Apprentice House lobscouse stew

Main courses

  • Serves: 5
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
Scouse was the favourite meal of the Apprentice House children. © National Trust/Alex Muir

Scouse was the favourite meal of the Apprentice House children.


  • 500g of stewing steak
  • 2-3 leeks (depending on size and optional)
  • 3 carrots
  • Mushrooms – as many as you like!
  • Bag of potatoes (if making full recipe, usually get a big bag)
  • 2 Oxo cubes
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons of celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon of gravy browning
  • You can also top the lobscouse with pickled red cabbage and pickled onion if desired


Firstly fill a large pan half to three quarters full.

Then add the meat, vegetables, one Oxo cube, a good measure of salt – say a dessert spoon – celery salt and gravy browning to pan. Stir well and bring to boil. 

Cover and simmer for about 2 ½ hours. Keep an eye on it, stirring every so often to make sure it doesn’t boil dry.

Next, chop the potatoes into quarters and add to the pan, after you have added another Oxo cube – if there is too much liquid strain some off.  Taste the liquid to see if there is enough salt.  Remember, potatoes take salt out of a dish so you may need to add more.

The potatoes should take approximately 45 minutes to cook through, but keep stirring every so often to ensure they don't burn.

Serve and enjoy! If you've made too much then you can freeze the rest of the stew and reheat for a few minutes in a microwave.

You can add some pickled red cabbage for extra taste and crunch, or some pickled onions.

It might not be the prettiest dish in the world but it is delicious and filling, no wonder it was the favourite of the Apprentice House children.