The origin of the name is unclear but Labskaus was first mentioned in
in 1701 for a dish associated with sailors.
At that time they would be at sea for weeks and sometimes months and had
to use provisions that would last a long time such as salted meat, potatoes and
onions. This dish can still be found on
menus in Northern German, Danish and Swedish restaurant with many variations including the
Schleswig-Holstein version which includes beetroot, gherkin and rollmops
topped with a fried egg. Takes a bit of
getting use to as it comes out pink. Germany
The seafarers from Northern Germany naturally came to Liverpool docks and passed on the recipe which was adopted to such an extent that those working in
Liverpool docks were called
‘Scoucers’ after this dish.
In the 19th Century thousands of Welsh people flocked to
Liverpool to find
work. They brought the recipe back with
them and adjusted it slightly depending on where they lived, the local
ingredients available and include either beef, lamb or pork.
Each family in
Wales will have their own version of Lobsgóws this is my version with a few added ingredients from the
Serves 4 to 5
500g Diced beef (traditional shin beef but I tend to use stewing steak)
500g Diced Potatoes
250g Diced carrots
250g Chopped onions
250g Diced parsnips
250g Diced Swede
2 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
3 teaspoon Red Current Jelly
2 teaspoons Worcester sauce
1 teaspoon Thyme
¼ teaspoon Pepper
Stock enough to cover
Salt to taste
Add oil to a heavy base casserole dish and fry the meat in batches until brown.
Remove meat from dish and reduce the heat and gently fry the onion until soft.
Return beef to casserole dish add the stock, vinegar, redcurrant jelly, Worcester sauce, thyme and pepper.
Place casserole dish in a preheated oven at 160ºC and cook for 1 hour.
Add the diced vegetables and more stock to cover if needed and return to the oven at 150ºC for a further two hours.
Check after 1 hour to see if more water is required and taste, add more seasoning if required.
After cooking for 2 hours check if meat is nice and tender, if not cook for a further ½ hour.
This dish can then be served with crusty bread, but it will taste even better if left for one day and then reheated.