Making a Stovie
Choose some form of meat. Possibilities include:
- Leftover roast beef, pork or lamb, cut into smallish pieces
- Leftover roast poultry
- Thick-sliced or chunk bacon, cut into pieces
- Uncooked mild-flavored link sausage
- NOT hamburger or ground meat; that would change the dish totally
Some form of appropriate cooking fat, a tablespoon or two. Consider:
- olive oil, always a favorite
- bacon fat or drippings (traditional Scottish), especially those from the roast you are using for the meat
- chicken fat (if it's roast chicken you are using)
- home-rendered lard, if you have it (commercial lard is nasty)
- butter, especially with chicken
Onion--a necessity. Peel and chop.
Root vegetables. Your choice of:
- Potatoes--traditional. Almost all stovies have potatoes; some have only potatoes. If you're Irish, you want "floury" potatoes. I've been using fingerlings. Some people like baking types, some people like boiling types. Wash, then peel or not as you see fit. Cut into chunks. Don't use already-cooked potatoes for this dish.
- Rutabagas. Peel and cut into chunks.
- Carrots. Peel and cut into chunks. Use less carrot than the other roots, so its sweet flavor does not overpower the dish.
- Turnips, celery root, parsnips (a light hand on the parsnips), if you have them. Don't use beets because it'll turn a strange color of pink.
Herbs and spices. You don't want strong flavors here, which would overwhelm the flavor of the meat and roots. Some ideas:
- dried or fresh parsley, a good handful.
- other dried or fresh herbs, with a light hand.
- ground allspice
- garlic cloves, peeled and sliced, with a light hand.
- ground cumin or coriander
Salt and pepper to taste.
A little broth or water.
Here you have a good deal of latitude. More meat? Less meat? Use about one onion per 1/2 lb of meat, and amounts of vegetables to suit yourself and what you have on hand.
Putting It Together
Peel and chop your onions. Wash, (peel), and chop your vegetables. Have the meat of your choice ready. Cut link sausages in half, cut bacon into chunks, cut leftover meats into pieces.
If you are using bacon, fry the bacon lightly to let it release some fat. Otherwise heat the oil or drippings. Stir in the onions and saute for about 5 minutes. If you are using sausage, add it now and stir for another 5 minutes. Then add the vegetables, stir a few minutes. Add the herbs, spices, salt and pepper and a little broth or water, appropriate to the amount of other ingredients. At least 1/2 cup liquid. You don't want to continue to fry the ingredients, but you aren't making stew either. After adding the water, stir in any leftover meats that you are using.
Cover the pan, let it simmer on the stove 20-30 minutes, until roots are tender. Voila!
My Favorite Stovie
This makes a generous one-dish serving for one, or enough for two people with some other dishes on the table.
1 tbs CA olive oil
1 medium CSA onion, peeled and diced
6 oz local pork sausage, raw, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 lb CO fingerling potatoes, cut in slices
1/4-1/2 lb CSA rutabaga, peeled and cut in chunks
1/4 lb CSA carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbs dried CO parsley
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt, some grinds of pepper
Saute the onion in the oil for a few minutes, then brown the sausages lightly. Stir in the vegetables and spices, add 1/2 cup water, cover and simmer 25 minutes.