Traditional Scottish Beef Stew

We love this traditional Scottish beef stew. Its very simple and very much like how Scottish beef stew would have been cooked traditionally. I like to use the slow cooker for this beef stew as it creates the most delicious melt in the mouth stew and the kids absolutely love it! Its packed with nutritional wholefoods and you can serve it up alongside delicious seasonal vegetables too for an extra veggie boost. I like to serve my traditional scottish stew with creamy mashed potatoes to mop up the beef gravy, stir fried kale fresh out of the garden and a whole head of buttery broccoli. What a treat!

I have used beef shin for this recipe as its creates the most delicious stew. My Scottish beef is locally sourced from just around the corner to create this traditional Scottish recipe. We love to support our local food producers and buy so many lovely foodie delights from the local farmers market. I frequently use beef shin for making traditional Scottish beef stew because it just works so well.

If you can’t get your hands on beef shin then try your local butcher or farmers market. It is definitely worth the extra trip. Click on the easy to follow recipe video below for the full traditional scottish beef stew recipe. Its so easy to make!

What you will love about this recipe…

The slow cooker works away in the background all day long and you don’t have to worry about whats for dinner in the evening. All it takes is a quick amount of prep time mid morning putting together a few sides in the evening.

The beef shin and vegetables are literally at melt in the mouth texture once it is ready and my kids just love this. They don’t like tough pieces of meat so this recipe is perfect for families and makes the most delicious tender stew. Even my little toddler loves how tender and melt in the mouth this traditional scottish beef stew is.

This recipe is flexible and you can mix up the vegetables for other seasonal vegetables that might be available through the different seasons. You could also use veggies like courgette, or squash, butternut squash would work really well, or sweet potatoe, cabbage, kolrabi, kale, the choices are endless.

The sauce can be flavoured with ginger, garlic or soy sauce to create a more oriental flavour or you could also add in some mexican spices to flavour things up a bit. I love chilli in my food so a few slices of chilli throughout this stew would be lovely and some coriander to finish.

This stew is so delicious there probably will not be any leftovers but if you do have leftovers they are really good the next day. You could also use your leftovers to make stovies. Stovies are another traditional Scottish dish and work really well for lunch with beetroot and oatcakes. The leftovers from this recipe would make the most delicious stovies. You could also make pies or serve it up cold in a wrap with a load of salad. The flavours also develop a little overnight and the taste improves by the next day. (not that is doesn’t taste good enough already!)

Top tips for making this recipe…

Beef shin is the best affordable cut for this recipe and it is well worth any extra effort to source it. As I mentioned above try and find it at your local farmers market. This link will take you to a list of Scottish farmers markets and you can find all sorts of produce for making your Traditional Scottish Recipes.

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can use the oven instead. It will cook in a much shorter time and you’ll want to keep the heat on at a medium temperature for a few hours. Keep checking on the dish and make sure you use a lidded pan. A cast iron lidded pan works really well for this recipe.

Store any leftovers in an airtight glass dish with a plastic lid. Make sure you have left the leftovers to cool down first before transferring to the dish and the fridge. Eat any leftovers within a few days, I really don’t think they will last longer anyway as this traditional Scottish beef stew recipe is delicious!

You can also add in some fresh garden or shop bought herbs into this recipe at the start of the cooking process. A bundle tied up would work well and can be removed before serving. This just adds in an additional depth of flavour and is worth doing if you have herbs available. I haven’t shown this in the video above but do this frequently when cooking it at other times.

If your shin is in one large piece or a few large pieces then your going to want to trim off any additional fat around the edges first before you cube it. It is a fatty cut of meat as it is and I find trimming off the extra fat around the edges makes this piece of beef work really well in the slow cooker. There is still plently of fat left in the meat to create a nice shiny appearance, a lovely sauce and a boost of flavour.

I would personally recommend checking out your local farmers or taking a visit to the local farmers market for your beef. We buy our meat from a local supplier and we’ve seen the animals and talked about the meat. Its a good way to ensure you are buying the best quality you can afford. Sometimes it can be more expensive to buy locally but we try to eat a little less meat at each meal as a result. I’d rather have better quality over quantity.

If your looking for a delicious starter to prepare before this meal then I couldn’t recommend more my traditional scottish cullen skink recipe or my traditional scottish cock a leekie recipe. Both can be found on this website or by clicking the links in the text here.

My last tip would be to pair this recipe off with my delicious Blackcurrant drizzle cake I made previous to this recipe. You can pin it for later if you wish to create it at some point in the future or you can watch the full recipe video below the pin.

Its definitely worth the extra effort for a traditional Sunday dinner and is so very delicious especially with fresh seasonal blackcurrants.

It is such a seasonal treat and works really well with custard or ice cream. Its the perfect summer accompanianment to this delicious traditional scottish stew. You can find the recipe by clicking on the video above.

What equipment you will need for this recipe…

  1. A slow cooker. We use the smaller of the available crockpots in our stores and it works really well for our family of six. You do get a large crockpot but I found it was a little too big for cooking just for the family. It does work really well if cooking for more than say 5 people so if you have a really large family then the larger slow cooker pot would be better for you.
  2. If you don’t have a slow cooker or would rather not use one then you can also use a large cast iron stewing pot for the oven like a le cruset pot. They are pretty expensive but I have found them to be a great investment in your kitchen. They last forever and I have found them to be one of the best pots to cook in for cleaning and for health.

That pretty much sums up everything you will need apart from the obvious utensils and other small serving items.

If your liking the sound of this Traditional Scottish Beef Stew then your going to love following my new recipes coming up over the next few months. Click on the top right of this page to follow my blog and subscribe to my youtube channel to be kept up to date with my delicious Scottish recipes and other videos.

Traditional Scottish Beef Shin Stew

2tbsp of butter or coconut oil

1 chopped onion

700g of beef shin (cubed and extra fat removed) or other stewing cut

3 carrots chopped into large chunks

1 small turnip chopped into large pieces

1 garlic clove (optional)

1 cup of flour

4 cups of water

salt & pepper

optional sides – mashed potatoes, kale, broccoli etc.

Recipe Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large cast iron frying pan.
  2. Add the onions and the beef cubes and cook until browned all over.
  3. Add the beef and onions into the slow cooker pot.
  4. Add in the cup of flour and stir through well.
  5. Add in the chopped carrots and turnip as per the youtube video.
  6. Add in the water and stir through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and any garden herbs if you like.
  8. Set the slow cooker to high for 2-3 hours and then turn to medium for around 2hrs.
  9. Cook up any sides you wish to serve with it and serve with the stew straight away.

Feel free to save this pin for later to your pinterest board. It’s a bit out of season this recipe and is a great recipe to save for the winter months. I love serving this up to the kids on the coldest of days. I needed a warm up on a cold wet day this Summer which was a bit random but we do get quite a few rainy days here in Scotland too.

If you enjoyed this recipe you may also enjoy my other recipes on this blog. Here are some of the latest recipes listed below. To view other recipes click on the headings at the top of the page.