recipe: smoky beef wraps

The first thing we need to get out of the way with these smoky beef wraps is whether or not it should be smoky or smokey. To me and my permanently-befuddled mind they both look correct – and listen, I pulled my own smoky beef wrap out of a house fire in the form of Paul once (citation needed) so I have experience but the Internet assures me that smoky is the correct form. Unless someone fancies getting Susie Dent on the blower, we’ll continue with smoky and if I am wrong, well, write me a letter. Christ though, if this was a smoky bologna lasagna recipe I’d probably need to get taken away on a stretcher breathing into a paper bag.

Before we get to the recipe there’s the small matter of my usual chatter. I thought I’d give you an update on Goomba, the dog who clearly I don’t love very much because I always forget to update his Instagram. He’s never going to get that Huel x Spaniel collab at this rate, but really, in my defence, setting up an Instagram for a dog was nothing more than a folly on my side. I can barely bring myself to update this blog more than twice a year, documenting every moment of his life was certainly never going to happen. Anyway, he’s past the cute puppy stage so we’ll be trading him in for cigarettes and scratchcards soon enough.

Now before you do actually send us a letter, that’s very much a joke. Six months on and I, for all my puff and bluster, simply could not imagine him not being around. I deferred on getting a dog for many, many years – partly on the grounds of making sure we were financially able to support him, but also, it’s such a big responsibility. I’m someone who doesn’t wear his wedding ring just in case I get a scorch mark pulling it off my finger too quickly if I ever get a better offer. Taking on a dog is a true commitment. Our cats aren’t as tying (though no less loved), given they only seem to come to us when they want feeding or to scratch our faces open for having the temerity to buy the cheap cat-food. Both of our cats are outdoor cats and it isn’t uncommon not to see them for a day or two whilst they go off on their own adventures. It wouldn’t sting quite as much if only Sola didn’t flick the gas on as she exited out the cat-flap.

But, and it almost goes without saying but this is me so I’ll spin it out for 500 words more, I’m beyond glad we took the plunge. We have in Goomba what I consider to be my dream dog (after Beethoven, Hooch from Turner and Hooch and Chance from Homeward Bound) (never Shadow though, always thought he was a sanctimonious old fart) – he’s perfectly trained, always enthusiastic and for the most part, keeps his dog-farts to what I would consider a reasonable level. On the subject of fog-slicers we have learned one key thing since taking the dog on: they absolutely mystify him. If either Paul or myself let a knicker-rattler go in his presence he will sit bolt upright, turn his head in that inquisitive manner Springers are known for and then frown until he believes the danger has passed. Equally, if he’s fast asleep and he accidentally clouds the issue, he will wake with a start and stare at his arsehole in absolute terror, as though he can’t quite believe what has happened. It is genuinely hilarious and luckily, given he lives in a house so full of farts we dare not light a match lest we blow the roof off, he’s always amused.

There’s also the small matter of leaving a room and him treating your return like he hasn’t seen you in months. It does wonders for your confidence that every time you go for a crap and come back he bounds around with his tongue lolling around as though he can’t quite believe you managed such an expedition on your own. His response to Paul returning from work is incredible to see – he hears the tinny whirr of the Smart car at the end of the street and goes to the window to await the sight of Paul clattering over the lawn with the shopping. Then he’s off out the back door like his arse is on fire to greet him at the gate. A day isn’t complete until he’s jumped up and torn a new hole in whatever Sports Direct special coat Paul is wearing that day. Thankfully he has cut back on the weeing when jumping up which is a relief to me, although Goomba did register his delight at going for a drive with Paul the other day by climbing over and taking a long, luxurious sit-down piss all over Paul’s lap. I like to think Goomba is with me in thinking Paul’s aftershave (Cerutti 1881, applied in the same fashion a clown throws a bucket of confetti) is an abomination, but I can’t rule out classic puppy exuberance.

And finally, we have managed to get him past his phobia of water, which is a relief because it was rather embarrassing having him out-camp us by mincing around any puddle like an especially fey horse. We take him to the beach most weekends so he can run around and fill his ears with enough sand to recreate the beach experience at home and Paul absent-mindedly skimmed a stone into the sea. Goomba, previously so water-phobic that I found a leaflet for pet catheterisation in his crate, went steaming in to collect it only to run straight into a not insignificant wave. He promptly disappeared but in the time it took me to loudly scream (I had to, I didn’t have my glasses on to do my traditional Madge from Neighbours ‘HARRRRRROLLLLD‘ joke) he reappeared and swam back. I mean I make it sound like he crossed the Channel, it must have only been about ten metres, but the sheer panic coursing through me in those seconds made me realise how much I did love him so. Put it this way, had the situation escalated, I would have had no compunction about sailing out to rescue him on a face-down Paul. It’s OK, Paul’s naturally buoyant on account of all the hot air. Anyway, once I’d been bought a calm-yerself-down-you-hysterical-slag ice-cream and another for travelling, all was well, and Goomba couldn’t stay out of the water.

You might be thinking, James, surely if the dog is wet it’ll make your fabulous car smell of wet dog? Well now, don’t be silly: we take two cars because there’s no chance he’s going to make my car smell and pittle on the passenger seat. Plus, there’s Goomba to consider too.

Right, from dripping dog to smoky beef – an effortless segue I’m sure you’ll agree. Let’s do these smoky beef wraps without a moment more of paws. PAWS! Do you get it? Because PAUSE as in delay but also PAWS because Goomba is a dog and has paws! That’s it, get the Sunday Times back on the phone, there’s another bestseller incoming!

smoky beef wraps

If you’re wondering, you don’t need to wrap your smoky beef wraps in those blankets they give people who have just finished a marathon, but it helps

smoky beef wraps

This isn’t the first time I’ve had smoky beef wraps this close to my face, either

smoky beef wraps




Yield 4 wraps

If you struggle making wraps, please do take a look on Youtube. I'm as cack-handed as they come but once you know the technique, it's a doddle. As with all of our recipes, you can leave bits out of this or add in - the pineapple isn't necessary, but it does add a lovely contrast of flavours. Unless you're like me and slightly allergic.

As usual, we have worked out the calories via the NHS calorie check and your result may be different - different wraps and mince etc will result in a changed amount. Do make sure to work it out yourself or treat it as a rough guide.


  • 400g of lean beef mince
  • four whatever wraps you use
  • two tablespoons of soy sauce
  • one red onion, half finely chopped, other half sliced into thin moons
  • one little gem lettuce
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 500g of sweet potato fries (we use McCain's Signature ones because we're so fancy it hurts)
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • four tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • chill sauce for a drizzle inside if you want


  • pop your sweet potato fries into the oven and cook until crispy
  • pop the finely sliced onion into the vinegar - it'll take the tang away
  • pop off Sis
  • gently fry off the chopped onion and once softened, add the mince and cook until brown all the way through
  • whilst that's doing that, finely chop your lettuce and pineapple and keep aside
  • once the meat is browned, add the soy sauce, paprika, chilli flakes and pepper, give it a good mix and cook for a minute or two more until a bit sticky
  • once everything is ready, assemble - you want a pile of sweet potatoes, mince, chopped lettuce and pineapple drizzled with some chilli sauce
  • wrap up, eat them, enjoy



  • although we have used sweet potato fries (plain) in the recipe, eagle-eyed folks will spot that we have used our spicy, salty sweet potato fries in the photo - the next recipe reacharound will redo these, but for now, you can find the recipe for those here


  • our Fast & Filling cookbook has delicious recipes coming out of its bum in all honesty, and the reviews are second to none: order yours here! 
  • but we mustn't forget about book one - the book that started it all and every page a delight: click here to order
  • our planner must also be considered, if you're looking for some extra recipes and somewhere to log your successes: here

Disclosure: the links above are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, we will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and make a purchase. Which is handy, as we could always use an extension on Chubby Towers.

Courses wraps

Cuisine spicy, smoky

That’s a wrap! But also, speaking of wraps, may I suggest our chicken tikka wraps for a lovely alternative? Well I’m gonna, you’re not the boss of me. Take a look here.

OUT, am I‽