(or Lolly, Lobby, Loblolly, Lob Stew)
A general name for any thick stew, first recorded in 1597. Possibly derived from Yorkshire dialect 'lob', 'to bubble up while boiling, or to eat or drink up noisily'.
Loblolly commonly includes root vegetables, meat scraps and possibly boiled bones and pearl barley and often now with a strong flavouring such as garlic, Worcester or Marmite. Forms a very ample gravy to be mopped up with bread sops.
Gerard's 'Herball' of 1597 has "The lowe countrey men use it for their meate called Wermose, and with vs Loblollie." (OED)
Stamford Mercury - Thursday 22 November 1739
John Camden Hotten's 'The Slang Dictionary' of 1870 defines 'Loblolly' as a form of gruel, "a sea term for grit gruel or hasty pudding."
Loblolly has had a certain reputation for being good, nourishing and easily-taken food for the sick, giving rise to the nickname 'Loblolly-Boy' for the shipboard surgeon's assistant who dished it out to sick sailors.
Thanks to Bill Pearson for pointing out that inhabitants of Leigh near Wigan have been known as 'Lolly Gobblers' from their presumed vigorous appreciation of Lolly Stew, there made using corned 'bully' beef. Our correspondent Colin Rigby (2022) tells us that; "I live in Tyldesley near Wigan. My mother worked in a little bakery in Stanley Street Tyldesley back in the 60s . She would make us singing lily cake all the time . Often when making a separate crust to go with the lobby another Lancashire dish (corned beef, diced potatoes, onion and water boiled up). While the oven was on she would make singing lily on another tray using currants . Children used to call them fly cake as it looked like hundreds of flies had been squashed into the pastry. Brings back good memories."
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450g/1lb stewing or braising steak cut into small chunks
Handful pearl barley
1 onion diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed (optional)
4 potatoes diced
1 swede diced (the big orange fleshed ones not the little white ones)
4 celery sticks, chopped
4 diced carrots
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