Thursday 11 April 2013

The Kitchen Front - Scouse

After our little trip out into the cold Easter weather, to take pictures of my finished Sew For Victory dress, we needed something delicious and warming to come back to for dinner. Luckily I had the foresight to have just the thing awaiting our return, something warm, filling, with bags of flavour and a dish that has been a firm favourite since childhood, Scouse.

Now I'm sure many of you will have never heard of this dish which hails from Liverpool and which you might have guessed, gave its name to the local accent! The dish the called 'Labskause' (Norwegian for stew) and was brought to our shores by European sailors, the sailors settled in Liverpool and over time the word became more Anglicised to Scouse. It has been a common meal in the homes of the working class Liverpudlians for generations, it is essentially a hearty stew usually made from mutton or lamb (can also be made from beef), which is slowly cooked with vegetables to tenderise the cheap cut of meat. Blind Scouse is a vegetable variation and would have been eaten by the poorer people who simply could not afford the meat.

As simple as it is, it is utterly delicious! When we were kids it was a huge treat when staying with my Granddad in Liverpool, for Mum to take us into town to the La Patisserie and order a big bowl of this stuff, which was served with beetroot, and crusty bread! Yum! I have to say that I remember the cream cakes there were very enticing too!!

You can find the traditional Scouse recipe here, though there is much debate on what the 'official' recipe is, as every Liverpudlian family has their own recipe. Also, there is a fabulously tasty version of 'Blind Scouse' for Vegetarians here, though the traditional way would be just to leave the meat out. My version varies a bit from the traditional, it contains red wine! But then I am a southerner and so I give you...

- Soft Southerners Scouse -

500g Beef steak (or lamb) 
2 Vegetable Stock Cubes 
Carrots - Peeled and chopped 
Potatoes - Peeled and chopped - Keep them chunky 
Cabbage - Shredded 
Olive Oil - As much as you need to brown the meat
Worcester Sauce - Splosh to taste! 
Red Wine - I used a mulled wine but plain old red will do! Leave this out for a traditional Scouse recipe

The Kitchen Front Scouse Recipe the raw ingredients

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and then brown the meat

2. Peel and Chop the veg, bung in a casserole dish, or slow cooker

4. Break up the stock cubes and sprinkle over the vegetables

5. Add in the meat and give it all a good stir

The Kitchen Front Scouse Recipe Browned the Meat

6. Add as much wine as you feel fit, then top up with boiling water so the mix is still just peeping out of the liquid, add as much Worchester sauce as you like

The Kitchen Front Scouse Recipe Ready to serve

7. Pop in the oven at Gas mark 2 for 3-4 hours. Remove the lid to check and stir every hour. If you want to make the sauce a little thicker then you can stir in a tablespoon or so of gravy powder towards the end of the cooking time.

8. Once the meat is soft and tender Serve. Add a topping of Grated Cheese, Pickled/plain Beetroot or Pickled Red Cabbage, if you like it! And a side of Bread and Butter. Enjoy!

The Kitchen Front Scouse Recipe Ready to eat with pickled Cabbage

I've just learnt from my lovely German friend Xenia, that there also is a link between this dish and the German 'Labskaus' a traditional dish from Hamburg. It's served slightly differently, a bit more like a corned beef hash, but essentially it's the same ingredients, and topped with beetroot, gherkins and pickled herring, which would certainly explain the origins of the slightly odd, but delicious, pickled beetroot or cabbage topping on the Liverpudlian version!

Wendy x


  1. I make various pots of that during the winter!
    Julie xxxxxx

  2. I've seen Scouse made on Come Dine With Me, but your version looks far more tastier!

  3. As a half Norwegian I can confirm that LAPSKAUS is a firm favourite with me...memories of both my Grandmother and Mum making it ...and the wafts from the kitchen....mmmm...guess what though...even better a day old.........!!!

    1. Could not agree more, its especially lovely the day after! xx

  4. It looked yummy in a pot even before cooking! Also looks utterly heartwarming...perfect for a cold evening after taking photos outdoors all day! Hope you are having a fabulous week my lovely!
    May xx