Today I am celebrating Global Scouse Day by making a big pan of scouse, just like Nan made. I say just like Nan made but to be honest I don't think anybody can beat Nana Gee's scouse. For those of you who are not from Liverpool and have no idea what I am talking about, scouse ( lobscouse) is a traditional stew eaten by sailors, thus becoming popular in ports such as Liverpool. A quick, easy and very cheap dish: scouse has been popular in households across Liverpool with each family claiming to make the best pan around. With four basic ingredients, stewing beef, potatoes, carrots and onions, it is hard to go wrong with scouse yet it is great that people have their own little take on what makes a great pan. I stick to the four main ingredients, just adding salt, pepper and stock, and sometimes a bayleaf. Some like it to be soup like and others like it thick enough to serve on a plate; I prefer it somewhere in between. As with all dishes using cheaper cuts of meat, scouse needs to cook slowly for a few hours so that the beef is soft and some of the potatoes fall apart to help thicken the liquid. For me, scouse has to be made with stewing beef , not mince as some prefer, and has to be served with pickled cabbage, a splash of brown sauce ( I know but I like it) and some crusty bread. If I am out and about and fancy a bit of scouse when in town, The Brink does the best traditional scouse and for something a little different Lunya does some great Catalan scouse.
Here is how I like mine. If you are vegetarian, don't fret just make it blind!
400g stewing beef ( from your local butchers of course)
roughly 3.5 llb potatoes
1 large onion
salt and pepper
2 tbls oil
1. In a large pan, brown the beef then add in the chopped onion. Cook until the onion has softened slightly.
2. Add in the chopped carrots and chopped potatoes. I like to thinly slice one or two potatoes so that they soften quickly and thicken the stew.
3. Dissolve the stock cube in some hot water and add to pan. Top up the pan with water until all ingredients covered. Add bayleaf and cook on a low heat for at least 2 hours. You may need to top with water, according to your taste.
4. Serve a big portion in a bowl with a good helping of pickled cabbage and some buttered crusty bread on the side.