Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lobscouse on a Chilly Night

As the weather turns, and there's now a chill in the air, a great idea for a hearty meal is "Lobscouse!" What, you might say. Yes, lobscouse, the traditional stew of meat and potatoes and root vegetables, in a savory gravy. Yumm!
Frankly, I have heard of lobscouse, and read about sailors being served it, in naval stories. But I never knew what it was. I even thought it might have lobster in it, but no!
"Scouse" comes from the Norwegian word "lapskaus" for stew. The "Lob" comes from the word "Lobby" or an ad hoc meal (from North Staffordshire, England, also North Wales) where everything is "thrown in" (maybe, lobbed in!). In other words, spruced up left-overs!
Lobscouse came with the Norwegian sailors across the sea to Liverpool ports, and with the influx of Norwegians into the area, also came this tasty stew. In fact, today, Liverpudlians are often referred to as "scouses". Interesting how terms from elsewhere become entrenched into another culture.
Below, see a good recipe for Lobscouse (4 hours of slow cooking):

1/2 lb of stewing steak
1/2 lb. of lamb
1 large onion, chopped
5 lb. potatoes, peeled
1 lb. carrots, chopped
2 Oxo cubes
2 tsp vegetable oil
Worchester Sauce
Salt, Pepper to taste
Cut the meat into large cubes, fry in vegetable oil until lightly browned. You can add Worchester sauce for extra taste. Transfer the meat into a large saucepan, add the onion and then the carrots. Place on top of meat. Then add 1 lb of finely diced potatoes on top of the carrots. Fill the pan with water half way up. Break up the Oxo cubes and sprinkle around in the water. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally. Simmer for two hours, then add the remaining potatoes, more heavily chopped. Add more Worchester if desired. Simmer another two hours, covered. Serve piping hot with crusty bread, perhaps some red cabbage, and a hearty ale.

For dessert, you might like to indulge in some Spotted Dick...What!? More on that later.

1 comment: