The Husband and I were driving the NC500 which is a 500 mile circular trip from Inverness to Inverness, west, top and east of Scotland, this time last year. With some additional visits to Wales, my brother in Ayrshire, meeting up with a friend on the Crinan Canal, a visit to Skye and a stay on the Lake of Menteith in the Trossachs plus getting there from home and back, the speedometer clicked on to 2001 miles as we turned into our drive, 2 weeks later! With Lockdown, of course, we can’t even drive in our own country so I’m adding this to the places and food we would have eaten and seen had we been on our road trip. Also, as even visits for shopping aren’t as numerous as usual, the recipes here are using up foodstuffs you might have in the fridge.
STOVIES – The word Stovies means “bits from the stove,” so it is a recipe using whatever you happen to have to hand on a Monday, after your Sunday roast. Think of all those leftovers, with the main constituent being the bits of meat from the roast the day before (although, I don’t know about you, as I never know what day it is just now a roast doesn’t necessarily happen on a Sunday – more probably the day when I’ve been shopping!).
This serves 2 -3
- 1 dessertspoon lard (or beef dripping or oil)
- 1 onion, skinned and roughly diced
- Optional: 4 tablespoons dark beer (or stout)
- 2 ounces roast beef (or lamb, cold and diced)
- 3/4 lb potatoes (washed, peeled, and cut into quarters)
- 6 fluid ounces beef stock (or lamb stock or leftover gravy)
- Vegetables (any that you have leftover from the day before)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C / Gas 5. Place a Dutch oven, or casserole dish, on the stove over medium heat. Add the lard or dripping, and melt. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not browned – about 5 to 8 minutes. Take care not to burn the onions. If using, add the beer or stout and turn the heat up and allow to boil for 2 minutes to burn the alcohol away. Add the meat and stir well. Add the potatoes in layers, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as you go, before adding the next layer. Pour over the stock or gravy (or both). Cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure the stock is not boiling dry. If it is, add a little extra stock. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add any leftover vegetables to suit, stir well, and check the seasoning. Cover with the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes. The meat and vegetables will break up to create a thick, hearty stew-like consistency. Be careful not to over boil, as you need to retain chunks of meat and vegetables. Serve the stovies in a deep dish or bowl with rough oatcakes and brown sauce, if you like it.
Don’t feel that you have to be restricted to the pickings from your Sunday lunch. Stovies can also be made using a tin of corned beef, some cooked minced beef, or sausages:
- Corned Beef: Crumble the corned beef and stir through your potatoes 20 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Cooked Minced Beef: Stir through the potatoes 20 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Sausages: Cook the onions as above. Using 1 pound of sausage, slice thickly then put one layer on the onions, followed by a layer of potatoes. Continue until all used up. Cook as above.
SCOTTISH BERRY BRULEE -SERVES 2 -3 (or one!)
1/2 lb strawberries
4 ounces raspberries
2 ounces blueberries
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 orange, juice of, and zested
4 ounces Greek yogurt
3 ounces creme fraiche
1 1/2 tablespoons soft brown sugar