Last night I made stovies for my Cabaret castmates in a crockpot that I have in my dressing room, but here is the recipe for doing it on the stove...
Stovies is a Scottish dish that is traditionally made with beef dripping, but I am a vegan so I have made up my own version.
It is real peasant food and ideal for people who, like me, love to have a plateful of one thing. I much prefer a mush-style dish to something with loads of different components.
Stovies are so great for parties on cold winter nights because you can just leave them on the stove and people can help themselves throughout the night as they please.
3-4 cloves of garlic (more, if you like)
4 large onions
8-10 large potatoes
tamari or dark soy sauce, to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
a couple of handfuls of soya mince
In a wok or large pot, put a good old sloosh of olive oil. (I normally turn the bottle upside down and count until about four.) Chop up some garlic, and fry it in the olive oil for a bit. Don't let it get crispy, but tit needs to permeate the oil and make a tasty base for the stovies.
Take the biggish onions and chop them up into fairly big chunks and add them to the olive oil and garlic. Fry them for a bit longer, then put a lid on and leave them to sweat for a bit (about five minutes).
Now scrub and chop up the potatoes into fairly big chunks. Add to the sweating onions and garlic and leave for a bit to get all infused.
Now comes the fun bit. Get your tamari or dark soy sauce and squirt about 20 or so squirts into the wok, then do the same with your Worcestershire sauce. You could also use BBQ sauce; basically the trick is to make the stovies tasty and to give it a bit of a browny colour. You do all this to taste, and can also add some salt and pepper (although don't go crazy with the salt if you are going heavy on the tamari). Then throw in a couple of big handfuls of the soya mince. (My assistant Joey thought I said soya mints the first time I asked him to buy some, and had a devil of a job tracking any down).
Pour water into the wok so that all the ingredients are just submerged. Bring to the boil for a bit, turn it down to simmer, then go away and check your e-mails or have a bath or something.
Stir occasionally, and once the potatoes are cooked and soft you can give them a little beating up with a spoon to make the stovies more mushy in texture. I usually cook mine for about 30 minutes, with the lid half on, half off. Then turn them off, put the lid on and let them cook in their own juices.
You could also add things like hot sauce or mustard if you felt daring. Enjoy!