potato, bacon and beer bake

Admit it, you’ve been worried that, following our eight minutes on prime-time TV, we’d have gone all celebrity: shagging about, coke binges, drunk-driving and fisticuffs outside the top bars. Please: they barely let me into a Wetherspoons with my rent-by-the-week shoes and I make Paul buy the Lidl own-brand paracetamol.

I meant to post a new recipe last week but time got away from us. We’ve been doing some exciting stuff on the back of This Time Next Year (did you know we were on the telly?) and well, look. Mischief takes time. But, before we get to the potato, bacon and beer bake, let me tell you our tale.

The story starts like all of mine, with an unexpected pussy. I was busy leering out of our bedroom window at the one neighbour we have under seventy (and who mows his lawn with his top off, which I know is for my benefit – even if he doesn’t acknowledge it, there’s a twinkle in his eye that gives away his intent) (could be cataracts, though, he does smoke a lot) when I spotted a cat in our greenhouse. That’s not uncommon, we have all manner of feline visitors who love nothing more than falling asleep on all of the gardening equipment I leave out to show our gardener that I mean well. Out I trot, handful of Dreamies and a heart full of love, to make a new friend. I’ve yet to meet a cat that I haven’t been able to seduce with a scratch of their ears or a rub under the chin, which is also how I got Paul to agree to polygamy. Hand outstretched, I manage not to scare the cat away and he turned his wee head to me…and…oh my.

Poor little bugger had completely caked over eyes, scratches all over his face and well, looked like he was about to die. Cats leave their home to die away from their owners and it would just be my luck that this cat would roll a seven on my tomato feed. We couldn’t bring him in because we’ve got two of our own who I barely trust not to kill me in my sleep, let alone an imposter, and anyway he was lifting with fleas. A stray. Well, that was me. I know you see me as some stone-hearted brute with the emotional range of a house-brick but not when it comes to animals. People, fuck ’em. Children? Pah. But cats? Oh no. I lifted him into a cat basket and sat him on the cat tree, wiped his eyes with water and went to fetch my Abide with Me CD. I brought him a slab of Whiskas (incurring piss-taking from a friend who took great delight in pointing out I was feeding stray cats on a Le Creuset saucer), some water and left him to it on a blanket. Our own cat came dashing out of the cat flap but, perhaps sensing the other cat was no threat, left him to it (though ate half the food – cat after my heart). We checked in during the day and he was sleeping, barely moving, and after we returned from seeing Escape Room at 11pm, popped our heads in only to see he had still barely moved and was breathing shallowly, like me reading a sentence longer than eight words.

Well, we couldn’t cope with that level of emotional discomfort and a decision was made to take him to the vets, finance be damned. We rang the RSPCA who were absolutely bobbins (of course!) but luckily our own vets agreed we could bring him in, but could we drop him off at an emergency shelter up the road? 30 miles up the road? Of course. Nearing midnight now, on a Sunday no less. We attached a blue light to the Smart car and went to bundle the cat into a car carrier. In the dark, because no lighting in the greenhouse, because of course.

Let me tell you: for a cat that couldn’t see and was nearing death, he came to life like Evel fucking Knievel, hurtling around the greenhouse in a petrified blur. Could we catch him? Could we balls. Imagine trying to get a distressed cat into a carrier with only the light of a phone to guide you. I’ve got hands like Freddie Kreuger trying to get a jacket potato from a campfire. Hissing, shrieking and screaming – and with the cat making similar noises – we got him into a corner, only for Paul to drop the carrier and set him off again. We were about to let nature simply take its course when an unexpected turn: a very stylish gay lad turned up at our gate. At midnight. Asked if we wanted a hand, and I was a second away from asking him if he’d made an appointment and even so, you’re at the wrong door for that mate, when he mentioned he’d lost a cat. He was walking past looking for his cat at the very moment we were trying to stuff him into the carrier. What serendipity! We let him in, he looked at the cat and confirmed that indeed, it was his. Well, not immediately: the first thing he did was sniff the air and say our greenhouse smelled like cat piss. My gay peacock-feathers shot up at this barb but I resisted the urge to say that it was because OF YOUR BLOODY CAT, and let it slide. He joined us for a cigarette in the garden, which must have looked peculiar to the neighbours to have three men sitting in the dark at our fabulous garden table, but hey. He was actually very lovely and friendly and I want his coat but that’s by the by.

We swapped numbers (because: I’m a slut) and off he toddled. All done, cat rescued.

Phone rings ten minutes later. Cat guy. Sounded terribly perturbed. Turns out he had passed the petrol station behind our house at the very moment it was being turned over. We could hear the alarms blaring in the background, and of course, we immediately called the police. Less than a split second later our house was locked up, we’d sprinted across the lawn at the front and were away in the Smart car to have a gawp. The CCTV footage of our dash is hilarious – Paul’s car goes over the speedbump like a rocket. You may remember he drives a toy car. The police were indeed there and we realised it would look suss to drive past eight times in a bright orange tiny car, so made our way home, where the police were waiting because they thought the robbers might have made their escape down our street. Listen: it’ll not be the first time a rough local trick with an ASBO has dumped his hot load in my back-alley, but I thought it remiss of me to boast. The policemen were delicious, though it was super awkward when they asked us for our new friend’s name and I had to explain I’d put him into my phone as Cat Man Noooo and didn’t know his name. In a sweet twist, the policeman asked if we’d been on the telly recently because his girlfriend comes to Elite with us and had mentioned us. I tried to hide my tittylip at the mention of his girlfriend because fuck me, he was handsome as all outdoors. All the while our cat chap is ringing with updates and then texted to say he was nearly home.

All done, cat rescued, petrol station robbery embroilment over. And so to bed.

Phone rings. He’s lost his keys and is terribly upset. Perhaps they fell out during the cat chase, perhaps whilst he was dashing away from a robbery. Well, as much as I wanted to go take advantage of the horn that only a brush with the law could give me, out we went to search the garden, again with phonelight, with Paul away up the street to help look. Ten minutes later, the chap calls. Found his keys. In the inside pocket of his jacket pocket, because bless him he was all a tizz from the night’s excitement. We confirmed that he was in his house, settled, cat in the carrier, no chip pan fires or plane crashes. Content that the night’s excitement was over, we all said goodnight, I got his real name and we all agreed to meet for a drink in a couple of week’s time when we’re not doing bootcamp. Just getting into bed and vehemently disagreeing with Paul that 2am isn’t too late for bumming even when one of us has to be up at 5am to register for Elite’s weigh-in thingy when oof, phone rings.

It’s not his cat.

In a curious turn of events, our lovely friend had assumed it was his cat (and later sent a picture of him with his actual cat to show the similar markings) and in a fit of excitement, taken the wrong cat home. Well, honestly. At this point, what more could be done? He graciously agreed to look after the cat and take him to the vets the next day, and after three more calls in the night to discuss the cat’s wellbeing and invite us over (hmm), this story was wrapped up neatly. He did indeed take the cat to the vet and sadly, it wasn’t chipped, but at the time of writing he’s still alive and responding well to whatever they’ve given him. We’ve made a new friend as it turns out that Cat Man – Dan – is actually hilarious (and it’s nice having a fellow gay in this town, and unusual in that we haven’t tasted his semen before learning his first name) and everything has turned good.

But the worst part? The cat, in its panicked state, flipped our Le Creuset saucer onto the floor and chipped it. I mean, for Christ’s sakes.

Gosh: that was a story and a half, wasn’t it? I so much prefer it when I have something to tell you. But, your poor belly. You must be starving, you’ll be working your way through your back-up gunt at this point. Let’s do the recipe: potato, bacon and beer bake. As you were.

potato bacon and beer bake

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potato, bacon and beer bake

Prep

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Total

Yield 4 servings

Now. You can lower the syns in this by swapping out the beer for stock, but honestly you're doing yourself a disservice. The beer adds a lot of the taste, but it isn't essential. For the sake of a couple of syns, you'll get a great side. 

We found this recipe in an Italian cookbook by a chap called Gennaro. We adapted it slightly, but full credit to the guy who looks the double of Paul's dad on the front cover. You can pick up an ecopy here.

This makes enough for four decent servings as a side dish, but we had it between the two of us because: obesity.

Ingredients

  • 1kg or so of potatoes, peeled
  • 200ml of good lager - I used Brewdog's Lost Lager but any will do - around 6 syns 
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil (6 syns)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 200g of bacon - you can buy medallions and cut them up if you like, but we just used bacon lardons and didn't syn them because we're not frightened of a bit of redundant fat, unless it's Paul's mother
  • 80g of light extra mature cheddar (1 person's healthy extra, so fuck it, I'd be minded not to count it, but that's your choice to make) (or, do as we did, and double the cheese because you're a greedy heifer)

Instructions

  • put the oven onto 200 degrees
  • using your mandolin or a knife, thinly slice the potatoes and onions
  • throw the potatoes into a large bowl, add the beer, oil and lots of salt and pepper
  • line the bottom of an overproof dish with sliced tatties, onions, few cubes of bacon and some of the grated cheese
  • layer over and over and press down damn hard with your hand as you go, covering the top with more grated cheese
  • pour over the beer mixture, give it another press down and cover in foil
  • bake for an hour, then remove the foil and cook for another 30 minute
  • serve with whatever slop you want on the side

Notes

Courses side dish

Cuisine italian, supposedly

Nice, eh? Problem with making a potato bake is that the resulting photo always ends up looking like a scabby knee so, just trust your cubs on this one and I promise you it’s worth a bake.

Want more? Greedy cow.

Enjoy!

J

cheesy potato cake – goodness me, it’s good

Do you know, I very nearly called this post Potato Cakes (I Just Don’t Know Know) but had I typed that out, the song Baby Cakes would enter my head. Should this happen, the only reasonable course of action would have been to step outside, nip into our garden shed, tip the lawn mower on its side, douse myself in the petrol that runs out and set myself on fire because I ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT SONG. I hate it! Not just in a ho-ho-how-silly way like most people hated on that Crazy Frog song but in a ‘whoops, there goes the skin on my back, cascading over my skull as I cringe in on myself like an alarmed tortoise’ fashion.

You know what’s the real icing on this particular shitcake though?

The stupid head-bobbing action of the frosted-tipped Matalan-shirted, pouting primadonna on the right, pursing his lips throughout the whole thing.  You’ve got no idea what black, boiling rage he stirs up inside me. Everyone has their Moriarty – I didn’t expect mine to be dressed like an fired ice-cream salesman.

Anyway, that’s all entirely by the by – I have every intention of this post being a quick recipe post, so let’s get straight to it. I happened across this recipe in a book by Antonio Carluccio – naturally his recipe calls for all sorts of butters and cheese so we’ve had to dial it back, but this is still a bloody taster dinner or, even better, leftovers-the-next-day meal. It sounds interesting, but honestly, make it and you’ll never look back. I do like Antonio Carluccio and it’s-sad-that-he’s-died-isn’t-it-mate – I love men with those big bushy eyebrows. I feel he’s what I’ll eventually end up looking like, although my eyebrows are already doing that awful thing where a couple of hairs on each side branch out looking for independence from the rest, pointing straight out in front of me just enough to get in my field of vision. Bastards.

The cheesy potato cake then. This is a load of carbs and cheese, but listen, that’s OK sometimes. Sometimes you need something heavy to sit on your stomach, and I’m not always available. This serves six very generously, so don’t balk at the amount of cheese. Trust me: I shagged a doctor once.

cheesy potato cake

cheesy potato cake

cheesy potato cake

to make a cheesy potato cake, you’re going to need:

  • about 900g of potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed – or use leftover mash
  • 200g of mozzarella – we actually used a smoked mozzarella from Tesco called Scamorza, which was tasty, but any will do (4 x HEA)
  • 80g of extra mature lighter cheese (2 x HEA)
  • I used about 250g of chopped wafer ham, but you could use bacon, boiled ham, chicken, anything you want
  • three eggs
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • a bag of rocket, chopped nice and fine – use spinach if you want
  • one whole leek

top tips for a perfect cheesy potato cake

  • this is a good recipe if you’re making the creamy green veg medley that I posted yesterday – any leftover leek, chuck it in here
  • this recipe isn’t an exact science by any stretch – you can add anything you like into this – think of it as a ‘leftovers’ cake
  • get a potato ricer, for the love of God – mashing potatoes is a ballache and you invariably end up with lumpy mash – not with a ricer. Pop the cooked potato in, push it through and you’ll have perfect creamy mash (oh, and if you want to be super fancy, throw in an egg when you beat the mash together – lovely)! You can pick up a ricer from Amazon for just over a tenner and it really will change your life
  • we topped our cake with 25g of panko (dried breadcrumbs) (4.5 syns) for a bit of crunch – I’m trying to re-use ingredients in our recipes so you’re not left with any waste! You could just blitz a breadbun but honestly, worth getting some panko – most major supermarkets stock it
  • if you’re not planning on getting intercourse for a week, you could roast a whole garlic bulb and mash that in with the potato – oh I say!
  • the cheese is the thing that’ll make this dish – go for strong, bold flavours – trust me

to make a cheesy potato cake, you should:

  • if you haven’t already, peel, boil and mash your potatoes (preferably using a ricer, but I won’t shit the bed if you want to do it by hand)
  • heat the oven up to 185 degrees and get a cake tin out of the cupboard, lamenting that you’re not making something with butter, flour and sugar – I know babes, fkn snakes the lot of them
  • chopped up your cheese into little tiny cubes, chop up the ham into rags, chop up the rocket, thinly slice that leek – throw all of this into the pan with the mash, add the three eggs, a really good pinch of salt and pepper and stir
  • stir it like buggery! Stir it with all your might!
  • slop it into the cake tin with all the style and grace you’d ordinarily reserve for a crap behind your car door by the side of the road
  • smooth out the top, coat with breadcrumbs if you want, add more grated cheese if you dare
  • cook for a good forty minutes – though watch the top doesn’t burn
  • once it’s solid (it’ll not be rock solid when it’s hot mind, so use your common sense) take out of the oven and allow to cool
  • once cool, slice and serve – and this is lovely the next day

We just served ours with a simple green salad and Dynorod on standby to handle the inevitable carb-drop.

Want more lunch ideas? Goodness me, you’re keen, but here we go:

Enjoy!

J

syn free dippy cheesy sloppy tater tots

 

The recipe tonight is a mix-up of two American junk foods – the sloppy joe and tater tots. Tater tots are traditionally mashed potato shaped into little cylinders and deep-fried and they taste amazing, but Margaret would be choking on her Blue Nun if she thought I was deep-frying. So naturally we’ve made a few switches and tweaks and let me tell you, this is genuinely one of the best recipes we’ve done so far. Scroll down and enjoy! OH and it’s syn-free!

Anyway, today’s American diary entry, from our book available here, is from the day we went to Wet and Wild, which isn’t some kind of golden-showers den of sin, but rather a scrappy but beloved waterpark at the arse-end of International Drive. I’ve since heard it’s shutting down, which is a shame, but given we probably left indelible skidmarks on some of the scarier rides it’s probably for the best.


 

Day 26 – Jaymes needs a Chute (Wet and Wild)

Finally – Wet ‘n’ Wild. The concrete and fag-end cuckolded sibling of the rather more salubrious Aquatica, held out of our reach for so long by either weather-based closures or burrito-based bum trouble. A prompt early morning call revealed the park to be open, so after fitting a good eight hundred pastries down our chops, we taxied over to have some splish-splash fun. Before entering, we paid our respects to the Metropolitan Express (the very first hotel we ever stayed in when visiting Orlando back in 2008) by nipping over the road and well, wandering past the reception and down into the corridors.

A little bit about the Metropolitan Express before I come to the meat of the day. It’s grim. Proper grim. We chose the hotel because we were on a budget and didn’t know any better – those were the days when we went to Orlando for ten days, didn’t stay at Disney and had a budget of $1000 for the entire holiday, seems unreal now. The staff are well-meaning and very helpful, but security left a lot to be desired – and this clearly hadn’t improved by the fact that we just sauntered into the hotel past reception and helped ourselves to the free coffee laid out for hotel guests. Sorry, but you shouldn’t be able to do that considering it’s at the rougher end of International Drive. If anyone has the place booked, reconsider. Always pay what you can afford rather than trying to save a few pounds here and there. You may think that we were only able to get back into the hotel because we had made such a fabulous impression on the reception staff that they considered us old friends – but this can’t be the case. I’ll tell you why. On the last day of our first stay back in 2008, we decided to er…make whoopy (we were young then) before leaving. What we hadn’t realised was that I had stashed an open packet of Cheesits under the duvet of the ‘spare’ bed in the room, and we proceeded, entirely by accident, to squash the entire packet, and its radioactive orange contents, into the blankets, under the duvet and up the pillowcases. After we had er…finished, we realised our error, and left hastily, the orange stain refusing to shift from the sheets. Heaven knows what Monique thought when she came to clean the room, but considering we had strategically left a Pringle right in the middle of the carpet for four days to see whether housekeeping were doing their job and it remained there right until the last day, I don’t think the housekeeping was up to much anyway. Oh, and the place stank of cheap weed, too. Not that I know what expensive weed smells like, I hasten to add. I did think I had inhaled rather too much second-hand toke once I had seen the carpets in the hallway mind. It was like someone had trodden a quiche into the carpet. Anyway! Back to 2011, back to Wet and Wild.

Remember our snappy fat/wet suits from earlier in the holiday, purchased in Aquatica in a pique of self-consciousness? Well, we were soon back in those, our jiggly bits cocooned safely in bulging lycra, meaning that we looked to all the world rather like two extra large condoms stuffed with cottage cheese. No matter – as long as no-one laughed at me, I didn’t care. We were straight into the lazy river to ‘acclimatise’ to the water temperature. I got sassed by a lifeguard for not diving in, but to be fair, I practically had to smash my way through the ice-crust it was that bloody cold. The lazy river here leaves a lot to be desired, doesn’t it? Admittedly, it doesn’t have the ped-egg flooring that Disney prefers, but still, give us something to look at other than impossibly sculpted lifeguard bodies.

Most of the day was spent doing slide after slide, and incurring injury after injury. The Storm – the natty slide that shoots you down a steep drop and deposits you like many a poo into what looks like a giant toilet bowl was awesome, as ever, even if I did have to sacrifice my Robin Williams back-hair, which was lightly flayed off under my lycra by the rivets on the slide. Brain Wash is as good as ever, and thankfully they’ve set up an automatic lift so you don’t have to carry those colossal rubber-rings up the winding staircase. Paul and I aren’t especially fit, and anything that reduces the need to break a sweat is good for us. Still, it’s a steep climb, and we’re clearly fitter than last time as we didn’t have to set up base-camp halfway up the tower. I love Brain Wash – try and take a second whilst you’re shooting up and down the tube to look up – they play a nifty ‘subliminal message’ video on the ceiling. All good fun. I banged my head – my own fault – on the side as I was too busy pulling a stupid face at Paul as we were flushed out. So that’s injury two.

With a sore head and a flayed back, we took some time to people-watch, milkshake in hand, under the nice umbrellas by the wavepool. And good lord, we didn’t half see some sights. I know I’m a judgemental sod and hypocritical as I don’t like people taking the mick out of me, but I’ll make no apologies for biting my bottom lip and going ‘Ooooh, look at ‘er’ to Paul for a good half hour. Wet ‘n’ Wild seems to attract a more…hmm…Brighthouse crowd, if you see what I mean. For example, one of the sun-loungers was occupied by someone reading Inside Soap. Now who on Earth goes to the trouble of packing a magazine about English bloody soap operas as reading material on a holiday? Bet she orders Egg and Chips in every restaurant. Also – surprising amount of bad tattoos, especially on necks. I can’t abide it. Frankly, if you have to have the name of your child inked onto your lobster-red neck just so you don’t forget their name and birthday then you shouldn’t be bloody breeding in the first place. Still, it doesn’t beat the worst tattoo I’ve ever seen (some years back, in a rough pub in Newcastle) (Raffertys, if anyone is wondering) – the poor bloke had ‘ENGLUND FOREVER’ inked on his hand. See, if that had been me, I would have asked the tattooist to tattoo a wavy red line under ENGLUND and make out like I was being terribly hip and ironic.

So yes, with my head better and my back crisping up nicely, we decided to do Mach 5. I’m not a huge fan of this ride, because I always manage to lose my dignity somehow – either I come off the mat halfway down or, right at the start, mis-time my bellyflop onto the mat so that I whizz down the slide on my belly whilst the mat cheerfully leads the way ahead of me, just out of reach. Paul’s a genius at stuff like this and never misses, so to humour him, I went on. I didn’t miss the mat. I didn’t come off the mat. Nope, I managed to stay on but, having jumped eagerly, managed to land almost squarely on my clackers, which became pretty much sandwiched between the mat and my lycra-clad body. So – the entire ride was spent having my fertility smacked out of me and I was a very, very interesting shade of puce at the end. Not good. Thank Christ I don’t have to worry about my sperm quality. Paul was sympathetic in that he only guffawed at my predicament rather than fell into hysteria. The tinker. Mind you – he didn’t seem too well either.

Yep, turned out that his ear was playing up again. Ever the trooper, we spent another couple of hours barrelling down the slides and splashing in the water before retreating to the Room of Shame to get changed. We decided to head down to Walgreens to visit their instore doctor, all the while I was silently mouthing my words so Paul felt even more deaf. Mind you, clearly his ear wasn’t too bad – he decided that the sensible thing to do whilst suffering from a balance problem was to have a go on the Slingshot. Yes – that giant tower that you see at the top of International Drive, where those who have been dropped on their heads as children strap themselves into a ball and get slung 200ft into the air, stopped only by two elastic bands. Well, I’m sorry, I’ll do any rides, but I wasn’t going to do that. I don’t trust any ride that looks as though it’s been pieced together by whatever was left over at the Meccano factory. However, being a proper black widow, I ushered Paul onto the ride, and bravely took photos. I wish they had come out well, but it just looks like someone has smeared a blur onto the photo he was going that fast.

 

Apparently, it was brilliant, ear problems or not. Having got that out of his system, we arrived at Walgreens with a minute to spare.

Now, the doctor was fantastic. She performed all sorts of little tests on Paul, and after 40 minutes of clucking her tongue and checking her charts, she diagnosed that the poor bugger had a perforated ear-drum. Of course, I immediately start hyperventilating knowing that we were flying in a few days time, but she reassured us that he would be OK to fly as long as he took the drops she was about to prescribe.

Then, she told us the price. $245 (nearabouts) – $180 of which was for one tiny dropper bottle of antibiotics. Luckily, I managed to floor her with the first punch and Paul ran out with the bottle. I wish. No, we paid up, and I almost perforated his other eardrum whinging about having to pay for something I seem to get routinely prescribed at home like Smarties. Seriously – I could go into my doctors with a missing face and he’d send me on my way with a crate of amoxicillin and a flea in my ear. Thank Christ for travel insurance. We made a tonne of calls later that evening and actually ended up getting nowhere, just one big circle of call centres and idiots who couldn’t tell us what to do. Worst yet – that ended up costing us about $400 in phone call charges from the Hard Rock! Bah. Next time he damages his ear, I’ll just fill it full of cotton wool and use sign language. Only really need to know ‘Feed Me’ ‘Have you douched?’ and ‘Go to sleep’ to get by.

Before turning in for the night, we wandered down to Olive Garden for our evening meal. Absolutely delicious. I don’t remember an awful lot of it save for three facts. First – I was getting eyed up by a splinter-thin River-Island-clad pipe-cleaner of a man who followed me to the loo, only to turn around and leave in disgust when I went into a cubicle and deliberately trumpeted as loudly as possible. Second – the food was scrummy, and the cocktails even better. Third – we gave our server a $100 tip on a $60 meal, because she dealt with us with such aplomb whilst having to serve a table of twelve boorish Americans all waving their hands in the air. See – I’m flying the flag for Britain!

All in all then, a mixed day. We love Wet and Wild – yeah it’s rough and it needs polishing up, and it has nowhere near the level of class that the likes of Aquatica or Typhoon Lagoon have, but if you want fast rides and easy living, it’s the one to go for. Plus – remember my tip for an early morning pick-me-up: free coffee at the Metropolitan Express. But stay there…not on my experience.


So here we go…!

tater tots slimming world friendly

serves 4

you’ll need these:

  • 900g potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 750g lean beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 500g passata
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ¾ tbsp cider vinegar
  • ¾ tsp chilli powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce (optional)
  • 40g reduced fat mozarella, grated (one HEA choice, this serves four!0
  • 4 spring onions, sliced

and you’ll need to do this:

  • cook the cubed potatoes in a spoonful of worcestershire sauce in your Actifry, or alternatively place on a baking sheet and bake at 190 degrees until browned, remembering to turn frequently
  • meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan over a medium high heat and add the onions, stirring frequently until they start to turn translucent
  • add the mince and cook until brown
  • next add the passata, carrots, garlic, red pepper and celery and stir well
  • mix together the mustard powder, chilli powder, cider vinegar and a tablespoon of water and add to the mixture
  • stir again, cover the pan over a medium-low heat and cook for 20-30 minutes until nicely thickened
  • in a grill-safe pan (or baking dish) layer the mince mixture with potatoes, add the grated cheese and spring onions (just slice up the green part) and grill until the cheese has turned golden brown
  • drizzle over with the buffalo sauce and serve

It’s up to you what sides you serve this with to make up the third-speed-food-rule on your plate, but I’m not going to pretend that we didn’t just eat our quarter and immediately go back for more, with the roasted broccoli still in the oven…oops!

I’ll say this – if you cook only one of our recipes, ever, cook this. It makes a pan full of absolute bloody wonder!

TOP TIP: don’t chuck away the white part of the spring onions, put them root-first into a glass of water, and they’ll grow again! Easy.

J