Chilli-Con-Carne Deluxe

The Ingredients:
  • 1 large onion or 2 banana shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli deseeded or keep half with seeds if you like it spicy
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked and roughly chopped
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 500g good quality beef mince
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 fresh tomatoes or 1 beef tomato, roughly chopped
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 100-200ml chicken or beef stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 400g kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful of chives, chopped
  • 200ml soured cream
  • Boiled rice, to serve

The Method:

  1. Sweat the onion, garlic, chilli and thyme in 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan. At the same time, brown the mince in a separate pan over moderate heat in a little oil.
  2. Add the dried spices to the onion mixture and cook until they release their aroma. Then stir in the beef and mix well. Add the fresh and tinned tomatoes and leave to cook down a little for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken or beef stock and stir in tomato puree to taste. Drop the cinnamon and bay leaf in then bring to the boil and leave to simmer.
  4. Once the sauce is beginning to thicken add the kidney beans and leave to cook for another 5-10 minutes to allow the beans to soak up the flavours. Check for seasoning.
  5. Mix the chives and soured cream together. To serve, spoon the chilli into the centre of a mound of rice, with the soured cream and chives in a separate bowl on the side.

Ultimate Sausage Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 Cumberland Sausages
  • Onion (one large)
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Butter beans (2x400g tins)
  • Tinned Tomatoes (1 tin)
  • Assorted herbs
  • Chicken stock (300ml)

The method:

Grill the sausages and put to one side.
Brown the onion with the garlic in a large casserole dish. When the onions are ready, throw in the tomatoes, chicken stock, mushrooms and basil before dropping in the sausages.
Give it a good stir on the heat and add salt, pepper and maybe some coriander.  Place a small piece of rosemary on top (You might like to add chilli’s for some spice, in which case don’t use the rosemary) and cover before putting in the oven at around 160 to 180 for an hour.

Remove from the oven and stir in the butter beans and cook for a further 40 min/1 hour uncovered.

Serve by itself or with rice / potatoes.

Yorkshire Puddings

You can also use this recipe to make amazing toad-in-the-hole to feed two hungry people. Pour the batter into a hot ceramic dish (with hot oil) and then arrange the 6 toads (bangers) in the middle. Start off in a very hot (230) oven for 10 minutes and then turn down to ~190 for the rest of the 30 minute cooking time. If your dish/batter is quite deep then you might need to cook for 10 or 15 minutes longer.

Anyway, back to the Yorkshire Puddings!

Ingredients

(for eight Yorkshire puddings / four people):

  • 150 g plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 110ml water
  • Sunflower oil
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method:

Sift the flour into a bowl. Break the eggs into a well in the flour and beat, gradually incorporating the water,  milk and seasoning.

Put the mixture in to the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you use it.

Pour a shallow amount of sunflower oil in a suitable bun tray (or, better, a dedicated Yorkshire Pudding tray) and place in the oven at 230°C.

When the oil is hot, take the tray out and pour the mixture in  (fill each cup about 70% full) and place back in the oven before the tray can loose too much heat. After 5 minutes turn down to 200°C. Total cooking time is ~25 to 30 minutes.

thai style prawns

The Ingredients:

  • 100g wide rice noodlesr
  • 1 tblspn veg oil
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 2 finely choppedd lemongrass stalks
  • 1 egg beaten, seasoned.
  • 150g raw peeled prawns
  • 1 tblspn fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tblspn soy sauce
  • large handful of roasted peanuts coarsley chopped
  • beansprouts (handful)
  • coriander leaves to dress.

The Method:

  1. Cook noodles, drain and refresh with cold water
  2. Heat oil in wok, stir fry garlic and lemongrass. add egg, stir quick, add noodles, prawns, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce & half peeanuts.
  3. Stir fry for 2 min to cook prawns.
  4. Add beansporuts & coriander toss over heat for 1 minute.
  5. Serve with remaining peanuts scattered on top

Carbonara

This is such a simple dish that everyone should be able to cook it from memory! You can add cream or oil if you want a looser texture / more sauce. Onion or garlic has no place in this dish. And I can’t mention this sort of elitist ingredient gate keeping without posting this amazing piece of TV:

The Ingredients:

  • 1/2lb(225g) Tagliatelle (Pref fresh)
  • 4oz (110g) Streaky bacon, de rinded, diced
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and/or Pecorino Romano
  • optional: a very small amount of double cream or a little olive oil

Method:

  1. Whisk cheese, eggs, cream or oil, and coarsely ground black pepper to make the carbonara mixture
  2. Fry bacon
  3. Cook pasta in salted water
  4. Drain pasta
  5. Add the bacon and mixture to the pasta and stir through.
  6. Serve with more grated cheese and black pepper