Traditional Scottish Stovies

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!