Here for the cheese, ham and onion bake done in the slow cooker and just the thing for slopping down your nightie whilst the dark nights close in? Of course: it might look like a scabby back, but it tastes absolutely bloody amazing and frankly, I’d have this dish every night if I could, or at least until the good folks at Wansbeck Hospital had me bluelighted in with cheese crust on my mouth.
Speaking of cheese crust, a while ago we published a blog entry from Frederick West detailing his method for making the perfect roast potato. We received record feedback and for those two people, he’s agreed to pen another article. It’s another hot-button topic – not least because his keyboard is eighty per cent cigarette ash – buffet. What makes the perfect buffet? What’s the ideal strategy for winning at buffet? Now, this entry is especially girthy and because I know some of you will be reading this on a Speak ‘n’ Spell powered exclusively by Poundland batteries and tears, I’m going to split it in two.
For those devoid of all joy in your life, click the picture below to be whisked straight to the recipe.
Everyone else buckled in? A slight caveat. Our writer isn’t subtle. Address your complaints to the nearest bin.
Buffet is one of those words that means different things to different people: like fashion, happy or consent. But what is the correct answer? It’s time to get the bottom of this mystery once and for all. I will not rest until we have uncovered the truth or I get hungry. So, join me, Other Paul, twochubbycubs’ roving reporter, a pale imitation of Alison Hammond both literally and euphemistically, on my most important mission to date.
The biggest shitshow that masquerades under the good name buffet has to be the ‘Hot Fork Buffet’. A couple of heat lamp fermented trays of slop, chips and rice and God fucking forbid, a salad do not a buffet make. I made the mistake of having one of these travesties during the evening reception of my wedding.
A tray of curry so bland that you could have had toast and found it spicier, a pan of Scouse (a traditional Liverpudlian stew, not the contents of Cilla’s make up bag) along with completely unseasoned rice and chips. Now my family, they like a drink. They really like a drink. They’d been going since 3pm and they’d just seen their son/grandson/brother/nephew/cousin (in some cases 3 of those, we’re a close family) say ‘I do’ to a bloke that looks like Dawn French shaved her head, came off her mood stabilisers and got woken up by a wasp’s nest in her fanny.
Everyone was far too pissed to touch the food so I’m there hissing to my brand-new husband about it costing a tenner a head and not having room in the freezer for it all. So, I did what any tight arse would do, and shovelled as much of it as possible down my gullet. Sadly, as a result of this greed, about 3 hours later, a tight arse was what I was very much lacking as I pebble-dashed the shitter in the honeymoon suite. If we were a straight couple, it would have been nothing a quick rinse in the bidet wouldn’t fix before the wedding was consummated. You’d be correct in guessing my marriage was not consummated that night. As my shiny new husband so eloquently put it (I’ll use his wedding photo, he won’t mind):
Safe to say I did not get a hot forking that night.
If there’s something I hate more than the hot fork fiasco it’s the one’s where fuck all effort has been made. Often found at work events where you can see the lunch spread and you realise that enough food for 20 people has been set out and there are 50 of you there. Pro-tip in these cases – any work event that’s catered, get a seat by the door. The second you break for lunch, you run, I don’t care if you’re 40 stone with ankles that have already buckled under your considerable gunt, you fucking run.
If there are people in the way, take the bastards down: you get one shot at this tubsy, don’t fuck it up. When you’re at the front of the line and ready to fill your plate, move tactically. They put the salads first, followed by the carby items. THIS IS A TRAP. If I have to tell you to give the salad a miss then just delete my number, we can’t be friends. I don’t care if you’ve a cock like the creatures from Tremors, there is no room for salad apologists in my chocolate corridor.
Next come carbs, if it’s chips, build a base layer on your plate, but don’t stack high. This is how they get you. If the only choice is rice, fuck it. It’s going to bland, plain, boiled shit. Once you’re past the carbs, go mental. Fill the plate and stack it as high as possible. You may feel judgmental eyes fall upon you but those are usually the eyes of senior management who skimped on catering and are at the back of the queue. They deserve to starve. You’ll have no chance at seconds here so treat it like a game of Buckaroo, only with a slightly stale sandwich and some Aldi own-brand kettle crisps. Be brave.
The worst case of under-catering I’ve ever experienced was at my mother-in-law’s funeral. Fucking exhausting day: two hours of the people of Oz singing ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ followed by a full Catholic funeral. I’m no amateur with things like this, but after three hours of sucking off the clergy I’m gonna need to refuel. We arrive at the quaint village pub and straight away my ‘Fat Twat’ sense is tingling.
There has to be 60 people in the pub and exactly 60 quarter sandwiches covered in clingfilm, a bowl of nuts and two bowls of crisps set out. I’m not entirely sure what’s gone wrong but people are going to go hungry and over her cold dead body it wasn’t going to be me. The only upside to the situation was the facr mourners are quite a respectful bunch, so I easily managed to push past the sad fuckers and pile it high. I’d like think the selfish old bitch was looking up at me and smiling whilst her toes burned for all eternity.
So, dear reader, what should a proper buffet consist of? Well first off: enough fucking food for everyone. Now I trust a blog with a readership consisting of people with portion control issues should be able to get their heads around this concept so I’m going to assume you do not need direction in this area. You need a solid foundation, a theme if you will. Also, remember the golden rule of Mother Dewsbury:
I won’t be challenged on this. I am prepared to fight you and I warn you – I’m 6’4 tall, permanently angry and being punched in the face is foreplay to me.
So, we start with our brown food staple. The Sausage Roll. Quantity is key here, everyone loves a sausage roll so the key is to go mini. Rather than putting out 20 full sized logs of pig’s eyelash and arsehole in soggy pastry, go for 80 mini ones. Tower them high, then everyone feels like they’re getting more. Of course, you can get cheese and onion ‘sausage rolls’ for veggies and if you’ve got vegan guests coming, tell them to bring a packed lunch. My Nan likes to make her own sausage rolls and after many years I’ve finally been able to get the recipe from her, primarily by threatening to have her heating turned off this winter. I think you’ll see that the crafty old bitch was right to keep this secret formula close to her heavy breast because it could change the world:
- buy any old sausage from the shop. Take the meat out of the case;
- form it into a sausage shape and wrap in shop brought pastry; and
- egg wash and bung in the oven until the pastry is browned.
Well fuck me Elizabeth, I can see why you didn’t want that getting out to the masses, you could put Greggs out of business!
James here. That’s a good, devastating image to leave on, isn’t it? Imagining Newcastle without Greggs is like trying to imagine Southend with dignity and a hymen between the entire populous – inconceivable. The next entry will be a guide to the perfect buffet and, if you’ve enjoyed the above, you’re going to be laughing, slapping your knees and worrying about how to explain the damp patch in your knickers to your husband all over again when we publish it in a few days. Even better: I have a rebuttal article planned. That’s twochubbycubs for you: we’ll flog a dead horse, and then make a delicious Croatian stew with it.
I’d LOVE to hear your feedback on this one – get leaving comments! What makes a good buffet for you?
Right, let’s eat. All those words, you’re probably proper Hank Marvin. Let’s just say hello to those hoggish sort who couldn’t wait for the recipe. This bake is never going to win prizes for how it looks, but then, nor will I, and I’ve never had trouble getting my Vitamin D injection.
cheese, ham and potato bake - done in the slow cooker
Yield 6 servings
Listen, potato bakes always look like a load of hot arse, and no amount of skilled photography is going to hide the fact you're eating a plate of saucy potato. But: YOU'RE EATING A PLATE OF SAUCY POTATO. I mean haway, what more do you need? Someone to nip over and chew your food? I will, you know.
- one tin of cream of mushroom condensed soup (13.5 syns)
- use Campbells, and use the condensed version, it's so much tastier
- not a fan of mushroom? then fuck off
- if you must save your syns, use the low fat version for 7.5 syns, but honestly, spend the syns
- eight large potatoes - we use King Edwards or something from Sainsbury's
- as much cooked ham as you like - we just buy one of those little precooked hams and cut it into cubes
- 240g of lighter extra mature cheddar (6 HEAs - but this serves six, so calm yer boobs)
- two onions, white or red
- 150ml skimmed milk (1.5 syns)
15 syns between 6 servings. 2 and a half syns. And best of all? No bloody Quark sitting on your delicious dinner like the Devil's Own Smegma.
- thinly slice your potatoes
- chop up your onion
- cube up your ham
- dance through all your fears (war is over for a bit)
- grate your cheese
- mix the soup, cheese and milk together in one bowl
- mix the onion, potato and ham in the other
- then slop everything into the slow cooker and turn it on high for about 4 hours with lashings of black pepper and smugness
- it'll be ready to serve after four hours but because we're catty bitches, we slopped it into a Pyrex dish and finished it off under the grill with a bit more cheese
Get ready to buy buy buy!
- looking for a slow cooker - you don't need anything fancy, hell, that little lightbulb oven Marge Simpson had when she was a wee-un would do, but how about this from Amazon? Cheap!
- I worry about your fingers chopping those potatoes - get yourself a mandolin slicer but use the bloody guard or christ, you'll be like Freddy Kreuger by the end of dinner. We have a cheap one from Amazon and it works like a bloody trooper
- did you know we have three books out? Not saying it'll give you a hand with the dinner but it'll make your boobs jiggle when you titter
Courses slow cooker
Want more slow cooker recipes? No worries, here’s bloody loads!
- beary beery barley beef stew (1 syn)
- spicy pork in citrus sauce (1.5 syns)
- beef bourguignon (1.5 syns)
- slow cooker beef keema (1 syn)
- slow cooker pork and apple stew (1.5 syns)
- guinness pulled pork with colcannon mash (2.5 syns)
- slow cooker honey buffalo meatballs (2.5 syns)
- ranch chicken, bacon and potato (3 syns)