This Burns Night, I decided to forgo the usual Haggis and instead attempt my recipe nemesis – stovies.
A Traditional Scottish dish which seems to differ from household to household, there are a few constants that all Scots agree on:
2. Some form of left over meat (roast beef, lamb, corned beef, sausages….)
4. Served with beetroot and oatcakes
My Granny’s stovies are tied up in my memory as representative of a happy childhood where I felt loved, warm and full. In fact my Mum’s macaroni cheese, my Granny’s stovies and my Nana’s (my Great Granny’s) toast (with butter cooked on an old fashioned grill) could, in my humble opinion, rival any food you could eat, anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately my Granny died far too young, when I was still a teenager, and I never had the joy of cooking with her. And so her stovie (and rice pudding) recipe has never been passed down.
On a couple of occasions I have tried to replicate the dish, but have never come close to managing. In fact I hold my hands up and admit that my stovies simply don’t pass muster. But every now and again I decide to give it another bash, and this year I thought I’d try Ma Broon’s stovie recipe – just like Granny used to make apparently.
1 tbsp dripping (I know my Granny would agree that you simply can’t substitute the dripping)
1 1/2 lb tatties, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 small neep
1 tbsp stock or meat jelly
4 oz lamb, cooked (I substituted for roast beef as that’s what Granny used)
Salt & Pepper
I have to add that my Granny didn’t, as far as I remember, use neaps and carrots, but I thought I’d give it a bash.
Melt the dripping in a large pan and fry the onion until soft and almost brown. Add the tatties and mix with the onions and dripping. Add the carrots and neaps and mix. Heat the stock or meat jelly and pour over the veg. Add the chopped meat and mix with the veg. Season. Cover and cook for around 30-40 mins until the tatties are soft and floury. Doesn’t say how much this feeds, but should do six in my opinion.
My Granny’s stovies beat Ma Broon’s hands down. These were ‘okay’ but a far way from the steaming hot plate of heaven I remember. The husband gave them 7 1/2 out of 10 and thinks I’m looking back through rose tinted. I give them 5/10 and the search continues.