Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Our "Slow Living" Go-To Meal #LiveSlow

With 3 boys aged 3 and under in the house, it's fair to say that life around here can be somewhat chaotic and there are plenty of times when I feel like we need to slow it down a little...

We were recently introduced to the concept of Slow Living, something I hadn't heard of myself but found quite intriguing.

The Slow Living movement began in Italy in the 1980s as a response to the Fast Food Phenomena - the Italians believed that cooking was an aspect of life that benefitted from a slow approach but has since spread to many other aspects of life - for example Slow Exercise (working out in nature and taking in your surroundings, or working out with friends to add an element of social enrichment), Slow Hobbies (Doing something to feed your soul and help the planet at the same time) and even Slow Parenting (helping your children to experience creativity and deep engagement with life and the planet.)

The slow movement is not about doing things physically slowly, but rather about enjoying long term benefits over short term gains, and just taking things at a speed to suit you.

With that in mind, we were challenged to suggest a recipe which would help us to "live slowly" - I knew immediately what I wanted to do.

To me, a recipe that embraced slow living would be one that used only one pot (less washing up, less work involved), would leave us with plenty of leftovers so that we would be getting multiple meals out of one cooking effort, and be nice and simple.

I knew it had to be a reliable, years-old Liverpudlian favourite...Scouse!

There's a long backstory to how Scouse came in to existence which you can read here if it interests you - but basically it was a recipe from the 19th century which was popular with sailors and so found its way to the port of Liverpool where it remains popular to this day.

Generations of Liverpudlians were brought up on scouse - it is such a thrifty meal as it is basically a stew which can feed a whole family and any old leftover veg can be thrown in!

Every Liverpool family has their own Scouse recipe - you will never find one families Scouse recipe to be the same as their next door neighbours!

Some people use lamb, some people use stewing steak....the veg always changes....but one thing never changes...the fact that Scouse is the ULTIMATE comfort food for any true Liverpudlian!

So on with the McLean Family Scouse recipe!


*One medium pack of minced lamb (always check for the Red Tractor quality mark to ensure the meat you are buying is farm assured)
*One onion - sliced
*One swede - diced
*4 or 5 carrots - Sliced
*Handful of brussel sprouts
*5 or 6 good sized potatoes - Quartered
*2 oxo cubes


1) Put mince into large pan or slow cooker, cover with water and bring to the boil until mince changes colour.

Drain mince, return to pan.

2) Add all of the veg

3) Pour in water until all veg and meat is well covered, sprinkle in two oxo cubes and stir well.

4) Cover and cook on low approximately 2 hours on the hob or  for 5/6 hours on low heat in a slow cooker.

Stir well, and serve (feel free to add gravy powder to thicken if desired).

And there you have it! The McLean Family Scouse recipe.

I sometimes change the dish up a bit by sprinkling in some curry powder once its cooked - but this is the standard traditional version.

Scouse should ALWAYS be served with crusty bread, pickled beetroot and lots of pepper!!

This dish is perfect for helping us to embrace the slow living concept as it takes moments to prepare, and can be left to cook whilst I get on with spending time with the children - the leftovers can be frozen and so means that another nights dinner is taken care of, allowing us more free time.

Do you have any recipes that would help you to embrace the Live Slow approach? Is this something you feel that your family would benefit from? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

*This is a sponsored post in association with Simply Beef & Lamb, all words and opinions are my own.

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