This is a handy recipe to have because it is a great way to use up leftovers or small amounts of vegetables that you have in the fridge.  I stick to vegetables and lean meats but you really can add almost anything – cooked potatoes, cooked kale, salmon with dill, chicken with tarragon, steak with… Continue reading Frittata

Spicy Meatloaf

A spicy alternative to warm you up on those cold winter days

This is the leftover bit – I forgot to snap the whole meatloaf when it came out of the oven.  The delicious smell had my mouth watering and taking pictures was the last thing on my mind!!


1kg minced beef
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp Cajun spice
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 Beef Stock Cube diluted in 50-75ml of boiling water
6 tbsp. dried breadcrumbs
1 Egg
6 slices parma ham
150ml ketchup
100ml Brown Sauce
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste
4 tbsp. water
50g butter
Few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Place the minced beef in the bowl and add all the spices, mustard, stock cube (diluted), breadcrumbs and egg.  Mix all the ingredients together until well combined.  Remove from the bowl and place on a lined tin.  Shape into a loaf shape.  Use the parma ham to cover the loaf tucking the slices under to help it hold its shape while cooking.

Next make the sauce.  Add the ketchup, brown sauce, brown sugar and chipotle sauce to a bowl and mix well.  Divide this mixture in half.  One half will be used to coat the meatloaf.  Paint the meatloaf with the sauce and place in a preheated oven at 160C for 30 to 40 mins or until cooked through.  DSC_0003

Halfway through cooking remove from the oven and paint again with more of the sauce. Return to the oven. Place the second half of the sauce into a small saucepan and add the water, butter and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce.  Heat through gently and whisk to incorporate the butter.  Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 mins.  Slice in 1-2cm slices and serve with salad and fries and the warm sauce.

I had leftovers from this recipe and transformed them the next day.  I sliced 2cm thick slices from the chilled meatloaf and placed them on a dry non-stick frying pan.  Fry on a low heat until nice and crispy on the outside and fully heated through.  Serve with bacon and fried onions, lettuce, cheese and sliced tomato and any leftover sauce on a burger bun…….delicious!

Homemade Potato Bread

A great recipe for using up leftover mashed potatoes and goes down well with the whole familyDSC_0066.JPG

1 kg potatoes – cooked, mashed and completely cooled
350g Plain flour
2 teaspoons salt (if you’re using leftover mash that already had salt added reduce this to 1 tsp)
70g margarine melted


Place the potatoes, flour, salt and melted margarine in a large bowl and using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix the whole lot together to form a stiff dough.  Divide the dough in half and roll out the first half on a floured surface to about a half centimetre thick.  You can either use a cutter of whatever shape you like or just use a knife to cut the rolled out dough into squares/rectangles.DSC_0056.JPG

Preheat a non-stick pan on the stove top.  Place the cut out dough on the dry pan and leave to cook on a low heat until golden brown – at least 5 mins each side and the slower the better as you are trying to cook out the flour in the dough.  Turn and cook the other side too.  Meanwhile roll out the second half and repeat the process.  You will have several pan loads so it may be useful to use two pans.DSC_0058

You can store this in the fridge once it has cooled to room temperature or freeze.  When you’re ready to use it just put it back on a preheated pan with a little vegetable oil and fry gently for a few minutes on each side until warmed through and nice and crisp and golden.  Drain on kitchen paper and serve with grilled bacon, sausages and an egg or on its own for a snack.DSC_0063.JPG

To change the recipe about you could add pieces of chopped cooked bacon or black pudding or even cooled fried onions to the dough.  The possibilities are endless!

Shepherds Pie

DSC_0078.JPGAnother family favourite and it also uses up leftover potatoes.

This is what we call Shepherds Pie in our house though I think strictly speaking it should be called Cottage Pie since I make it with minced beef.  You can of course change the recipe to use minced lamb if you wish and I think a combination of beef and lamb mince would be the best.

1 kg minced beef

1 large onion finely chopped

4 medium carrots finely diced

Ground white pepper

1 Beef Stock cube

2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 tbsp. Tomato Puree

6 heaped tbsp. good quality ketchup

For the topping:

Approx 1 kg of potatoes

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper

Splash of milk


Peel and cook the potatoes for the topping.  You want to cook the potatoes until they are quite soft as this will make them mash really easy and give you a nice creamy topping.  Meanwhile place the onions and carrots in a large saucepan with a little oil and butter and cook on a low heat with a lid on.  You want the carrots to steam in their own juice otherwise they will remain quite hard if not cooked well at this stage.  A little salt will help the juices flow and give you more steam.  Add the minced meat and allow it to cook until it turns brown.  Keep stirring and turning the meat to encourage it to break up as you don’t want meatballs in your shepherds pie.  You can then add the pepper and crumble in the stock cube.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and ketchup and mix thoroughly.  Allow the mixture to cook on for a few minutes to allow any water to evaporate but make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  You could also put in a handful of peas at this stage but my 2 DD’s don’t like peas so I have to leave them out.DSC_0074

When the potatoes are cooked drain and mash them with the butter, salt, pepper and milk.  You want a nice creamy mash to top the pie.DSC_0077

Place the meat mixture in an ovenproof dish and spoon the mash over in little dollops.  Using a fork bring the dollops together to cover the meat mixture and then score the top with the fork.  These ridges will turn into nice brown slightly charred bits on top.  Place in a hot preheated oven (220C) for 20 to 30 mins or until nice and browned on the top.  Serve with salad or green vegetables.

You will most likely have leftovers from this and the pie will be even nicer reheated the next day. For fussy eaters the carrots can be grated in and they will virtually disappear.  The shepherds pie can also be frozen at the point before it goes in the oven.  Defrost fully before cooking and fluff up the potatoes again with a fork.  Also you can use leftover potatoes too but I advise warming them up before topping the pie as its too difficult to spread them on the hot meat filling when the potatoes are cold and you just end up with a mess!!