Mince and Tatties


Ingredients:  500g best minced beef

1 medium onion

1 large carrot

50g swede (turnip)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup

2 teaspoons Bovril

1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly

1 teaspoon tomato puree

1 stick of celery (left whole)

Salt and pepper to taste.


Firstly finely grate the onion, carrot and swede or alternatively finely chop in a food processor, next heat the oil in a saucepan add the mince and brown for 3 or 4 minutes add the finely grated (chopped) vegetables and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients cover with water and bring to the boil, once boiling put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Once cooked remove the celery stick and serve with fluffy mashed potato.

Serves four.


Savoury Potato Cakes



1 lb cold mashed potato

4 rashers bacon (diced)

3 oz button mushrooms (chopped)

1 small / medium onion (finely chopped)

1 egg (beaten)

4 tablespoons fine oatmeal

Oil for frying

Salt / pepper to season.


Prepare the potatoes and boil until tender then drain and mash them well before setting aside to cool.

Next place the bacon, onion and mushrooms into a frying pan with a little oil and cook gently until the onion and mushrooms have softened, when this is done set aside to cool as well.

When everything has cooled combine the bacon, onion and mushroom with the mashed potato, season to taste and mix well. Next take a large tablespoonful of the mixture and shape into a flat cake approx. 6 to 9mm thick (1/4 to 3/8 inch), dip into the beaten egg, and coat with oatmeal. Fry in hot oil until lightly browned on both sides. Serve hot.

This makes 8-10 potato cakes, depending on the size.

Sausage Casserole with Cobbler Topping

Sausage Casserole



Oil for frying

1lb sausages

2 onions (sliced)

4oz streaky bacon (diced)

1oz plain flour

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup

3oz button mushrooms (sliced)

½ pint beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cobbler Top:- 

8oz self-raising flour

2oz butter (softened)

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg (beaten)


pinch of salt



Fry or grill the sausages until brown then cut into 2 or 3 pieces transfer to a dish and keep warm, next fry the bacon and onions until soft add the plain flour and fry for another minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock and the sauces, season to taste and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Lastly add the mushrooms and previously cooked sausages, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Meanwhile make the cobbler topping.

Mix the self-raising flour, baking powder, mustard powder and salt in a bowl then rub in the softened butter, add the beaten egg and sufficient milk to mix to a soft dough, place on a floured surface and roll out until it reaches ½ an inch thickness, cut into small scone size circles with an appropriate cutter, and place these around the edge of the sausage mixture in the dish overlapping them a little, then bake the whole lot in a pre-heated oven gas mark 7 (220*c) for about 15 minutes until the cobbler circles have risen and are golden brown.


Tasty Homemade Lasagna

Ingredients :-

750g lean minced beef

1 medium / large onion finely chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed or 1 teaspoon garlic paste

2 400g tins Napolina chopped tomato’s

1 190g jar sun dried tomato paste

2 tablespoons tomato puree

200ml or 1 cup of water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dried parsley

1 and ½ teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

175g grated cheddar cheese

175g grated red Leicester cheese

500ml cheese sauce (Bisto)

12 Napolina egg pasta lasagne sheets

2 tablespoons olive oil


Place 2 tablespoon of olive oil into a large saucepan and Cook the minced beef, onion and garlic until well browned, stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree and water. Next add the sugar, salt, basil, Italian seasoning, pepper and half of the parsley, stir well bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 90 minutes stirring occasionally.

Next bring a large pan of slightly salted water to the boil and then add the pasta sheets, the recipe states 12 sheets, that is because this is how many it takes to do 4 layers of pasta in the size of dish that we use (270mm x 215 mm), you may adjust this number to suit whatever size of dish you are using. Boil the pasta for 8 to 10 minutes then rinse in cold water.

Mix 500ml of cheese sauce, we use Bisto but any brand will do, you may even make your own if that is what you prefer, just don’t make it to thin it needs to be reasonably thick, to this add the other half of the parsley.

Once everything is prepared take your oven dish and start by putting in a thin layer of the mince mixture, then a layer of pasta followed by more mince, and another pasta layer, cover this with half of the cheese sauce mix and sprinkle in half of the grated cheese, on top of this place another thin layer of mince then pasta, then a final layer of mince followed by a final layer of pasta and top off with the remaining cheese sauce and grated cheese.

Cover with foil and place in a pre-heated oven 190*c gas mark 5 and cook for 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for a further 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven allow to cool for a few minutes serve and enjoy.

Homemade Lasagna Recipe Homemade Lasagna Recipe

Tasty Chinese Style Mild Beef Curry


500g minced beef,

250g diced beef,

1 medium sized onion,

3 medium/large carrots,

1 300g tin of marrowfat peas,,

1 170g tub of Maykway curry sauce mix, (mild)

1/4 cup of wine, (optional)

3 tbsp olive oil, or veggie oil, (which ever you prefer)

dash of Worcestershire or soy sauce. (optional)



Firstly peel and grate the carrots and put these on to boil in a pan of water salted to taste.

While they are cooking, finely chop the onion, then add this to the minced beef and 2 tbsp of oil and cook in a large saucepan over a medium heat until done. Turn down the heat and add the full tub of maykway curry sauce and stir in until thoroughly mixed with the beef then add the carrots along with the water they were cooked in, followed by the tin of peas. Leave to thicken stiring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. (Note! you will possibly have to add more water to reach a nice consistency, just boil a kettle and add a little at a time as desired.)

Next slice the diced beef into thin strips, and fry these in the remaining tbsp of oil over a high heat for a minute each side to seal them, then add the wine and the dash of Worcestershire or soy sauce (actually I add a splash of both), and top up with water till the meat is just covered over, turn down the heat cover the pan and simmer until most of the liquid has gone, by which time the meat should be lovely and tender, then just add to the curry.

Note! If like myself you like a lot of the curry sauce you can add a tbsp of corn flour to thicken things up a bit more, thus allowing more liquid to be added resulting in more sauce. If this is the case add it at the same time as the curry sauce mix. As an onion lover I also like to add some larger chunks of onion shortly before dishing out the curry. This way it remains nice and crunchy which I think adds a welcome texture to the curry.

                              The Finished Curry

Burger Press Review


I have been making my own burghers now for a number of years, the main reasons being that they are tastier, and also the fact that I have control over what goes in them i.e. decent quality meat, not to mention the satisfaction it gives when everyone comments how nice they are. After all who doesn’t like to be complemented? But up till now I have always shaped them by hand, with the result that more often than not they would wind up being different sizes and shapes, with the result that one or other of the kids would complain that theirs was smaller than everyone else’s, also being irregular in thickness they wouldn’t always cook evenly when on the grill.

So I was made up when I discovered this little burgher press, I wasn’t aware that anything like this existed, or I would have bought one years ago, it really is a cracking little implement to have around the kitchen. Firstly it’s a well- made solid little piece of kit, which should give years of service, and secondly it’s easy to use and gives great results, just cut a piece of grease proof paper to go in the bottom and another for the top so nothing sticks, put in your meat mixture and press down firmly, then turn out your nice round evenly thicknessed burger.

Incidentally if you fill the mould to the top, the resultant burgher comes out at a quarter pound, found that out when my granddaughter weighed one out of curiosity.

I was asked to review this item and I am really pleased with the results we got with it. Having now tried one of these I wouldn’t be without it now.

VonShef Stand Mixer, 5.5 Litre Review

To start let me say that we’ve only ever owned one of those hand held blender things in our house before now, so when we received the opportunity to review this,  I in particular jumped at the chance. (After all it’s me that usually gets stuck with the job whenever there’s any heavy or prolonged mixing involved.)

VonShef Stand Mixer 5.5 litre

First impression was whoa that’s big, with the bowl fitted it measures 16”long x 15”high x 9.5”wide that’s inches, we’re old school in our house, so maybe not one for anybody with a very small kitchen, or limited cupboard or worktop space.

The mixer itself looks really sleek so should be a doddle to keep clean, to that end it comes with a neat splash guard for the bowl which is easily fitted, and incorporates a lidded opening for adding additional ingredients while mixing is in progress.

The bowl is huge it is 5.5 litre capacity that’s nine and a half pints in English, (told you we were old school), it slots snugly into the base and secures with a quarter turn, it’s made of stainless steel so is dishwasher safe, word of warning here!.. I don’t think this is the case with the dough hook, or the flat beater attachments, as these look very much to me like they are made out of die cast aluminium, I would say that the balloon whisk, which is the only other accessory should be ok as this appears to be steel, (at least it reacts to a magnet so it’s definitely not ally).

At 1200watts there shouldn’t be any problems about power, we’ve not had any issues at all (though admittedly we’ve not done anything really heavy up to now). Time will tell I suppose?

Now for the 64 million dollar question is it value for money? This I’m afraid I cannot answer as I have never had anything of its like to compare it with. But, in my opinion it’s an excellent  machine. Plus it comes with a 2 year warranty.

VonShef Stand Mixer