Monday, 22 April 2013

S is for Scouse ...



Scouse is a type of lamb or beef stew ... derived from lobscouse a stew commonly eaten by sailors throughout Northern Europe, which became popular in seaports such as Liverpool – giving us the term ‘scouser’ for someone from the Liverpool/Merseyside region.
 
Ship's Scouse


Lobscouse derived from the Norwegian lapskaus and Danish labskovs is a word for a meat stew, while the people who commonly ate “scouse” were the local dockers, families and sailors – who became known as  “scousers”.




Ship's Biscuit
Nineteenth century sailors made lobscouse by boiling salted meat, onions and pepper with ship’s biscuit used to thicken the dish..  There are many varieties now ...  in St Helens the dish is often called “lobbies” and uses corned beef as the meat; in Wigan “lobbies” is often made using tinned stewing steak; or there’s “blind Scouse “– made without meat!


Liverpool montage
Liverpool became a melting pot of nationalities through its early origins as a major port for immigrants to the Americas, to Asia, emigrants from Scandinavia and northern Europe ... while in those early days the sailors were grateful for any hot meal ...


... the scouse accent was primarily confined to the north west until the 1950s when slum clearances resulted in population migration ... spreading the dialect far and wide;  inhabitants of Liverpool are called Liverpudlians, but are more often described by the colloquialism “Scousers”.


 
A slightly more upmarket version of
ship's scouse
Scouse Stew is a ‘delicacy’ to try when you visit the urban areas of Merseyside – but particularly is offered in the port-side cafes.



That is S for Scouse ... a meat stew – a mixed pot ...



Life at Sea in the age of sail - Royal Museums, Greenwich ...
            ... what food was on board ship.

(PS I know the top picture looks revolting ... but remember this was served at sea centuries ago .. and in fact this kind of stew with very scraggy neck-lamb, or probably sheep, is delicious - slow cooked for a few hours ... and if on land, served with green leeks!  So it doesn't look appetising, but is just what the 'tars' (sailors) needed to set them up for the working days).

Hilary Melton-Butcher
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44 comments:

Summer Ross said...

Anything that says it's a delicacy I'm leery of trying. LOL

~Summer

A Lady's Life said...

Hmm The biscuit looks good but the stew seems funny looking lol

Ghadeer said...

It doesn't look very encouraging but looks are deceiving!

Old Kitty said...

Is that why Liverpudlians are called scousers?!?! I never knew that!! Wow!!! It's food!! How wonderful!! Take care
x

juliet said...

It doesn't look great, but I'm sure the scouse was nutritious. Funnily enough, I've just put lamb in my post tonight. Your food posts are continuing apace; I'm amazed what you have done between my visits.

Marja said...

Interesting Never heard of scouse before either. Stews are quite common in Holland as well and popular farmer food. We still eat it occasionally

MorningAJ said...

I've not had scouse for ages. I used to buy it from a café on the Albert Dock back in the days when I lived in Liverpool. It's a tourist thing these days!

Manzanita said...

No need to apologize for pictures of food. To tell the truth, I think many close up pictures of food look a little unappetizing.
But the stew sounds like a belly filler on a cold day. Stews are wonderful. And thanks for the history, too.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I've never heard of scouse! But I do like brothy soups, and this sounds like a tasty one for a chilly day. Thanks!

J.L. Murphey said...

Haven't had scouse in ages. But stews are perfectly balanced nutrition wise of carbs and and proteins. Hearty and meant for working folk, but enjoyed in all of its varieties by all.

Jo said...

I didn't know the origin of the word scousers either and I'm a Brit. I bet that stew was pretty good although ship's biscuits had to be tapped on the table before using to get the weevils to come out.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Tina said...

Wow, learning a lot about my own heritage here ;-) You're right, the top picture doesn't look appetizing, but I imagine a starving sailor would eat just about anything warm and nourishing. One of my favorite words for the inhabitants of a certain land or town or what ever is Liverpudlians. it's just such a deliciously silly word...

Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Theresa Milstein said...

There's nothing like a hearty stew. I might skip the lamb neck though.

Ornery's Wife said...

I'm with Theresa; I'd skip the lamb neck. We make stew in a dutch oven over coals outside and use beef. It is a favorite meal around here!

Thanks for all your comments this morning!
tm

JoJo said...

I always thought Scouse was a term for someone from Liverpool.

Dana Martin said...

I'm still catching up on my reading, but I stopped by today and looked through some of your posts I'd missed. Love all the photos you include! You really make it fun to read about the different food "stuffs" for which you are familiar.

I love this blog hop and the idea of learning about new people (and new food!).

You are a loving daughter. Your mother is a very lucky woman. :)

Dana at Waiter, drink please!

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I love learning how nicknames for a group of people are related to food. So interesting. And lamb stew is always a favorite around here.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, all that food is making me hungry. It's amazing how much variety in food we can have from all the cultures.

David P. King said...

I'd eat that. But then, I'd eat just about anything. :)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Scousers...who knew. I've heard of soused--meaning drunk, but this was a new one. I love broth stews. My husband calls them soups because stew has a thick gravy sauce, you see.

I've used lamb neck and ribs to make a stew. Pork too. These sort of stew/soups really fill you up and keep you warm in the cold.

Maggie Winter said...

I'm from a little village outside Blackpool called Pilling. Not too far from Liverpool (about 1 hour). We eat a version of Scouse, have to say it looks much nicer than your picture, but maybe because we don't use neck, generally what's left from a Sunday leg of lamb will make a stew for Monday night, I now live in Brazil and still make it:. Nice post.
#atozchallenge
maggie at expat brazil

Alexandra Heep said...

I am European, but never heard of scouse before. I learned something new! As far as "disgusting" goes, I ate some things during childhood that would sound very disgusting to Americans!

Silvia Villalobos said...

Glad you clarified the story behind the first picture :).
I'm up to trying just about any food -- at least once. In So. California we have no shortage of dishes from all over the world.
Great post. Good to learn how things were done on the past.

Silvia @ Silvia Writes

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yeah, that first picture is rather disgusting...

Julie Flanders said...

I have to admit the first pic turned me off in a big way. But I will take your word for it that the stew is delicious! :D

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Summer – I’m sure only because it looks horrid (in this case!) ... food is worth trying .. different cultures etc .. but I don’t want anyone to eat food from 300 years ago ..

@ A Lady’s Life – the biscuit as Jo says below was probably full of weevils, that need to be knocked out first ...

@ Ghadeer – that doesn’t look terribly appetising does it – but I didn’t mean it to .. however a good lamb stew could be grey looking like that – made from lamb, potatoes and white leeks – in my mind would be delicious – I know I’ve tried it!!

@ Old Kitty – yes!! a name for someone from Liverpool, and it’s a food – the connection is interesting isn’t it ..

@ Juliet – thanks yes I think food on sea-board in the middle ages must have had some nutrition. Enjoy your lamb – New Zealand lamb is I imagine is so tasty .. I’ve had it frozen and it’s good.

@ Marja – it’s a local name ... imported from sea-faring nations .. Holland included! Stews are so tasty and so economical aren’t they ...

@ Morning AJ – interesting that you actually had scouse, when you were in Liverpool – I picked up the name from one of Michael Portillo’s train journeys into Liverpool .. an S snippet! He said it was a tourist dish too ..

@ Manzanita – just felt the needed to clarify the reason for the picture .. but it was such appropriate find I couldn’t resist putting it in ... Stew is definitely a belly filler! and good too...

@ Elizabeth – I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of scouse ... and this could well be a brothy meaty soupy dish .. and very tasty on a chilly day ..

@ JL – you’re right about the balanced nutrition of a stew ... hearty and definitely a working man’s filler – or seaman filler ...

@ Jo – it’s a recent thing and probably only really became ‘common knowledge’ 20 or so years ago .. I’d forgotten about the weevils .. so thanks for adding that snippet: so glad we don’t have to worry about that in our biscuits we buy...

@ Tina – yes there was some more about Scandinavia – it’s funny how much European-British links there are ...

That top picture I suddenly thought need clarification .. apparently I was right! You make the brilliant point that a starving sailor would be ecstatic to eat this out on the high seas ...

Liverpudlians is a good descriptive name isn’t it ... as you say deliciously silly!!

@ Theresa .. lambs neck is so tasty – I’ve often used it .. you can take the meat off ... and serve the dish ...

@ Ornery’s Wife – it really is delicious!! Dutch ovens are great aren’t they .. and we use beef sometimes .. but lamb and sheep were more common 400 years ago .. a good stew is hard to beat ...

@ JoJo – it is a term for someone form Liverpool – a scouser ...

@ Dana – the photos bring the posts to life don’t they ... to me it makes sense to show pictures as people can see so much more via that information ..

Thanks Dana – my mother sadly died last July – not a problem she had had a long life and I learnt so much during her illness – and in these posts I can remember somethings about our early life ...

Cheers - part 2 coming up ..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Part 2 for the comments:
@ Lee – it is interesting how the two names became linked ... I love lamb stew too ...

@ Clarissa – there’s so much choice now-a-days. I agree the foods move around the world so quickly ... adopting all manner of ingredients ..

@ David – good to see you ... excellent we can share a pot of cawl/scouse together and have a good natter!!

@ Sia – soused drunk, yes ... but scouse from the Scandinavian and Germanic nations name of scouse got stuck in Liverpool.

I guess some men would think a stew/casserole is a good broth ... but at least he loves them .. and all sorts – this year I’ve used quite a lot – mainly chicken though ... somewhat different .. but as you say – it’s been so cold and does warm us up.

@ Maggie – lovely to see over from Brazil! I don’t know the Liverpool area at all .. but can envision where Pilling is. I know – the picture I put up isn’t desperately appetising looking – but appropriate for a seafarer’s stew from 400 years ago ...

If I made scouse I guess it would look and taste similar to yours .. and look much more appetising than the one above. Glad you enjoyed the post ..

@ Alexandra – I have to say I hadn’t either .. but it seemed a good “S” word ... I’m sure some of our early dishes were pretty horrid, compared to what we have on offer today ..

@ Silvia – yes I need to clarify that picture, didn’t I. I enjoy trying different dishes ... and California is one melting pot of nationalities and traditional dishes isn’t it ...

So pleased you enjoyed the post .. thanks ..

@ Alex – I know .. but stew is good!

@ Julie – such is life .. the intention was there ... but I’d rather it looked like the lower picture.

Thanks so much everyone – glad I decided to clarify that photo! Cheers Hilary

Patricia said...

I have eaten Mountain Ash and Crab apple Jelly in my youth and the Crab-apple tree next door is in full bloom today...lots of Mountain Ash on the other side of the street. Wonder if I will make some jelly this year. I seem to have to help my young neighbors figure out what to do with some of their older garden plants...Scouse post would not let me write on it today?? I have had a lovely lamb stew (quite beautiful) made by my Grandmother. But I image it looked like the top picture on most sailor's voyages!
This has been a most interesting culinary trip!

Val Poore said...

I;ve heard of scouse, but never actually seen it and definitely never tasted it. I'm guessing unless I make it myself (inlikely), I never will. Thanks for another precious piece of our culinary past, Hilary!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I have to be honest, though I'm sure it tastes delicious, it doesn't look ... (trying to find the word)... friendly. But I'm not big on sea food. I do like see-food though. Does that count?

Lucy said...

I enjoyed reading the history behind the stew and at the end you stated it is a delicacy and yet when I saw the opening photo I wasn't thinking "yummy" and never thought it would be a delicacy but I know things can be deceiving so I am gonna take your word on this one.
Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Laura Eno said...

Haha! I'm glad you mentioned the top picture looked revolting...I thought maybe it was just me. ;)

Rosalind Adam said...

I never realised it was the name for a stew and I'm glad you said about that photo looking revolting. I thought it was just me!

Lisa said...

Okay I liked the look of Rowan Jelly better, but this does sound yummy if you can get over the picture! I'm going to go make dinner now! Great history here. I've never heard of Scouse before!

klahanie said...

Apologies human, Hilary,

My human is struggling to keep up with so many of you doing the alternate alphabet challenge.

So, while he sleeps, I've taken over commenting.

You added info about Scouse makes for a fascinating read. The only thing is now I'm thinking with a Liverpudlian accent.

Cheers, human.

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

I learned something new today. This is the first time I've heard of Scouse. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Patricia - wonderful to hear you've had rowan and crab apple jelly: well I hope you'll make some jelly this year ...

This is the scouse post - but funny things happen ... yes - the 'grey' scouse looks probably considerably better than that found in the ship's belly at mealtimes a few hundred years ago!

@ Val - I didn't realise scouse was a dish of food, before the term was applied to the locals. Lamb stew is lovely though, but preferably with some colour in it!

@ Joylene - yes .. that is meat though! I too like to know what I'm eating - so I'll join you in see-food!

@ Lucy - probably delicacy is the wrong word ... a good dish is a better phrase! Sorry about that. Please take my word that it is a wholesome casserole ... very good on a freezing night ...

@ Laura - I suddenly realised I'd better clarify said photo!

@ Ros - I didn't know scouse referred to a stew .. and as I mentioned to Laura above, glad I made that extra note.

@ Lisa - the Rowan jelly does look delicious doesn't it - but it'd go so well with the lamb stew: thankfully that picture is only an example! Expect your dinner passed the family test!

@ Gary - no worries .. the A-Z does that to us - everyone doing these silly ABCs of life .. it is hard to keep up - but fun. Penny I hope you enjoyed some scouse for your dinner - looks like all my commenters would happily give their share of the top photo to you!!

Liverpudlian accent - I've lost the plot ... can't understand you!

@ Susan - I'm just glad my "S" for scouse has added to everyone's language!! I thought it was a bit of interesting history ..

Cheers Hilary

Rosanna C. Rogacion said...

What a nice post about a nice, though not so good-looking stew! A merry mix of flavor,history and lore! Happy blogging the rest of the way to Z!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosanna .. thank you for phrasing the comment so nicely ... and delighted you enjoyed the flavours, history and lore .. cheers Hilary

Munir said...

I am not much of a meat eater, so I will pass the stew.
The Liverpool montage looks gorgeous.

Amanda Trought said...

The upmarket stew does look a lot more appealing, though I guess the one made on the ships must of tasted good when you consider what food choices they had..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Munir - I don't eat huge amounts either .. but a good stew once in a while is delicious. Quite understand you passing this casserole though.

Liverpool has had a make over recently - as it's been the European City of Culture ..

@ Amanda - just adding a little colour makes a world of difference to a stew, or casserole ...but that cawl would be very good to taste too ..

But history wise - the diet the seafarers had two or three hundred years ago must have been fairly unpleasant ... as you understand.

Cheers to the two of you .. Hilary

Sara said...

Hey, if I look at jellied eels, the top picture is perfectly fine. Mind you, I'm not sure how much I'd like this stew, but I did enjoy learning it's history.

Thank you, Hilary:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sara .. actually that's exactly what I thought .. but it's also a neck .. and I'm sure the sailors would have had similar looking food!

I'm sure that cawl tasted delicious - just the looks put us off .. even more so if it's eel!

Cheers Hilary