"Stovies were never fried.
My Grandmother made the most magnificent
stovies. I've never managed to find any
anywhere approaching their quality.
She used mutton fat, onions, quartered
potatoes and salt and pepper. These were sauteed together in a black iron
pan, and when sweated, a small amount of water was added and the pan left
to simmer on the range in the back of the sweetie shop at 83 Pitt Street.
The water was topped up every five
minutes or so, but the secret of her method was that the potatoes and
onions were allowed to 'catch' on the bottom of the pan, effectively
caramelising them, and these pan scrapings were then stirred into the
potatoes yielding a wonderful contrast between the soft potato and the
crisp pan scrapings.
I can taste her stovies yet on my mind's
palate and I've tried to replicate her product without success. My
Mother's stovies were equally unsuccessful.
I always demanded that we go to Nana's for proper stovies, much to
my Mother's resentment as she thought that her cooking surpassed that on
Such skills, always taken for granted and
now lost for all time."
Allan Dodds, Nottingham,
Nottinghamshire, England, November 30, 2009