Scouse (food)
Scouse is a type of lamb or beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 stew. The word comes from lobscouse (originally lob's course) or lapskaus, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

 for "stew" and refers to a meat based stew
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables , meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used...

 commonly eaten by sailors throughout Northern Europe, which became popular in seaports such as Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...


Origin of the term

In the 18th and 19th centuries Liverpool, being a major seaport, found itself inundated with foreign seamen, especially Norwegians, looking for a berth on any ship. There is still a Scandinavian Seamen's Church
Norwegian Fishermans' Church, Liverpool
Norwegian Fishermans’ Church in Liverpool, England, is one of 29 churches organised by Sjømannskirken , a voluntary organisation serving the religious needs of Norwegians abroad on behalf of the Church of Norway....

 in Liverpool built in the 19th century. Scandinavian seamen's churches proliferated in many British ports in the late 19th century, and it is therefore probable that these incomers brought their recipes to Liverpool.

A "pan of scouse" became a common meal in working class Liverpool. A thickened stew, usually of mutton or lamb with vegetables slow cooked to tenderise cheap cuts of meat, it takes its name from the Norwegian for stew, "lapskaus". The shortened and anglicised version of this Norwegian word is "scouse" and is part of a genre of slang terms which refer to people by stereotypes of their dietary habits, e.g. Limey, Rosbif (American and French slang respectively for the English), and Kraut (an English colloquial ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 for a German).

Scouse is still a popular dish in Liverpool, where it is a staple of local pub and café menus, although recipes vary greatly and often include ingredients which are inconsistent with the thrifty roots of the dish. In its short form, "Scouse
Scouse is an accent and dialect of English found primarily in the Metropolitan county of Merseyside, and closely associated with the city of Liverpool and the adjoining urban areas such as the boroughs of south Sefton, Knowsley and the Wirral...

", the name eventually came into common English usage to describe the local accent of Liverpool, and a resident of Liverpool (as "Scouser").

The traditional recipe for Liverpool Scouse consists of a cheap cut of lamb, or in earlier days, mutton (such as breast, forequarter or "scrag end
Scrag end
Scrag end is the name of a cut of lamb and mutton, common in the UK and the Commonwealth. It is a primal cut, thus is separated from the carcass during butchering. It is one of the cheaper cuts of meat, and can be used in soups and stews....

 of neck"), removed from the bone and browned in a large saucepan, to which are added chopped onions, carrots, and water or meat stock, to which are added as many potatoes as possible. The sauce is not thickened, and it is usual to serve with preserved beetroot
The beetroot, also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet or informally simply as beet, is one of the many cultivated varieties of beets and arguably the most commonly encountered variety in North America, Central America and Britain.-Consumption:The usually deep-red roots of beetroot are...

 or red cabbage
Red Cabbage
The red cabbage is a sort of cabbage, also known as Red Kraut or Blue Kraut after preparation....

 and white bread
White bread
White bread is made from wheat flour from which the bran and the germ have been removed through a process known as milling. Milling gives white flour a longer shelf life by removing the bran which contains oil, allowing products made with it, like white bread, the ability to survive storage and...

 with butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

. In the nearby town of St. Helens the dish is often called "Lobbies" and uses corned beef
Corned beef
Corned beef is a type of salt-cured beef products present in many beef-eating cultures. The English term is used interchangeably in modernity to refer to three distinct types of cured beef:...

 as the meat. An even more impoverished variety of this dish is 'blind Scouse', which features no meat
Vegetarian cuisine
Vegetarian cuisine refers to food that meets vegetarian standards by not including meat and animal tissue products. For lacto-ovo vegetarianism , eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese are permitted...

, although it would likely have used cheap "soup bones" for flavouring the broth (prior to WW2, such meat bones could be sold to bone dealers after being used and for the same price as originally purchased from the butcher). Either recipe should more rightly be considered a potato stew. The dish is also popular in Leigh
Leigh, Greater Manchester
Leigh is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, in Greater Manchester, England. It is southeast of Wigan, and west of Manchester. Leigh is situated on low lying land to the north west of Chat Moss....

 with local residents sometimes being referred to as 'Lobbygobblers'.

A variant Lobscows or Lobsgows is a traditional dish in North Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...

, normally made with beef in the form of braising or stewing steak, potatoes, and any other vegetable available. The food was traditionally regarded as food for farmers and the working class people of North Wales, but is now popular as a dish throughout Wales. The recipe was brought by the canal barges to Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent , also called The Potteries is a city in Staffordshire, England, which forms a linear conurbation almost 12 miles long, with an area of . Together with the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme Stoke forms The Potteries Urban Area...

 where it is called "Lobby
Lobby (food)
Lobby is a traditional beef stew or broth from North Staffordshire, England. It was originally eaten by impoverished potters who lacked the money for fresh ingredients.-Background:...

", the shortened version of "lobscouse".

In Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, which had a long sea-trading association with the Northern English seaports, the dish (known locally as lapskaus) is virtually a national dish using the weekend's remaining food, usually carrots, potatoes, pork sausages in slices or beef cut small and served with flatbrød (unleavened bread dating back to prehistoric times).

The name of the North German hash
Hash (food)
Hash is a dish consisting of meat, potatoes, and spices, that are mashed together into a smooth, creamy consistency, and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions....

Labskaus is a culinary specialty from Northern Germany and in particular from the cities of Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg. The main ingredients are salted meat or corned beef, potatoes, and onion...

is derived from "Lapskaus" the Norwegian for stew,.
Labskaus is traditional in the Lower Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 region, especially in the port city Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...


See also

  • Cawl
    Cawl is the Welsh word for soup or broth. The term is used in English to refer to traditional Welsh stews, usually containing meat and vegetables. Its ingredients tend to vary, but lamb and leeks are particularly common, owing to their association with Wales....

  • Labskaus
    Labskaus is a culinary specialty from Northern Germany and in particular from the cities of Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg. The main ingredients are salted meat or corned beef, potatoes, and onion...

  • Lancashire hotpot
    Lancashire Hotpot
    Lancashire hotpot is a dish made traditionally from lamb or mutton and onion, topped with sliced potatoes, left to bake in the oven all day in a heavy pot and on a low heat. Originating in the days of heavy industrialisation in Lancashire in the North West of England, it requires a minimum of...

  • Irish stew
    Irish stew
    Irish stew is a traditional stew made from lamb, or mutton, as well as potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley....

  • Scotch broth
    Scotch broth
    Scotch broth is a filling soup, originating in Scotland but now obtainable worldwide. The principal ingredients are usually barley, stewing or braising cuts of lamb or mutton , and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips or swedes. Greens, particularly cabbage and leeks, can also be added, usually...

  • North Staffordshire Lobby
    Lobby (food)
    Lobby is a traditional beef stew or broth from North Staffordshire, England. It was originally eaten by impoverished potters who lacked the money for fresh ingredients.-Background:...

External links

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