Traditional Scottish Stovies

by Corrie Cheyne

Waste not, want not, we say! This recipe turns the tasty leftovers from Sunday’s roast into a deliciously warming, comforting dinner for Monday night. Stovies is a traditional Scottish dish perfect for winter. It’s a little bit like Scotland’s version of Irish Stew or Scouse, but even heartier with more potatoes. Every family has their own version; here’s ours at Donald Russell…


  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 tbsp beef dripping from your roast (can use lard or olive oil if you don’t have dripping)
  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 200ml leftover gravy, meat juices or rich reduced beef stock* (ideally a combination, all supplied by your leftover roast dinner)
  • 500g leftover cooked meat, cut into 2-3 cm chunks
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Oatcakes, pickled beetroot and milk, to serve
  • Traditional Scottish Stovies


    • In a large, heavy bottomed pan with a lid, gently fry the onions in the fat until soft
    • Layer over the raw potatoes and pour in the rich, beefy gravy-style liquid
    • Add in the meat, making sure you include all the sticky, savoury scrapings from the roasting pan!
    • Add enough cold water to come to a few centimetres below the level of the potatoes, and season well
    • Cover and bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer
    • Cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally
    • The potatoes should be starting to fall apart into mash; it’s ready when you have a really hearty and comforting mix of half mash, half soft chunks
    • Check the seasoning (it needs plenty) and serve hot
    • For a real taste of Aberdeenshire, serve your stovies with sliced cold pickled beetroot, warmed Scottish oatcakes and a glass of very cold milk. Delicious!

    Sirloin Roast, Easy CarveCHEF'S TIP

    The best Sunday roast leftovers come from a traditional bone-in beef roasting joint. Once picked clean the bones can be boiled for stock – because they’ve been roasted, they’ll have an extra deep, caramelised flavour, perfect for beefing up the leftover meat in your stovies.

    GOT YOUR SUNDAY ROAST? Buy Sirloin Roast, Easy Carve (Bone-in) here

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