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.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.
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.
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.
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!
*Scouse*Serves 4 to 6 people
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
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!