Hello everyone. I hope you are all well and keeping safe. It has turned cold here these past few days and I have hastened towards the kitchen. I’ve been cooking cosy, warming dishes to help keep the chills away.
Until I moved to Scotland, I had never heard of the dish called Stovies. Traditionally, it is made simply with potatoes which are cooked down to a melting tenderness in water or stock with some onion, sometimes with a little meat or bacon added for flavour, and then dotted with butter. The name derives from the French étouffée which means to stew in a closed pot. It is the perfect dish to serve if you’re out of doors, sitting around a bonfire; it is guaranteed to warm you up.
I like to use a selection of root vegetables. My stovie-selection consists of onion to flavour, then carrots, yellow turnip (Swede) and potatoes, but parsnip, white turnip, sweet potatoes and celeriac will also work well as part of the mix. The secret to success is to make sure everything is cooked thoroughly so that means cooking denser roots like carrot and turnip first before adding the potatoes. Also, use a potato that will cook very soft – a variety with a floury cooked texture works best or one suited for mashing.
For extra flavour, I like to add a bundle of herbs tied up in some muslin. Using the muslin bag means that the coarser leaves don’t spoil the overall soft texture of the vegetables. Chopped chilli, garlic and curry spices can also be added if you fancy turning up the heat or adding more intense flavours.
With one eye on waste, I am including a quick recipe using the potato and carrot peelings. Just make sure you wash the vegetables well before you start preparing the veg. The peelings make a lovely sprinkle to eat with the cooked vegetables, as does crispy kale – my recipe here.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 500g yellow turnip (swede), peeled and diced
- 300g carrots, peeled (peelings reserved) and diced
- A few herbs tied in muslin (I used bay, rosemary, thyme and sage)
- 450g main crop potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled (peelings reserved) and diced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Chopped parsley to sprinkle
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large lidded saucepan or flame-proof casserole until hot. Add the onions, turnip and carrot, and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes to coat in the oil.
2. Add the herbs, reduce the heat to low, cover and gently cook the vegetables in their own steam for 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the potatoes, season well and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for about 10 more minutes, or until everything is well cooked and tender. Discard the herb bag.
4. While the roots are cooking, preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan oven, gas 6. Mix the carrot and potato peelings together with the remaining oil, and spread out over a lined baking tray. Season and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain well.
Serve the stovies sprinkled with chopped parsley and accompanied with the crispy peelings and baked kale crisps. If you have any stovies leftover, use in soup or mash, or as a topping for a vegetable pie.
That’s all from me this week. Not so far away from the end of the year now. My next post will be something a little more festive, so until then, keep warm, stay safe and take care 🙂