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How to Make Stovies

Updated on November 26, 2015

There is No Specific Recipe for Making Stovies

Learning how to make stovies is not about learning and following a specific recipe. It is probably better to describe stovies as a concept, rather than a specific dish. The reason for this is simple in that the ingredients included in stovies and the way in which they have evolved over a period of centuries means that no one way can say with absolute certainty how they were originally made. The original ingredients are largely about conjecture, with only the concept established as fact.

The History of Stovies

A look at how stovies were invented and/or came in to being

Stovies have been made in Scotland for centuries. They were originally very much a poor man's food, prepared from the leftovers passed along by the lords and masters. When the wealthy had been fed their beef or lamb, the fat which had dripped from same ("Dripping") and the stock would often be given to the servants in order to feed their own families. The likelihood is therefore that the very first form of stovies consisted merely of dripping, stock and potatoes.

If the masters were generous or the servants were merely lucky, on occasion some of the leftover meat would be provided, along with the dripping and stock. This meant that a far more nourishing and substantial meal could of course be made in the same fashion, simply by adding the meat to the dripping, stock and potatoes.

In those earliest days of stovies, the only other ingredient which came to be commonly used was onion but in the past century in particular, stovies have often taken on an almost unrecognisable form...

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Stovies Made with Lorne Sausages

The way my Gran used to make them

I am well aware that the first question many may ask here is, "What are Lorne sausages?" Lorne sausages are essentially a type of sausage peculiar to Scotland. They are very different from most other types of sausage in that the meat is not fed in to a sausage skin, nor are they even shaped as though it had been. When Lorne sausage meat is prepared, the meat is compressed in to large blocks which are then sliced to form the individual sausages which are subsequently sold and cooked. This is why Lorne sausages are also often called sliced sausages or square sausages.

Stovies with Lorne Sausages - Ingredients

A simple list of what you will need

There are no complicated ingredients in this version of stovies. All that we require are the following:

2 Lorne sausages

2 medium potatoes

1 medium onion

Pinch of dried thyme (optional)

Pinch of dried rosemary (optional)

1 pint of fresh beef stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparing Lorne Sausage Stovies

This is a casseroled version of stovies

In order to prepare these casseroled Lorne sausage stovies, the first step is to put the oven on to preheat to 375F/190C/Gas Mark 5. The onion and the potatoes should then be thinly sliced to between 1/8" and 1/4". The Lorne sausages should be halved, diagonally.

The sausage pieces and the onion slices should then be arranged alternately on the bottom of the casserole dish and the herbs and seasoning added. The potato slices should then be added as a top layer, before the hot stock is carefully poured over, the lid put on to the casserole dish and the dish placed in the oven for forty to forty-five minutes.

Lorne Sausage Stovies, Ready for the Stock and then the Oven

Lorne Sausage Stovies, Ready for the Stock and then the Oven
Lorne Sausage Stovies, Ready for the Stock and then the Oven
Baked Lorne Sausage Stovies
Baked Lorne Sausage Stovies

How to Serve Lorne Sausage Stovies

Again, no rules apply

How to serve Lorne sausage stovies - or indeed any form of stovies - is up to the individual. As the dish already includes meat, potato and vegetable, however, there is no real requirement to serve it with anything else. It is perhaps best served simply by being spooned from the casserole dish on to a plate - and as I have done below, adding a little HP Sauce as final seasoning.

Lorne Sausage Stovies with HP Sauce

Lorne Sausage Stovies with HP Sauce
Lorne Sausage Stovies with HP Sauce

I hope that this page has given you some greater understanding of the traditional Scottish dish that is stovies. If you have never tried preparing stovies, I hope you will now try them for yourself and let me know what you think in the space below.

How Do You Like Stovies Prepared?

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    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glenis Rix 8 weeks ago from UK

      At my son's traditional Scottish wedding reception stovies were served with beetroot late in the evening - to sustain the dancers!

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 23 months ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Glad you share my love of this method, Tricia. Thanks for letting me know :)

    • profile image

      triciaroanclark 23 months ago

      i love making stovies I make them them the same way.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image
      Author

      Gordon N Hamilton 2 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Interesting recipe, Jimmy! Think I understand most of it... Best thing about Stovies is that it is of course extremely versatile ;)

    • profile image

      Jimmy1941 2 years ago

      Ah like ma stovies 'tatties' tae be mashed, the sausages fried afore an'en the dripping/oil an' the sausages mixed in thigither.

      Salt an' pepper tae taste.

      Broon Sauce (HP) oan yurr plate ... if ye want a rerr tang tae yurr dinner.

      Use lottsa 'maggie ann' or butter if yurr rich? tae make the Tatties rerr an' creamy .. A Springburn Recipe fae Cowlairs Rd.

    • TracyM1969 profile image

      TracyM1969 5 years ago

      I love Stovies! I cook mine exactly as above and it is delicious! This is a tasty, inexpensive way to feed the family. Great Lens