm a greedy fizzer. :)

    Re: Proper Stovies?
    from Leslie T: Ex-Member (deleted:truethomas) on Sun 21/12/08 02:33

    Sincy's right - NEVER mashed. Just cooked as he says, not unlike 'chappit' tatties.

    All this arguement about recipes. I go back to what I said originally, there must be upwards of a hundred stovies recipes in Scotland.

    Ray is also correct that these things were originally peasant dishes, which would probably be made with whatever leftovers happened to be available at the time.

    The same is true of haggis. At least one manufacturer makes 'Royal Haggis', with venison, which I find laughable. It would be a sorry deal for anyone who laid haggis down to, say, James IV. That would be a one way ticket to The Maiden (Scottish guillotine).


    Dishes evolve as time goes on. Most of which we call curry would either be laughed at or looked upon with disgust in India. For instance, Britain's favourite curry, Chicken Tikka Masala, was apparently invented in Glasgow in 1966. The story goes that one customer to The Gaylord restaurant in Glasgow ordered proper Chicken Tikka, which he found too dry. He called the waiter over and asked if he could have gravy with it (you can just picture this guy saying "Hey Pal, kin ah no huv some gravy wi this?"). The chef added some cream of tomato soup, called it 'Chicken Tikka Masala', sent it back to the customer who loved it and went on to tell his friends.

    So, haggis has no doubt evolved over time, especially since Scotland was romanticised by Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Queen Victoria. I have personally eaten Ostrich Meat Haggis on more than one ocassion and, whilst a tad on the dry side, very nice it is too. So I can't say that even I can complain about Venison Haggis.

    And the same goes for stovies. If you want to put fillet steak or venison in your stovies, fine if you like that. I still say that real stovies should contain sausages (Sincy's Pan's Stovies sound great).

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    This topic's tags: corned beef hash, stovies.


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