This recipe by

Rosemary Moon


This is a recipe that really needs no instructions and can be made with however much you have of whatever ingredients are in your fridge and larder, providing that you have some meat, tatties and neeps: any additional ingredients are up to you and so, as with all recipes, this is just a guide but it is how I made the dish that is in the picture. Stovies is comfort food at its best, and is made partly from left-overs. Every marriage has times when you have to make something tasty from very little – is this the ultimate example of such a dish?


  • 2 medium onions
  • About half a neep (swede)
  • 4-5 small baking-sized potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3-4 leaves curly kale or Savoy cabbage
  • 1 tbsp oil or a knob of lard
  • 500g cold cooked meat
  • Gravy, stock or water
  • Oatcakes or bere bannock to serve


  1. Roughly chop the onions. Cut the neep into 1.5cm dice. Slice some of the potatoes and cut the others into chunkier pieces. Cut the carrot into 6mm batons and finely shred the cabbage or leaves after removing any thicker stalks. Pull or cut the meat into bite-sized pieces – I like it to look more rustic than evenly shaped, cut pieces.
  2. Cook the onions in the oil in a covered pan over a very low heat until translucent and soft (you could get them cooking while preparing the rest of the ingredients). Add the meat with some salt and pepper and stir well, then add the neeps and some of the tatties. Season lightly, stir to mix it all together then add the remaining tatties on the top. Add just a little more salt and pepper and sufficient gravy to almost cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the carrots and kale in a large bowl and cover with boiling water after the Stovies has been cooking for 15 minutes. Leave the pan cooking slowly while the veg sit in the hot water for 5 minutes. Drain the veg (keep the water for soup stock if you wish) then gradually stir the softened veg into the pan. As you stir the cooked tatties will start to break up and thicken the Stovies.
  4. Continue cooking, uncovered for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir again then turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave for 5 minutes. This will allow the additional veg to cook through but retain some bite, and the Stovies will thicken more.
  5. Check the seasoning then serve in bowls, with the oatcakes on the side or crumbled over, or with a bannock.

Rosemary Moon

Recently ‘retired’ to Orkney from Sussex to start a new adventure (before it’s too late!) following a lifetime of food writing, demonstrating and entertaining people while encouraging them to cook more at home. 19 published cookery books and many more recipes in magazines and on the web. A firm believer in cooking from scratch and that it is an important way of showing your love for those that you cook for. Have presented cookery on many daytime TV shows, on radio and at shows and events. My ‘other’ passion is whisky – specifically matching food and whiskies and I ran a whisky dining club for women in Chichester. I now write the food and drink blog for and am starting to be asked to do food – and whisky – events on the islands that we now call home. Nick and I have been married for 38 years and I love that he now comes as my Roadie when I am doing dems and that he can be with me. It’s so much easier when you share the work load!

Why are you supporting Marriage Week

When I was asked I was reluctant, then thought that as our marriage is so important to me I should get involved, especially with the ‘recipe for’ theme. Marriage isn’t always easy and there are times – excessive workloads, bereavements, too much on – when it is so easy to neglect or ignore your partner. We both know, through experience, that finding the space to chat things through always helps and how isolating it can be to feel excluded from your partner’s problems. People might say that’s the same if you are married or not, and indeed it is. However, the commitment to be together always does strengthen the need to get through issues and out the other side. Not working at things together is a much lesser option when the marriage commitment has been made.

Any top-tips?

Talk, eat, drink, love, laugh and be together – and concentrate on each other.

*Disclaimer: We hope you enjoy making and eating the food in these recipes. Marriage Week cannot be responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this site or any site linked to. You should always use your best judgement when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken, or seafood and seek expert advice before beginning if you are uncertain about the health risks. Please take care when using sharp knives or other cooking implements, and be aware of heated cooking surfaces while cooking. Please review all ingredients prior to trying a recipe in order to check for the presence of substances that might cause an adverse reaction. We have not tested the recipes on this site and cannot provide assurances about quality, nutritional value, or safety.


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