Wednesday, 20 October 2010

'A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.' - Jane Austen

*Please do not read this if you are looking for in-depth or astute political analysis.


Today in the House of Commons, the new ConDem coalition announced their Comprehensive Spending Review. Depressing news for most and this is only the start of it. So while Oh Daddy pondered the future both for us and in terms of his job (because he's the sort of man who loves to pick at scabs until they bleed), I pondered the dinners of the past week and whether or not to shave my legs tonight (because I am the kind of woman who puts Germoline on it and forgets about it).

Come April 2011 I will be blogging about how to boil up a sheep's heid and 101 ways with mince (lamb, beef, pork, cat) so lap it up while you still can...

Colcannon with Mustardy Pork 


  1. 700g floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled
  2. 50g butter
  3. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  5. 1/2 small savoy cabbage, shredded
  6. 50ml milk
  7. 4 x 225g pork loin chops, fat snipped
  8. 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard


1. Cut the potatoes into even chunks, put into a large pan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain and return to the pan. Put over the heat for 1 minute, shaking the pan occasionally to drive off the excess moisture. Set aside. Preheat the grill.

2. Meanwhile, melt half the butter in another pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and thyme and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until softened. Add the cabbage and a splash of water, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Drain, add to the potatoes with the remaining butter and milk, season, and mash together. Cover and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, brush the chops with mustard and season. Place under a grill for 4-5 minutes each side, until golden and just cooked through.

4. Divide the colcannon between 4 serving plates and serve each with a chop.

To make the perfect plain mash…

  1. Cook the potatoes as above, then pass through a potato ricer for a really smooth mash, or use a potato masher. Melt 50g butter with 50ml milk and add to the mashed potatoes with plenty of seasoning and beat well.
One Pan Roast Chicken


  • 1½ kg chicken
  • 1 lemon , halved
  • 50g softened butter
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 750g potatoes , chopped into roastie size
  • about 7 carrots , roughly 500g, each chopped into 2-3 chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Marmite                           

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Snip the string or elastic off the chicken if it's tied up, then place in a big roasting tin. Shove the lemon halves into the cavity. Rub the butter, herbs and seasoning all over the chicken. Put the potatoes and carrots around it, drizzle everything with oil, season and toss together. 
  2. Roast for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and roast for 50 mins more. Stir the peas, stock and Marmite into the veg in the tin, then return to the oven for 10 mins more.  Simples...

Chilli Burritos with Relish


  1. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 red onion, finely sliced
  3. 2 tsp each ground cumin and ground coriander
  4. Good pinch of chilli flakes
  5. 500g beef mince
  6. 400g can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  7. 300ml beef stock, hot
  8. 8 medium tomatoes, deseeded
  9. and chopped
  10. Glug of extra-virgin olive oil
  11. 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  12. 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  13. 8 flour tortillas
  14. Grated Cheddar, sliced avocado and soured cream, to serve


1. Heat the olive oil in a big frying pan over a gentle heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until tender. Add the spices and mince and cook to brown all over, then add the beans and stock and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Mix the tomatoes with the extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar and coriander. Season and set aside. Foil-wrap the tortillas and warm in a low oven.

3. Put the chilli in a serving bowl, place everything on the table and let everyone make their own burrito, adding cheese, avocado, soured cream and tomato relish to the chilli and wrapping it in a tortilla. 

It's bloody freezing tonight. I might just wear my jacket instead of putting the heating on...


  1. Savlon is better - much less smelly! Yummy dinners by the way.

  2. Thanks Tilly. Dare I say I like the smell...

  3. Oh no, you don't, do you?! That stuff brings back nightmares from my childhood, yuk!


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