Friday 25 October 2013

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 As most of you know I recently spent some time in Liverpool, the cultural centre of the North West here in the UK. Founded as a borough in 1207 and granted city status in 1880, it is a city of great diversity and  culture.  Chances are, if your ancestors immigrated to North America from Northern Europe, they left from the Liverpool Docks.  It is a city with amazing history and talent, having spawned the British Invasion of Pop Music, with the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black, and Billy Fury amongst others.

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Inhabitants of Liverpool are referred to as Liverpudlians but are also colloquially known as "Scousers", in reference to the local dish known as "scouse", a form of stew.  I think it is a term of affection really.  Our small community we live in here at the outskirts of Chester is filled with "Scousers."  I just love their accent!  At first I found it a bit hard to understand or make out what they were saying if they were speaking really quickly, but I am happy to say that most of the time I  no longer have a problem with it.

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Scouse was brought to Liverpool by Northern European sailors, it was originally called Labskause. This was finally shortened to Skause and over time the spelling changed to the more Anglicised version we have today, Scouse.

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Scouse holds a place in the heart of most Liverpudlian's as the taste of their hometown and is still regulary eaten today by a great number of families.  After spending the day there on Monday past (and the Monday before! tee hee) I thought I would honor my visit by preparing this very Liverpudlian Traditional dish for the Toddster.

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He said he had had it in the past, but thought mine was the best he'd ever had.  Apparently he hadn't enjoyed it those previous times.  He is a man that likes a good and thickish gravy with his stews and the other's had been watery. Mine was in no way watery at all.  It had a lovely flavour and a nice thick gravy.  I do believe this is a winning recipe!  I hope you'll try it.  I can probably say with plenty of authority that the Beatles were weaned on this dish! I loved it, yeh , yeh, yeh!

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Serves 4 to 6 people
I cannot take credit for this recipe.  It is one I found online.  Scouse is a traditional dish hailing from Liverpool.  Essentially it is a lamb/beef and vegetable stew.  Deliciously simple!

half a pound of stewing steak, cut into large cubes
half a pound of lamb breast, cut into large cubes
1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound of carrots, peeled and coined
4 pounds of potatoes
2 Oxo cubes
2 tsp vegetable oil
Worcester sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the meat and brown it lightly all over.   Add some Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.  Add the onion on top.  Layer the carrot coins on top of this.   Peel and finely chop 1 pound of the potatoes and place this on top of the carrots.   Fill the pan half full of cold water.  Crumble the stock cubes over top.  (Oxo).  Cover tightly.  Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  In time the onion will start to break up and the potato will become soft and make the final sauce thick. 

At the end of two hours, peel the remainder of the potato and chop roughly.   Add along with a few more splashes of Worcestershire sauce.  Cover and simmer for 2 more hours.  Serve piping hot with red cabbage, pickled beetroot, pickled onions and crusty bread!

Note:  I added some chopped swede and finely chopped turnip.  I also added some summer savory because I like that in a stew!


  1. This is definitely a 'Peter meal' Marie! As I was reading the ingredients I wondered how it would thicken up but of course reading down further it's all made clear!! xxx

  2. you are now an Honorary Scouser Marie :)

  3. Aww thanks Sheilagh! I can't think of anything better!

  4. With the cool snap we are having here in Mississippi, this would be a hearty and warming meal.

  5. A very timely recipe. Yesterday morning I took pretty much these exact ingredients and put them in the slow cooker. I was a bit annoyed I had over-parboiled the spuds but as your instructions point out, I was making scouse and not stew. ;)

  6. "Lapskaus" is a traditional dish in Norway too. I used to always make stews with fairly large chunks of meat and veg until my Norwegian husband requested Lapskaus , often with moose meat. To this day, my grown children prefer the Norwegian way!

    If I still had to cook for a family I would certainly be trying the great recipes you publish in your blog!

    Ann in Canada

  7. Thanks for sharing Ann in Canada! How fascinating. Clearly it is a popular dish from many places, which just goes to show how very multi-cultural Liverpool truly is.

    There are just two of us in our home as well. I always cut the recipes I make in half for just two of us. Just so you know that most of my recipes are very easy to adjust down!

  8. I'm sure Peter would love this Pat. Ramona this is definitely comfort food! Pat G, perhaps you had a bit of deja vu there!

  9. Hi - I follow your blog on Bloglovin' Just wanted to give you a heads up that that when you open your blog the screen is just white. I thought the blog was down but then I tried the scroll bar and the content is down lower. I opened it a couple times with the same result. Maybe it is a chrome problem?

  10. Hi angrygreycatreads, I think it must be your browser as it looks perfectly normal on mine!

  11. This used to be a staple when I was growing up, but then I was only a short hop from Liverpool. Having been a vegetarian for many years, I sometimes make it for myself without the meat. My husband once refered to it as 'slop!'

  12. Lol, that last line! You crack me up :) Scouse isn't the most appetizing name, is it? Call it what you will, this looks delicious. I love simple stews, and I'm with Todd, they need to be thick! I wish I had the guts to cook with lamb... I've tried twice and it was horribly gamey. Someday I'll be brave enough to get some from our butcher and try again...


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