By Donald Russell
Those who hail from south of the Border might not know what stovies are: think bubble and squeak, but minus the squeak. Stovies is a hearty plateful of meat, potatoes, onions and possibly some flavourful dripping from the Sunday roast – a great Monday night dinner.
2 large onions, sliced
2 tbsp beef dripping from your roast (can use lard or olive oil if you don’t have dripping)
1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
200ml leftover gravy, meat juices or rich reduced beef stock (ideally a combination, all supplied by your leftover roast dinner)
500g leftover cooked meat, cut into 2-3 cm chunks
Salt and black pepper
Oatcakes, pickled beetroot and milk, to serve
In a large, heavy bottomed pan with a lid, gently fry the onions in the fat until soft.
Layer over the raw potatoes and pour in the rich, beefy gravy-style liquid. Add in the meat, making sure you include all the sticky, savoury scrapings from the roasting pan!
Add enough cold water to come to a few centimetres below the level of the potatoes, and season well. Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer.
Cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. The potatoes should be starting to fall apart into mash; it’s ready when you have a really hearty and comforting mix of half mash, half soft chunks.
Check the seasoning (it needs plenty) and serve hot.
For a real taste of Aberdeenshire, serve your stovies with sliced cold pickled beetroot, warmed Scottish oatcakes and a glass of very cold milk. Delicious!