Traditional Scottish Stovies

Stovies is a traditional Scottish dish perfect for winter. It’s a little bit like Scotland’s version of Irish Stew or Scouse, but even heartier with more potatoes.



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!

Recipe courtesy of

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