Scouse was brought to Liverpool by Northern European sailors, it was originally called Labskause or lobskause. This was finally shortened to Skause and over time the spelling changed to the more Anglicised version we know and love today, Scouse.
Interesting Note: The Danish name is “skipper labskovs”. In Swedish, it’s “kallops”.
The people who ate Scouse were all generally sailors and their families and eventually all sailors within Liverpool were referred to as Scousers. Time has now taken its toll and everyone from the region of Liverpool and its surroundings are known as a Scousers.
Scouse holds a special place in the hearts of us Liverpudlian’s it’s the defining taste of my hometown and is still regulary eaten today by a great number of families, including my own.
I’ve seen some extremely odd recipes online – adding tomatoes for example (this is a HUGE NO-NO) or garlic or other unneeded ingredients. A lot of recipes add beef as well as lamb OR JUST beef, some recipes say you serve it soupy, or like a hot-pot done on the stove, but I personally think it should be mushy and filling. I will show you how to make a classic version here.
Scouse rivals even the chicken soup and hot lemon & honey cures of my, now distant, childhood when it comes to cold hands and feet and runny winter noses.
Enjoy this good hearty winter warming stew, guaranteed to get you glowing when it is cold and damp!
Scouse is a simple stew which is cheap, cheerful and very very TASTY.
- 2 Tblsp vegetable oil
- 2lb of Lamb breast
- 2 large onions
- 4 large carrots
- 3lb potatoes
- 2 or 3 stock cubes (Oxo cubes) or 3 to 4 cups of beef stock
- Worcester sauce to taste
- Salt and pepper to season
- Water to cover
- This takes 4 hours of slow cooking but is worth it! Or you can cook in the oven for 4 hours at 160ºC/325ºF/gas 3 or moderate heat. Alternatively use a slow cooker and cook for 10 hours.
- Cut the meat into large cubes and fry in the vegatable oil until browned all over. You can add some Worcester Sauce at this point for added flavour if you wish.
- Transfer the meat into a large saucepan and add the onion that should be chopped into large chunks. Follow this by chopping the carrot into medallions and place this on the meat. Peel and then cube into 1 inch squares 1lb of the potatoes and place on top of the carrots.
- Fill the pan with cold water until it is half full. Crush up the Oxo cubes into powder and sprinkle into the water. Add salt and pepper for seasoning.
- Let the pan simmer very gently, stirring occasionally. The large pieces of onion will start to break up and the potato will become soft, this will make the final sauce thick.
- Simmer gently for a total of two hours, then add the remaining potatoes that should have been peeled and roughly chopped and left chunky, add a few more splashes of Worcester Sauce to taste. Then simmer, again gently, for another two hours.
- Check for seasoning to taste (Worcester sauce,salt, pepper)
- Serve the Scouse piping hot lightly sprinkled with fresh parsley or coriander, with pickled red cabbage, pickled onions and fresh baked crusty bread.
- You can eat this with Tomato sauce or HP sauce if so desired but it is so good on its own it doesn’t need anything else.