The French have ‘Boeuf Bourguignon’ and Scousers have – well Scouse!
It is from this dish that we take our name. Traditionally a poor man’s dish, made originally with ‘scrag end of mutton’, not the best or most tender cuts of meat to say the least, which was slowly simmered with potatoes, carrots, onion and turnip, in a large pot from which the family could take a ladle full and eat with a chunk of bread ‘to mop the plate’.
My grandmother would have ‘A large pan of Scouse’ sitting on the stove for up to 3 days during which time the meat became so tender that it almost disappeared along with the potatoes, and in her opinion, the sign of a good Scouse was that you could ‘stand your fork up in it unsupported’!
This obviously would not go down well in France, so I try to hit the middle ground where the meat melts in your mouth and the potatoes are just beginning to ‘fall’ and thicken the sauce. I also use the beef that is sold to make a ‘Bourguignon’ (stewing steak in the UK), and not lamb, and as you have all seen, parsnips to me are what turnips are to Baldric (any followers not familiar with ‘Baldric’ you tube ‘Black Adder’ series 2 and 3) so I substitute them for turnip or swede when I can (this also gives a sweeter flavour which can also be gained by adding a spoon of Marmite, but again this is something that is not readily available here)
Best prepared in the morning and allowed to simmer slowly all day in a heavy bottomed casserole (I now cannot live without my ‘le Creuset’ casserole which is well worth the investment, as it seals in flavours and moisture like nothing else on earth)
Scouse (or Boeuf Liverpudlian)
1lb/500g stewing/braising steak
4 medium potatoes cut into 4
4 medium carrots cut roughly into inch/2cm cubes
2 medium parsnips cut roughly into 1½ inch/3cm cubes
½ a large red onion finely chopped
½ a teaspoon of sweet paprika (optional)
¾ pt/500ml beef stock
Glug of olive oil
Salt and pepper if required
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan or casserole.
Add the beef a little at a time to avoid the creation of steam and to allow it to brown on all sides, sealing in the flavour.
Add the onion and sauté for 2 mns, taking care not to brown.
Add the carrots, parsnips (or turnip/swede) and potaotes
Stir in the paprika and season lightly
Add the stock and bring to the boil
Reduce heat immediately and simmer on the lowest heat possible for at least 4/5 hours until meat falls away from a fork.
(If you are cooking in a ‘Creuset’ or similar casserole or slow cooker that preserves the liquid, you should only need to check that all is well a couple of times. If you are using a regular pan or Pyrex type casserole, then the stock will evaporate faster, so may need topping up during cooking to prevent from drying out too much)
Forget the low carb diet, this dish needs a good chunk of rustic bread and maybe a glass of ‘Burgundy’ on the side………
Hmmmm I can smell mine simmering (mijouter) away in the kitchen, this is torture……..I think I will go out for a nice walk in the Parisian winter sunshine to build up an appetite…….