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Scottish Recipes: Stovies
The French create the classic "Gratin Dauphinoise" by slicing potatoes thinly and cooking them slowly, which is the basis of the Scottish dish stovies. The name probably comes from the Scottish and north of England word for stewing. There are many variations on the versatile recipe for stovies but the basic ingredients are usually potato and onions and some form of meat with good fat content. The quantities below are sufficient for four people.
Recipe Ingredients:4 oz cold, diced lamb (two-thirds of a cup)
1½ lb potatoes, peeled and sliced. Some people use alternate thin and thicker slices - the thin ones then turn to mush.
1 (or two if you prefer) large onion, very thinly sliced.
1 level tablespoon good quality dripping (from meat or bacon). If dripping is not available, cooking oil will do (though not as good a flavour).
Stock or water
Salt and pepper, nutmeg or all-spice for seasoning
Chopped parsley or chives
Preparation Method:Melt the dripping in a large pan (preferably with a tight fitting lid), add a layer of sliced potatoes, then a layer of onion and next a layer of meat. Add enough stock or water to cover (though some prefer their stovies dry, in which case add only 2-3 tablespoons). Then repeat the layers once again and season the dish thoroughly - in addition to salt and plenty pepper, add some nutmeg or all-spice).
Cover and cook over a low to moderate heat (shaking the pan occasionally) for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or chives (or chervil).
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