This meal-in-a-pot of potatoes, onions and leftover meat may hark back to Scotland’s Auld Alliance with France (1295-1560).  As F M McNeil argues in The Scots Kitchen (1929) many Scots words have been adapted from the French: ‘stovies’ from ‘étuvé’. Another theory is that it comes from the old English: ‘to stove’.  

About Catherine Brown

Catherine Brown is a food writer, author, teacher and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scot.). Noted for her food columns in The Herald (Glasgow) for over two decades, she was also a presenter, with Derek Cooper, of Scotland’s Larder. She can be visited at


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