Traditional Scottish Stovies

Traditional Scottish stovies recipe in a bowl with oatcakes served alongside

The Spruce

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
5g Fat
27g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 32mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 10g
Calcium 27mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If it is real Scottish food that you are looking for, then you won't find a better option than this stovies recipe. The word stovies refers to stewed bits from the stove, and this stew-like recipe uses whatever you happen to have to hand on a Monday, the day after your big Sunday roast. 

There are a lot of Scottish foods with meat and potatoes and stovies is one of them. Think of all those leftovers, with the main constituent being the bits of meat from the roast the day before. It will vary from week to week and from house to house: Ask 100 Scots for the recipe, and you will get 100 different answers. (This is similar to the English bubble and squeak recipe in that regard). Where you live in Scotland and what you traditionally eat for lunch on Sunday (often it's beef or lamb) will have an impact on the final recipe, too. Those other leftover bits often include carrots and potatoes and onions are cooked with a little bit of dark beer such as stout for flavor, along with beef or lamb stock, too.

If you've got leftovers from your Sunday roast, this is a great way to use them up the next day and turn them into a totally new meal. If not, you've got the makings here for a delicious stovies meal. If you want, you can make up a batch of oatcakes while the stovies simmers in the oven.

1:30

Click Play to See This Traditional Scottish Stovies Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons lard (or beef dripping)
  • 2 medium onions (or 1 large onion, skinned and roughly diced)
  • Optional: 4 tablespoons dark beer (or stout)
  • 4 ounces roast beef (cold and diced)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • Salt (to taste
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/4 cups beef stock (or leftover gravy)
  • Vegetables (any that you have leftover from the day before)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. 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 drippings, and melt.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Add the onions and cook until soft, but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

    Onions cooking in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce

  4. If using, add the beer or stout and turn the heat up and allow to boil for 2 minutes to burn the alcohol away.

    Beer added to onions in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce

  5. Add the meat and stir well.

    Onions and meat in a Dutch oven for Scottish stovies

    The Spruce

  6. Add the potatoes in layers, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as you go, before adding the next layer.

    First potato layer in a Scottish stovies recipe

    The Spruce

  7. Pour over the stock or gravy (or both).

    Scottish stovies recipe with stock poured over potatoes

    The Spruce

  8. 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.

    Potato layer in Scottish stovies in a Dutch oven

    The Spruce

  9. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add any leftover vegetables to suit. Stir well and check the seasoning.

    Vegetables added to Scottish stovies in a Dutch oven

    The Spruce

  10. Cover with the lid and cook for 10 minutes. The meat and vegetables will break up to create a thick, hearty stew-like consistency but still retain their shape. Be careful not to overboil. 

    Finished Scottish stovies recipe in a Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce

  11. Serve the stovies in a deep dish or bowl with rough oatcakes and brown sauce, if you like it. Enjoy!

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce

Recipe Variations

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. Thickly slice one pound of sausage, layer it on the onions, followed by a layer of potatoes. Repeat the layers. Cook as above.

How to Store Stovies

Stovies will keep for several days, covered, in the refrigerator. Some people say it's best the day after you make it.

You can also freeze stovies in freezer-safe containers. Defrost in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove, or simply thaw and reheat in the microwave.

Recipe Tags: