Ferry across the Mersey


Living near Liverpool, I have often eaten Scouse, a delicious lamb dish served with pickled red cabbage, so here is a recipe taken from plus a bit of background on its origins.


Scouse was brought to Liverpool by Northern European sailors (probably Dutch), it was originally called Labskause. This was finally shortened to Skause and over time the spelling changed to the more Anglicised version we have today, Scouse.

The people who ate Scouse were all generally sailors and their families and eventually all sailors within Liverpool were referred to as Scousers. Over time the term has come to mean that everyone from the region of Liverpool is known as a Scouser.

Scouse holds a place in the heart of most Liverpudlians as the taste of their hometown and is still regulary eaten today by a great number of families, including my own.

There are records showing that it was also served to the inmates of the Birkenhead workhouse way back in 1864. The recipe was much simpler then than today’s refined version but was predominantly the same staple ingredients – meat, vegetables and potatoes.

The following recipe uses equal parts of  beef and lamb but you can use all lamb:
Serves 4-6 people

Half a Pound of Stewing Steak
Half a Pound of Lamb Steak
1 Large Onion
1lb of Carrots
5lb of Potatoes
2 Oxo Cubes
2 Teaspoons of Vegetable Oil
Worcester Sauce
Salt and Pepper

Takes 4 hours of slow cooking

Cut the meat into large cubes and fry in the vegetable oil until lightly browned all over. You may wish to add some Worcester Sauce at this point for added flavour.

Transfer the meat to a large saucepan and add the onion that should have been chopped into large chunks. Follow this by chopping the carrot into medallions and place this on the meat. Peel and then Finely dice 1lb of the potatoes and place on top of the carrots.

Fill the pan with cold water until it is half full. Break up the Oxo cubes and sprinkle into the water. Add salt and pepper for seasoning. Let the pan simmer gently, stirring occasionally. The large pieces of onion will start to break up and the potato will become soft and will make the final sauce thick.

Simmer for a total of two hours, then add the remaining potatoes that should have been peeled and roughly chopped, along with a few splashes of Worcester Sauce. Then simmer for another two hours.

Serve piping hot with red cabbage, beetroot, pickled onions and crusty bread. You may add Ketchup and HP for flavouring.

It is well worth trying as it is absolutely delicious. It is also even better made in advance and left for a day for the flavours to really develop.

Please post your own favourite family recipes!




My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

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