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Cottage Pie recipe, eat well on universal credit

I can’t believe we’ve not actually added a Cottage Pie recipe. We’ve got every other conceivable version, Swineherd Pie, Cumberland Pie, Shepherds Pie…. So here we have our take on the recipe. The minced Beef was 0.80p in the discounts!


500g Beef mince
2 Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, finely batoned
Soy Sauce, a dash
Worcester Sauce, dash
Grated Cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil to fry


(1) Fry the Onions until translucent.
(2) Add Mince fry until brown.
(3) Season to taste.
(4) Add the Carrot and other ingredients and fry gently for 10 minutes.
(5) Add 500ml of Beef Stock.
(6) Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
(7) Boil and mash your Potatoes.
(8) If the Beef mixture looks too dry add some of the Potato water.
(9) Add the Beef mixture to a casserole dish and spread the mashed Potato over the top.
(10) Place in a pre heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes.
(11) Sprinkle the grated Cheese over and place back in the oven until melted and slightly crispy.


Bangers ā€˜Nā€™ Mash recipe

In a previous life…. Well in two previous lives, one at the Bistro and one at the Pub in Acomb, Sue’s Bangers ‘N’ Mash has been a menu mainstay. Simple but tasty ‘Pub Grub’.

The Bangers were on special offer at the local supermarket at £1 for a pack of six. A couple of mashed spuds, an Onion for the gravy, some frozen Peas and the jobs a good ‘un.

I’m pretty sure nobody needs a recipe of this?



We don’t often get to eat Lamb these days, it’s a bit of a treat. But 1Kg of discounted minced Lamb at £2.10 was clearly an offer I couldn’t refuse…. This was a Tony “Pot Wash” gig so before launching ahead, a word of warning…. This recipe made enough for 6 to 8 people and we now have a whole untouched casserole dish full in the freezer! It was a “Hairy Bikers” recipe which we modified to keep in budget, not knowing it would make sooooo much. My mistake, but I’m good to put my hands up.


1Kg of Lamb mince
2 Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried Oregano
1½ tsp dried Mint
1 Bay leaf
½ a Cinnamon stick
1 tbsp plain (Gluten free in our case ) Flour
A tin chopped Tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato purée
2 Aubergines, cut into slices
Salt & Pepper
100ml of Oil
500g/1lb 2oz Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
For the White Sauce:-

50g Margarine
50g Plain (Gluten free) flour
400ml Milk
50g Mature Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
1 tsp finely grated Nutmeg
2 Eggs, beaten


(1) Put the Lamb, Onion, Garlic, Oregano, Mint, Bay and Cinnamon in a large frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring to break up the meat.
(2) Stir in the Flour and a good pinch of Salt and Pepper. Add Tomatoes and Tomato purée and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the Lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. Season again if needed and set aside.
(3) Meanwhile, place the Aubergine slices in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of Salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
(4) Rinse the aubergine slices under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan and fry the aubergines for 2–3 minutes on each side, adding more oil when necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
(5) Cook the Potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander under running water until cold.
(6) Preheat the oven to 200C
(7) To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually stir in the milk. Add half the grated Cheese and the grated nutmeg. Simmer the sauce gently for 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
(8) Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. When cooled, stir in the eggs.
(9) Spoon one-third of the Meat sauce into a shallow ovenproof dish large enough to hold 2.5 litres. Cover loosely with a third of the Potatoes and then a third of the Aubergines – you don't need complete layers, just to arrange them roughly on top. Repeat the layers twice more, finishing with the Aubergines. Pour over the white sauce, making sure it covers everything in a thick, even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining Cheese. Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until deep golden-brown and bubbling.

OK this was quite a complex recipe for “Pot Wash Man” to deal with and the preparation time is lengthy. But it was quite tasty. Personally I would have put more Mint and Oregano in at the start. But we are into highly flavoured food on the cheap these days!


Southern Roasted Chicken Drummer Fakeaway

We don’t do takeaways generally. Cost and the enjoyment of cooking ourselves make them a bit pointless. But sometimes we just fancy something snacky. The box of Chicken Drummers were loitering in the reductions, so…..


1 box of Chicken Drummers
1 tub of Buttermilk
Plain (Gluten free in our case) Flour
Chilli flakes
Garlic Salt
Onion Salt
Hot Paprika powder
Mixed herbs
Salt and Pepper
(1) Season the Chicken with the dressing mix excluding the Flour and let it take on the flavours.
(2) Place in a bowl in the Buttermilk and refrigerate for a least 2 hours.
(5) Coat the Chicken in the seasoning mixture.
(6) Roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.

We had crispy coated Onion Rings using the same seasoning - deep fried, Potato Wedges, home made Gluten free Garlic bread, home made Coleslaw, home made Marie Rose sauce and a dressed Salad.

Stanley Knife (Other broands are available!)


Yes you read it right STANLEY KNIFE! It's just a tip. (But it's the tip that matters!)

When I worked in the butchers shop we generally asked if folk wanted their Pork rind scored. Geoff my grumpy old collegue used to offer this advice to those ladies who declined " Well if you want good crackling ask hubby to get the Stanley Knife out when you get back" - a bit sexist, but he was old!

Why a Stanley Knife? Well in the butchers shop we had the ability to sharped our knives right to the tip. At home you often find that the long edge of your knife is shape but the tip is quite hard to sharpen. A DIY type of knife blade is ground at the right angle for the steel it is made from and although they are intended to be thrown away when they are blunt, a new blaide is excellent for scoring the rind on Pork.

Rub a bit of Mustard powder, salt and oil into the cuts and start your roast off at 220C then turn it down. Fail safe crackling. BUT if your meat has been frozen you might still end up with shoe leather regardless!


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