Traditional Scottish Stovies

Traditional Scottish Stovie

The Spruce

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 portions (6 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
5g Fat
27g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 portions (6 servings)
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. Ask 100 Scots for the recipe, and you will get 100 different answers, which is much like the English bubble and squeak recipe. Where you live in Scotland and what you traditionally eat for lunch on Sunday, all will have an impact on the final recipe.

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.


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  • 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 (or lamb, cold and diced)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (washed, peeled, and cut into quarters)
  • 10 fluid ounces beef stock (or lamb stock or leftover gravy)
  • Vegetables (any that you have leftover from the day before)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

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 dripping, and melt.

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

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     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.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Add the meat and stir well.

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

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Pour over the stock or gravy (or both).

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     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 stock.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add any leftover vegetables to suit, stir well, and check the seasoning.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  10. 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. 

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  11. Serve the stovies in a deep dish or bowl with rough oatcakes and brown sauce, if you like it.

    Scottish Stovies Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. Enjoy!

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. 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.

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