Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Stovies and Scottish Oatcakes

My desire to prepare stovies at New Year in KL could be likened to my wife's desire to cook crispy roast pork aka siew yuk at CNY in the UK. I am sure you will all agree no matter how fantastic the food is in any region you may visit or settle in around the world, sometimes you crave the food you were brought up on. Stovies was an ever present dish at our New Year family gatherings and I thought it appropriate that I made some this New Year for my family.

Stovies is a traditional Scottish potato and meat stew. Recipes vary widely across Scotland, even within families. Stovies, as I know it, contains potatoes, onions and leftover roast beef. I used duck fat for the first time as a replacement for butter or beef dripping or lard, simply because we had some leftover from the duck confit we cooked. In my opinion, stovies is best accompanied by oatcakes and beetroot.

Not knowing where to find oatcakes locally, we decided to bake some of our own. The oatcakes were very easy to prepare and bake and they turned out mighty fine.

Homemade Scottish oatcakes

Roast beef is a meal we enjoy at home fairly regularly. Normally we cook roast beef for 4 or 5 persons, and without fail, there will be no leftovers! Since just the two of us would be dining in this week, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to gather the prerequisite leftovers for my stovies.

Our delicious roast beef dinner

When we serve roast beef for dinner, I carve it relatively thin. However for the stovies, the leftover beef was cut into chunks and doused in leftover gravy (made from the juices recovered after roasting) and left to soak up all the flavour for a couple of days in the fridge.

Leftover roast beef

The cooking process for making stovies is fairly simple, so the next time you find yourself with some leftover roast beef, why not try this recipe.

Homemade Stovies Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 - 1 1/2 hr
Serves 4-5

Leftover roast beef, cut into thick chunks
10 potatoes, washed, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp duck fat or butter/lard/beef dripping
300ml beef stock
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat duck fat in a large pot and add onions, gently cooking them until softened. Add the roast beef and season with the salt and pepper.

2. Cover with potato slices and add some stock depending on how moist you prefer the dish. I used 300ml in total, topping up as required while simmering.

3. Simmer on the hob on low heat for 1 hour. When cooked, stir up with a spoon.

4. Serve piping hot with oatcakes and beetroot (or alternatively oatcakes and a little tomato ketchup).

Scottish Oatcakes Recipe
30g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
63g medium oatmeal
30g butter

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add oatmeal and mix. Rub the butter in with fingers until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Add 3 tbsp of cold water, mix to soft dough and knead until smooth.

4. Roll out on a surface sprinkled with oatmeal to about 5mm thick, then cut out approx. 15-20 circles of dough with a 5cm round cookie cutter.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden and leave to cool on wire rack.

6. Keep in an airtight container. Biscuits can keep for up to a week.

7. Before serving, if you find that the biscuit has softened, you can place them under a hot grill for 1-2 minutes to crisp them up. Do keep an eye on them as they can brown very quickly.


  1. ooh, i've never managed to try stovies before. it's high time we had a scottish restaurant in kl! :D

  2. Never knew much about scottish cuisine. This is the time for wiki!

  3. Baby Sumo, do you mind if I ask where you were brought up at? Because it seems your culture is more to western side. Just out of curiosity :)

  4. Sean: I remember reading about your meal at Albannach in London with interest. It would be interesting to hear your opinion whether a similar restaurant in KL would be popular or not..

  5. Michelle: Did you find anything interesting during your search ? Refer to Sean's post linked above :-)

  6. zoe: I am 100% born and bred in Malaysia :P I did live in UK for quite a number of years, that's why my cooking has the Western influence. However some blogs (eg this one and German ones) are written by my Hubby and brother.

  7. Daniel's daddy: given the right location and management, I think it could do well, at least initially. Scottish food seems hearty and tasty enough. I guess one hurdle might be pricing, if a lot of the ingredients have to be imported...

  8. I don't know anything about this dish & for sure never has that b4 but since it's made from potatoes, I think I'll like it :)

  9. So now I finally understand! Lol, your hubby is from German! So the one who wrote this recipe is your hubby. Sorry for being so dumb :P

  10. u inspire me to cook more! ehehehe :D yums! ure hubby is one lucky fella

  11. Zoee - I'm the hubby, from Scotland. Her brother is studying in Germany. Bro and I only blog from time to time :-)

    AugustDiners - This time around I (hubby) was the cook and blogger :-) I guess we are both lucky..


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