Because her sexual encounters always end so happily, Mary has decided to embark on a weekend-long bonkfest (sorry, ‘sketching trip’) with Gil. And apparently she let him make all the plans, because he chose the romantic city of…Liverpool. Oh, Gil. You sweet idiot. Well, while they’re there, they might as well enjoy a hearty bowl of scouse, Liverpool’s well-loved local dish. Scouse, originally called Labskause, was brought to the city by Northern European sailors. The dish was mostly eaten by Liverpudlian sailors and their families, so gradually the sailors themselves came to be known as ‘scousers’ and over time the term came to refer to anyone from Liverpool. Typically, scouse consists of meat (beef, lamb, or a combination of the two), vegetables, and potatoes, though a vegetarian version, known as blind scouse, is also fairly common. Whichever way you make it, it’s a hearty, filling dish, perfect for cold winter nights or multiple days of erotic gymnastics. Girl’s gotta keep her strength up, you know.
700 g lamb (stew meat or neck) or beef or a combination of the two
1 large yellow onion, chopped in large chunks
3 carrots, chopped into chunks
500 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 bay leaves
300 g diced swede/parsnips/other root vegetable of choice
1 litre stock
Salt and pepper
Heat a little oil in a pot and brown the meat (in batches, if necessary). Add the onions and cook until they soften (about 5 minutes). Deglaze with some stock.
Add the carrot, root veg, bay leaves, and about half the potatoes, along with the remaining stock. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 hours, until the meat is completely tender.
Add the remaining potatoes and adjust seasoning, adding a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce if you like. Simmer until the potatoes are soft. Serve with crusty bread and pickled beetroot and cabbage (if you really want to go traditional with it).
Image: Clemens v. Vogelsang via Flickr Creative Commons