This recipe is delivered today in honor of my Scottish hubby’s birthday 🎂!
This is one of David’s favorites (i.e. both to make and eat) and a total comfort meal. Stovies, aka Stovy Tatties and Stoved Potatoes, is a Scottish stew based on meat and potatoes and very similar to America’s Beef Stew. It’s usually cooked in the oven for many hours to tenderize the beef and soften the root veggies and today I plan to share the cook times for the Instant Pot and Crock Pot, as well.
Regardless of the cooking method, you need to get a hard sear on your meats because this key to developing flavor, locking in the juices and tenderizing. BTW, David likes to create his Stovies with stewing beef and sausage ❤️!
Once you get a hard sear, you can begin to build your gravy with all that great beef fond, i.e. brown bits released from searing meat.
The meat, potatoes, onions, carrots, mushroom and gravy are then added to a Dutch Oven (David’s style), Instant Pot or Crockpot and after some patience, deliciousness is served 👍!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please share your feedback, if you have this Scottish Stew a try, cheers 🍻!
- Meat – Stewing beef and sirloin works well, but can be tough and you need time to tenderize those cuts. David also likes adding sausage and it ups the spice level a bit. Aim for 1 inch cuts of meat.
- Veggies – You can certainly add the veggies you prefer, below are our favorites!
- Potatoes – Yukon gold is our preference because they are creamy and delicious in Stovies, but Russets or red potatoes would also be delicious.
- Onions – No hearty stew is complete without onions.
- Carrots – This is always my favorite bite!
- Mushrooms – Add mushrooms because it adds umami to the gravy 😉!
- Searing the Meat – David sears the meat in a cast iron skillet with salt and ground pepper. Searing develops flavor and locks in the juices, but you can eliminate this step to save time.
- Beef Stock or Gravy – David is a fan of the package brown gravy and that’s what my recipe includes. That said, beef stock works REALLY WELL, aim for 4 cups, especially if you create your stock with the fond from searing your meat. If you happen to have an open bottle of wine, I would highly recommend replacing 1 cup of the beef stock/gravy to amp up the flavor!
- Cook Time – Below you will find cook time for each method of cooking.
- Dutch Oven – cook at 350 degrees for 2 to 3 hours, or until the potatoes and beef are tender.
- Crock Pot – cook on the LOW setting for 8 hours or on HIGH setting for 4 hours. Again, make sure the potatoes and meat are tender.
- Instant Pot – cook on STEW for 45 minutes and release the pressure naturally for another 15 minutes. Note: The ingredients below might be above your Max line, but don’t worry because as it cooks, the meat and veggies will shrink.
- Thickening the Gravy – If you would like to thicken the gravy after cooking, make a cornstarch slurry by whisking together equal parts cornstarch and cold water. Then stir it into the gravy slowly a few TBSP at a time, until it reaches your desired level of thickness.
- Seasoning – Add a wee bit of salt and ground pepper while the stovies are cooking. Before serving, taste to see if additional seasoning is needed.
- Garnishing – Parsley is not traditional with Scottish Stovies, but I like to add it for brightness.
- Looking for other Scottish recipes – Check out my Scotch Pies from last year’s birthday🎂!
- 2 lbs meat, we used 1lb of stewing beef and 1lb of mild sausage
- 6 potatoes, cut into large bites
- 3 small onions, quartered
- 6 carrots, cut into large bites
- 8 button white or baby bella mushrooms, cut into large bites
- 2 cups brown gravy, see below for homemade gravy
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 cups cold water
- Salt & ground pepper, as needed and desired
- Cornstarch slurry, equal parts cornstarch and cold water
- Begin by preparing the veggies and hold the potatoes and carrots in water until ready to cook.
- Warm EVOO in a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Sear your meat in batches and once the meat has a hard sear, remove it from the skillet and allow it to rest.
- Build the gravy in the cast iron skillet by adding the garlic and the tomato paste to the beef fond. Note: Be careful not to burn the garlic. Add the Worcestershire sauce and two packages of brown according to the directions, Again, see below for scratch gravy notes.
- Once the gravy is built, add the veggies, meat, gravy, 2 cups of cold water, the bay leaf and a wee bit of salt and pepper to the cooking vessel and cook for the recommended times provided above.
- Once the meat and veggies are tender, taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning as needed. If you'd like a thicker gravy, add a cornstarch slurry to achieve your desired thickness.
- Serve warm, enjoy & cheers 🍻!
- Make your gravy from scratch, using the 2 methods below:
- 4 cups of beef stock
- 3 cups of beef stock and 1 cup of white or red wine