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Monday 20 January 2014

Gluten Free: Stovies

With Burns Night on the horizon, I thought it was time to share a very Scottish recipe with you. Stovies are a wonderfully frugal dish that's great for using up the leftovers from yesterday's roast. A rustic meal, it's sure to warm you up on even the most dreich day. It's fair to say that everybody's granny makes it a wee bit differently, so my family's recipe might well be quite different from a version you've tried before.

This is the perfect alternative to haggis, if the idea of eating sheep's pluck and oatmeal is just too unappealing (actually, it's a brilliantly tasty dish and, assuming you don't think too hard about what's in it, I'm sure you'd enjoy it), or you've left it too late to order your gluten free one. In order to make it a bit more 'Burns Night-y' I've added some swede.

When it comes to Scottish-ing up any meal, I live by the motto, "if in doubt, add a tumshie."

Stovies (serves 4)
Ye'll need:
  • 1 tbsp beef dripping (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 400g leftover roast lamb or beef (or chicken and duck work just as well, especially leg meat)
  • 1 fat clove of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 smallish carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small swede (about 300g), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large baking potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • a sprig of rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • 750ml beef stock (a stock cube will be fine)
Mak it!
  1. Heat the dripping in a pan and add the onion. Sweat the onions until they're soft and just starting to brown.
  2. Tear or chop the leftover meat into chunks and add to the pan.
  3. Add the garlic and stir well, leaving to soften for a couple of minutes.
  4. Chuck the carrots, swede and potatoes on top and stir to combine.
  5. Add the rosemary (I put the sprig in whole and then fish it out before serving, but chop it up if you'd rather) and season with salt and pepper to suit your tastebuds.
  6. Pour over just enough stock to cover everything and bring to a simmer.
  7. Cover and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes, then remove the lid and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Stovies are a hearty enough dish that I don't feel the need to serve anything else with it. If you want to be traditional, though, serve it with plenty of warmed oatcakes.


  1. A Scottish Reader20 January 2014 at 21:52

    It's not Swede, it's turnip! The rest of the world is just wrong about that and given this post is about Stovies I think I can insist...

    1. You are, of course, correct.

      After calling the veg by its proper name (turnip) for most of my life, I moved south of Gretna to be met with confusion whenever I asked for them at the greengrocer. It makes it easier and less confusing all round to call 'em swedes in recipes. Until the rest of the world sees the neep-shaped light.

  2.'s Burns Night, not Burn's Night! Also, I haven't had stovies for years. Might have to make some!

    1. Oh dear... I've amended accordingly. *hands back all her Burns Federation certificates from school*


    1. Every time I have to explain the difference between Highers and A-levels, why I pronounce the letter 'J' funny and what on earth a "geggie" is, I'm sure I really am Scottish. This week, I had to check my birth certificate to confirm it...


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