Stovies – Scottish soul food



Stovies is a Scottish dish that has no official recipe. Everyone has their own version. This one came about when I was making stovies as an alternative to haggis, neeps (turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potato) for a Burns Supper held annually on 25th January in commemoration of Scotland’s greatest poet, Robert Burns. Stovies are traditionally made with leftover cooked meat – lamb or beef – but can also be made with sausages (minus their skins).

For my stovies I had sourced square or Lorne sausage. Although generally only available in Scotland, a local butcher produces square sausage in oblongs- like a meat loaf.

Scottish stovies ingredients


(the quantities don’t really matter)

Square sausage

Potatoes, peeled and diced

Chopped onion

Beef stock

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Parsley for garnish.


Place the square sausage in a roasting tray and cook in the oven at about 180 degrees until ready. The time will depend upon the amount and format of the sausage – less for individual slices. Mine took about an hour for 2 kg. It’s cooked when the insides lose their redness. You’ll notice that the tray is swilling with fat. Do not throw this away.

Meanwhile peel and dice the potatoes, and chop the onions.

Once the sausage is cooked, remove from the oven and mash up with a fork or spoon. Pour a little of the beef fat into a large casserole dish and gently fry the onions.

Scottish stovies

Add the potato and mashed sausage and stock. Pour on some more of the fat. Yes it looks disgusting but this is what brings out the yumminess. If you don’t have stock, water will do. Add some Worcestershire sauce if you wish. Season well.

Cover the dish and slowly cook on the stove top for an hour and a half or longer. Alternatively cook in the oven. Check regularly and stir to avoid burning. When it all starts to mush together, it’s ready.

Serve with a side of oatcake and beetroot.

See also Misshappen, Super Burns Supper, Scottish fare.

7 comments on “Stovies – Scottish soul food”

  1. I can confirm Stovies are delicious, though I have only had the dish made with minced beef. They certainly know how to make it here in Aberdeen. Your sausage version did look delicious too. The beetroot and oatcake accompaniments are essential too!

    Liked by 1 person

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