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Old 07-14-2016, 12:53 AM   #1
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Stovies

Stovies


This is pure Scottish soul-food. I was driving my American fiancee and her sister around Scotland, we got hungry, and they asked what my favourite dish was when growing up. I answered: "Stovies!" I told them it was rather difficult to explain, but just at that moment we came across a tourist-trap restaurant, so we stopped.

And OF COURSE the special of the day was Stovies, which the menu cheerily described as: "A subtle blend of potatoes, onions, and beef dripping." I couldn't really complain, because that's exactly what it is, but fiancee and sister had a field day: "Ewww ... I don't think it's quaite subtle enough. Perhaps just a drip more beef?" I blurted out: "But we always put on lots of salt and pepper!" That just fed the fire.

But the "beef dripping" is the glory of the dish. It refers to the fond and pan-juices that you get when roasting beef. My mom made it right in the roasting pan. The off-cuts of the roast went in and added more joy. Not roasting? Cut bacon into lardons, and fry to release fat. Leave them in there. Schmaltz will do in a pinch, but it can still be good with just lard or butter.

Beef dripping
Onions, sliced fairly rough
Boiled potatoes, cut fairly rough
Bacon lardons, roast beef trimmings(optional)

Lots of salt
Lots of fresh-ground pepper

Gently cook the onions in the dripping until soft. Turn the heat up a bit, add the spuds, and gently fry for as long as you like. Mix everything around once in a while, but leave them long enough for the spuds to brown in places. Serve in the traditional Scottish manner, where you take a spatula-full and "thwup" it down onto the plate, if your aim is good.
------------------------------------------
That's the recipe, but I noticed an expired thread here about Scottish food. Yes, sure: "All Scottish cuisine was originally based on a dare" (Mike Meyers), but there is glorious cuisine in there, and I'll be happy to share with you. Cullen Skink runs rings around clam chowder.

And then there's always that mountain to climb: Haggis. I'll put up my hard-core recipe, with photos showing the whole disgusting process. Did you know that fresh lamb-lungs look like large bloody boogers, but when boiled, they take on the exact shape they were inside the lamb? Do you now wish you didn't know that? So do I...

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Old 07-14-2016, 03:55 AM   #2
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...
But the "beef dripping" is the glory of the dish. It refers to the fond and pan-juices that you get when roasting beef...
There is a Slavic food that is pure pork drippping nirvana. Pronounced "speck" in Polish or Slavic, "solena" (szalonna) in Hungarian, it is a chunk of paprika'd bacon with a generous amount of fat that is skewered, scored, and held over a campfire to melt the fat. As it melts, and before it drips away into the fire, you take that bacon and dab it onto a thick slice of fresh bread (we used seeded rye) that is topped with thin slices of onion, green pepper, and the like. You would soften the veggies and moisten the bread with repeated dabs of the bacon, until it was just the way you wanted it. Then eat up, and repeat.


Cullen Skink sounds tasty. My Mom used to buy a nice piece or two of Finnan Haddie in the grocery store (mind you, the neighborhood was predominantly Polish, and yet the finnan haddie was easy to find) and cook it gently in a milk broth. We would spoon the broth and the chunks of fish over mashed potatoes and eat it up. The cullen skin sounds like a refined version of Mom's dish, and completely tasty. Now the challenge is to find real smoked haddock...
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:37 AM   #3
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Now the challenge is to find real smoked haddock...
It might be easier than you think. Turns out my ordinary supermarket keeps it frozen. I've kept it, refrigerated, for at least a month with no problems. You can make it with smoked salmon, but haddock is far better. If you are ever lucky enough to find an Arbroath Smokie (hot-smoked haddock), that's even better.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #4
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I will be on a finnan haddie hunt come cooler weather, outRIAAge. Mom's dish says "winter" to me and, except for one reprieve day a week, our weather predictions are for temps in the 80's and low 90's for the next ten days. Yuck!
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:06 PM   #5
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My Canadian mom would rave about finnan haddie. I refused to touch it, it stunk up the whole house when she would cook it.

Will have to give it another shot, "poor man's lobster".
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:27 PM   #6
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There is a Slavic food that is pure pork drippping nirvana. Pronounced "speck" in Polish or Slavic, "solena" (szalonna) in Hungarian, it is a chunk of paprika'd bacon with a generous amount of fat that is skewered, scored, and held over a campfire to melt the fat. As it melts, and before it drips away into the fire, you take that bacon and dab it onto a thick slice of fresh bread (we used seeded rye) that is topped with thin slices of onion, green pepper, and the like. You would soften the veggies and moisten the bread with repeated dabs of the bacon, until it was just the way you wanted it. Then eat up, and repeat.
Scots and Eastern Europeans are not that far apart. Our Mom (translated from "oor Ma") kept a tin can by the stove that excess fat (from bacon and everything else) got added to. For a special treat, she'd make us "fried bread," which is a dead ringer for your Solena. She'd smear the leftover fat on both sides of bread and fry until golden.

Delicious memories, but getting out of Scotland in my 20s has likely added ten years onto my life.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:38 PM   #7
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Stovies


....

Beef dripping
Onions, sliced fairly rough
Boiled potatoes, cut fairly rough
Bacon lardons, roast beef trimmings(optional)

Lots of salt
Lots of fresh-ground pepper

....
That's sounds awesome. Must try.
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:44 PM   #8
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There is a Slavic food that is pure pork drippping nirvana ... Now the challenge is to find real smoked haddock...
There's a great Polish deli in Redmond, WA that has about twenty kinds of smoked fish, all at silly-cheap prices: smoked sturgeon, sable, whitefish... I still prefer the basic harshness of haddock, but smoked sturgeon ain't nuttin' to sneeze at. If you ever find smoked cod roe, trample people to get at it, grate it over buttered pasta, and prepare to die.

But the proper place for this conversation is in a Cullen Skink recipe, so I'll crack a beer and put that up right now.
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:19 AM   #9
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That's sounds like heaven. Love, love all kinds of smoked fish.


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Stovies [B][CENTER]Stovies[/CENTER][/B] This is pure Scottish soul-food. I was driving my American fiancee and her sister around Scotland, we got hungry, and they asked what my favourite dish was when growing up. I answered: "Stovies!" I told them it was rather difficult to explain, but just at that moment we came across a tourist-trap restaurant, so we stopped. And OF COURSE the special of the day was Stovies, which the menu cheerily described as: "A subtle blend of potatoes, onions, and beef dripping." I couldn't really complain, because that's exactly what it is, but fiancee and sister had a field day: "Ewww ... I don't think it's quaite [B]subtle[/B] enough. Perhaps just a drip more beef?" I blurted out: "But we always put on lots of salt and pepper!" That just fed the fire. But the "beef dripping" is the glory of the dish. It refers to the fond and pan-juices that you get when roasting beef. My mom made it right in the roasting pan. The off-cuts of the roast went in and added more joy. Not roasting? Cut bacon into lardons, and fry to release fat. Leave them in there. Schmaltz will do in a pinch, but it can still be good with just lard or butter. [B]Beef dripping Onions, sliced fairly rough Boiled potatoes, cut fairly rough Bacon lardons, roast beef trimmings(optional)[/B] Lots of salt Lots of fresh-ground pepper Gently cook the onions in the dripping until soft. Turn the heat up a bit, add the spuds, and gently fry for as long as you like. Mix everything around once in a while, but leave them long enough for the spuds to brown in places. Serve in the traditional Scottish manner, where you take a spatula-full and "thwup" it down onto the plate, if your aim is good. ------------------------------------------ That's the recipe, but I noticed an expired thread here about Scottish food. Yes, sure: "All Scottish cuisine was originally based on a dare" (Mike Meyers), but there is glorious cuisine in there, and I'll be happy to share with you. Cullen Skink runs rings around clam chowder. And then there's always that mountain to climb: Haggis. I'll put up my hard-core recipe, with photos showing the whole disgusting process. Did you know that fresh lamb-lungs look like large bloody boogers, but when boiled, they take on the exact shape they were inside the lamb? Do you now wish you didn't know that? So do I... 3 stars 1 reviews
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