Proper Scottish stovies

    45 min

    Fifty Scottish people will give 50 ways to make stovies, I think each person makes them the way they were taught as a youngster. We always had stovies made on New Year's Eve for all Hogmanay friends, neighbours and family. Still very very popular at Scottish gatherings, weddings, etc. Many families have this as a weekly meal. Nowadays, for many larger families its often made in advance, stored in the fridge in order that it can be heated in the microwave by family members as they come and go. Also great to freeze. Serve with oat cakes, heap some onto your oatcake, fantastic. I also love to have stovies on a roll, the melted butter enhances the taste enormously. Best thing is you can use mince, lamb, sausages, a mix of what you have to hand, even veg. Stovies can be made as healthy as you like, packing in veg, carrot, peas, etc., but traditionally veg is never added as you don't know who to expect at the door after midnight. A jar of beetroot was always offered though. Enjoy!


    Angus, Scotland, UK
    326 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 25g beef dripping
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 6 to 7 large potatoes
    • 1 beef stock cube
    • 1 tin corned beef
    • pepper to taste

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Melt beef dripping in a stock pan and add finely chopped onion.
    2. While onions are cooking begin to peel and slice the potatoes. Keep occasionally checking the onions but you want to really cook them until they start to brown as this is what makes this recipe so tasty. Even if they burn do not worry, the burnt bits come off the pan as potatoes cook and enhance the overall taste.
    3. When you are happy that onions are browned nicely add the sliced potatoes, then slowly add enough water to cover approximately three quarters of the potatoes, usually anything from 500ml to 1 litre. Add the crumbled stock cube and then open the tin of corned beef and add one large chunky slice (about a quarter of a tin) to the potatoes and onion. This really adds flavour to the potatoes as they cook.
    4. Simmer until potatoes are softened, around 15 to 25 minutes depending on how thick you have cut potatoes. You want them to be just soft, not mushy. Occasionally prick the centre of a potato with a knife until it starts to go through.
    5. When you are happy that potatoes are soft enough add the remaining diced corned beef and warm through. It can be served immediately, but I like to transfer it to an oven dish and put it in the oven at around 200 C / Gas 6 just long enough to add a crusty topping, around 20 minutes. I also create a crusty top by putting it under the grill for 5 minutes with the grill door closed. I add a bit of butter to the top, too.

    Cook's notes

    Never add salt to corned beef stovies, you really don't need it.
    I like it on a buttered roll, with a bit of brown sauce. I also like it with sliced beetroot but I think this is an acquired taste.
    As I said, there is no right or wrong way to make stovies. Steak, sausages, lamb, veg, all sorts of leftovers can be used for stovies. I just make it the way I was shown over 40 years ago.

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    Reviews in English (3)


    Wonderful, really tasty.  -  02 Jan 2017


    First time making stovies using corned beef and it was very good. I used less potato and added some carrot and turnip...also used two oxo cubes. As the submitter commented, ask 50 people and you will get 50 different answers! I normally use left over roast beef but this was very good for a change. Will make again.  -  22 Feb 2018


    Excellent. I smothered mines in tomato ketchup. Cant wait to make it again. Finished under the grill and loved the crispy top. My new favourite meal.  -  08 Jan 2017