The Legacy Of Scouse: A Hearty Taste Of Liverpool’s History

In the bustling city of Liverpool, there’s a dish that transcends time, a culinary masterpiece born out of hardship and resilience – Scouse. Originally known as Labskause, this iconic stew made its way into the hearts and stomachs of the people, shaping the very identity of Liverpudlians, who fondly became known as ‘Scousers.’ Let’s delve into the rich history and the mouthwatering flavours that define this beloved Liverpool dish.

Scouse has its roots in the hardship of poverty-stricken individuals who lived and worked in the port areas of Liverpool. Along the waterfront at the Pier Head, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bootle, Dingle, and Seaforth, Scouse became a staple for those seeking a cheap and hearty meal. As the stew gained prominence, so did the nickname ‘Scousers,’ forever linking the people of Liverpool with their beloved dish.

Originally called Labskause by Northern European sailors, the dish underwent a linguistic transformation over time. The name was shortened to Skause before ultimately adopting the anglicized version we know today – Scouse. It’s not just a meal; it’s a piece of Liverpool’s history, a testament to the resilience of its people.

Scouse is more than just a stew; it’s a canvas for culinary creativity. While the base often includes lamb, beef, or both, the variations are as diverse as the families that prepare it. Every household claims to have the ‘best’ Scouse in Liverpool.

Here’s a classic recipe to get you started:



    • 500g Diced beef chuck
    • 500g Lamb mince
    • 3 Medium onions
    • 5 Carrots
    • 600g Peeled potatoes
    • 1 Leek
    • 1 litre Beef stock
    • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
    • 2 tbsp Black treacle
    • 1 tbsp Wholegrain mustard


Cooking Instructions

    1. Brown the beef in a large saucepan; set aside.
    2. Seal lamb mince in the same pan.
    3. Add diced onion and chopped carrots; cook until softened.
    4. Return beef to the pan, stir in tomato puree, and add potatoes.
    5. Pour in beef stock, bring to a simmer, and cook for approximately 2 hours until tender.
    6. Add sliced leeks, treacle, and mustard; cook for an additional 20 minutes.
    7. Check seasoning and serve with crusty bread, pickled red cabbage, or beetroot.


Scouse has become a symbol of Liverpool’s resilience, celebrated annually on Global Scouse Day, held on the 28th of February. The dish continues to be served in various city centre venues like Maggie Mays, Ma Boyles, and Lucy in The Sky, keeping the tradition alive.