Lazy Posh Bolognese 

13 Sep

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Ragu. Cheese, because duh.

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As we all know – and by that I mean you avidly read here and remember everything I say – I hate mince. This means I’ve never got on with bolognese. Also growing up with a vegetarian mother meant it was never really a staple. TLDR; I’m not a bolognese fan.

Then I made this, and I love it. It’s fancy in its own way, easy as falling over, but makes me look good. And those things are quite important to me. The ingredients list seems long but really apart from the meat it’s a cupboard recipe.

SO. You need:

  • 500g stewing beef – go to the butcher, it’s much better than a packet
  • OR a kilo of oxtail. This seems stupid amount-wise, but I’m badly estimating taking bone into account. I make mine with the beef and a few oxtails thrown in
  • One white onion, finely chopped
  • Two carrots, very finely chopped
  • One stick of celery, finely chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Herbs: I’m so basic bitch with this I’ve been using Bart’s Mediterranean herb mix, about a tablespoon. But go mad and use what you like.
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • Same amount of water
  • Beef stock cube
  • VERY LARGE glass of good red – if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it
  • Time.
  • Pappardelle or tageatelle

First of you need to make a sofrito: take your onions, celery, and carrots and chop them into tiny little cubes. This is ballache unless you have a food processor. If you do, use that. Mine is currently in storage in Croydon so instead I spent some time listening to the Archers and chopping things very small. It should look something like this. But probably better.

Chuck it in with some rapeseed or other flavourless oil plus the garlic too and sweat everything on a very low heat forever until it’s all soft. Once that’s happened throw in your meat and brown it off.


Add the tomatoes, water, wine, stock cube, herbs and stir.

Stick the lid on, put the heat down as low as it will go and cook for at least four hours, probably about six, stirring once in a while.

The meat will pull itself the slower it cooks, if you use oxtail you may need to pull the meat off the bone but I found the bones just came out clean. Reduce it right down until it’s in a thick gravy.

Stir through fresh pasta or reheat and do the same. Eat with lots of fresh Parmesan and red wine. Ignore the prosseco below…

Rik’s Butter Chicken

12 Sep

A few weeks ago I headed to my friends’ for a dinner party. Jess and Rik are both big foodies, which is always a good sign when someone is cooking for you.

They’d knocked up (read: lovingly prepared) a huge butter chicken for us and it was, hand on heart, the best curry I’ve ever eaten. I genuinely got a bit teary thinking about it the next day, and it wasn’t even the hangover.

Rik has very, very kindly sent me the recipe so I can cook it and ruin it and you lot can cook it and enjoy it. So I’ll hand you over to the master…

(Wait wait don’t leave me just yet! If you’re funny about using chicken thighs, which I am, don’t be. I honestly thought I was eating breast and am now converted. Okay, back to Rik 🙄)


This is what Indian people order at Indian restaurants in India. So basically, this is THE curry.

Two parts to this. The chicken and the curry are cooked separately and brought together at the very end.

1. Marinate the chicken

Chicken- I used 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks. You could use boneless thigh fillets but On the bone is MUCH better. If you use breast, we can’t be friends.

  • Greek yoghurt – 3/4 Tbsp or enough to coat all the chicken.
  • Red chilli powder -1tsp
  • Garam masala- 2 tsp
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1tsp of each
  • Generous pinch of salt and pepper.

Score the skin if using on the bone. Throw all of the marinade ingredients over the chicken and mix thoroughly. Now leave it for a good few hours. Ideally overnight in the fridge. When ready, cook at 180 for 40-45 minutes in the oven or till the skin is crispy and charred in places. This is essentially a basic chicken tikka. Stop here and call it a starter if you want!

2. The curry

  • Good quality salted butter- loads!
  • 1 red onion chopped finely
  • 1 can of chopped toms
  • Red chilli powder -1tsp (optional)
  • Garam masala- 2 tsp
  • Dried & crushed fenugreek leaves – 3 heaped Tbsp
  • Sugar – 1.5 Tbsp
  • Big clove of garlic, chopped
  • Handful of cashew nuts, crushed
  • Half a cup of water
  • Double cream – 2 tbsp
  • Generous pinch of salt

In a big pan or casserole dish fry the onions in butter till they start going translucent. Add the chilli powder, Garam masala, garlic and cashew nuts and cook out the spices. Should take 4/5 mins.

Add the toms, water, sugar and salt and cook for another 10 minutes till it’s nice and mushy and then take off the heat. Blend this mixture and then pass through a sieve back into the pan. <— this is very important.

3. Bring it together

Reheat the tomato sauce on a low heat. Add a large knob of butter (at least 50 grams) and let it melt and emulsify into the curry. Add the cream and the fenugreek at this point. Add a bit more butter if it’s not a shiny orange colour*. Introduce the chicken to the curry at this stage. Fold through and taste. Take off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander and a drizzle of cream.

SERVE IMMEDIATELY. Butter Naan and plain rice are best friends with this dish.

*taste at this point and if it tastes like tomato soup it means you didn’t put enough sugar in. You can add more but it may not melt through evenly so I would add some honey. It also means you need more fenugreek leaves. A tbsp of honey and a tbsp of fenugreek should rescue the situation. Oh and throw more butter in as well.

Spicy Pulled Pork

20 Mar


Alright, lads? Long time no see. Thought I’d pop in, check how things were, then probably head off with promises that’ll see you again soon. But I don’t really mean it, just like your dad when he popped out for some fags all those years ago.

Anyway. Here’s some good Mexicanny pulled pork. It goes well with enough frozen margaritas to knock out a chupacabra.




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M. E. A. T. 🐷🐷🐷🐷🐷

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You’ll need:

  • 2kg shoulder of pork – it seems like a lot, it isn’t. Feeds three drunk people EASY. I usually use 3-4kg and rarely have leftovers
  • Bottle of Sol or Corona or similar
  • One of those little jars of chipotle paste, about 100g
  • Big heaped tablespoon of SMOKED paprika, don’t fuck about
  • Tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Half a tablespoon of cumin
  • Four to six cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the flat of a knife

I serve mine with wraps or buns, cos lettuce leaves and posho supermarket coleslaw because like I have time to be chopping cabbage in my busy and interesting life.

This takes a bit of time, about 10 hours on low in a slow cooker. If you don’t have one, a big casserole in a low oven would do it, but then you have the ballache of not being able to leave the house.

Cut as much of the fat off the pork as possible with a very sharp knife. You don’t have to waste it: my friend George made this and turned it into some epic crackling. He may even give you the recipe for if you ask nicely enough.

Pop everything else in the slow cooker, give it a stir to mix it all up, put your pork in and, well, you may as well make a start on the tequila, you don’t have to do anything else.

After around eight or nine hours give it a stir and break the meat up. If it is still very wet then whack up the temperature and leave the lid off until it’s less of a stew.

Eat very neatly if you are my best friend Charlotte:


Or like a total mess if you are me:



Proper Pizza

20 Jul

Right. Yes. I am awful. This is exactly the same recipe as I put up in 2013, but it is brilliant, and my boyfriend has been away so I’ve basically been living off defrosted pizza dough because I can’t be arsed to make anything.

I’ve always thought I’d be great at living alone, but in fact I just pace around, sloshing glasses of red wine everywhere and desperately trying to talk to people. I ambushed our upstairs neighbour as she had a fag outside just to interact with an actual human. Poor woman.

Anyway. Pizza. This makes about six to eight portions, I tend to make a batch and then, as I said, freeze a load of it. It defrosts very quickly so it’s a good school night dinner, and who doesn’t love cold pizza for breakfast?

For the dough you need:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 330ml tepid water – stick your finger in it and it shouldn’t feel hot or cold
  •  7g yeast (one sachet or measure it out)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Half a tablespoon of brown sugar or honey

Mix the yeast into the water and then stir in the honey or sugar and oil. Give it a good stir.

Combine the flour and salt and pour in your wet ingredients. Mix well with a metal spoon until you’ve got a dough. It’ll be quite wet, but don’t worry.

Turn it out onto a well floured surface and start to knead. You need (HAHAHAHA) to do this for at least ten minutes. You’ll know when it’s done when you’ve got an elastic dough that’s easy to form into a springy ball.

Wipe a large bowl with olive oil and pop the dough in. Cover it with clingfilm making sure it’s air tight. Leave it somewhere warm for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Here’s a photo from my first post (like I said, I am the worst). But do the clingfilm better:

So a generous one person pizza is a bit of that dough about the size of your fist. If you’re freezing it portion it off and stick each bit in a sandwich bag and chuck it in to sit until you need it.

Heat the oven as hot as it will go with an oven tray in there. Knead the dough you’re using, or the stuff you’ve defrosted, for a few minutes on yet another well floured surface. Roll it out as thin as possible and pop onto a lightly floured bit of tin foil.

Add your toppings, and carefully place the foil onto the oven tray. Cook for around ten to 12 minutes, until the cheese is nice and gooey.

(If you like your base crispy, stick it in the oven for a few minutes until it has started to brown very slightly. You might need to stick a fork in any bubbles that spring up.)

CHEESE ADVICE: The best cheese to use is the blocks of sort of dry mozzarella which you can get almost anywhere. It’s usually got a big thing saying PIZZA! on them. Normal mozzarella is totally fine to use, but you might find a lot of liquid comes out of it while cooking. The grated stuff is great, but it doesn’t melt and spread out as well

I like a bit of rocket on mine to pretend I’m healthy. Plus a load of chilli oil.

Chilli Con Carne

15 Jul

Let me start this recipe saying I really fucking hate mince. I hate the texture, I hate anything made with it (except burgers but they are a whole different story), I hate everything about it. I once spent four hours making a shepherds pie and had to stop eating after a mouthful.

That said, I am poor. Super poor. And mince is cheap and you can freeze it. So a couple of months ago I made my first chilli. And it wasn’t half bad. And by now I’ve just about cracked some sort of cack-handed recipe. It’s pretty cheap, uses up things I have lying around and feeds three people or two with leftovers.

It is a little spicy, add less cayenne and chilli if you’re a total wimp.

In it goes:

  • One large white onion, cut into half rounds
  • At least two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • Tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • Tablespoon of cayenne pepper
  • Teaspoon of ground cumin
  • One green chilli
  • One green pepper, cut into cubes
  • A beef stock cube
  • Can of chopped tomatoes
  • Can of kidney beans

To serve: plain boiled rice and a handful of grated cheddar. If you are fancy you could swirl through some sour cream.

In a deep pan sweat the onions and garlic on a low heat. Throw in the mince, turn up the heat and brown it off until it’s all cooked. Keep giving it a good stir to break all the meat up.

Add the chilli, the paprika, the cayenne pepper and the cumin and stir up to evenly coat everything.

At this point, if you have one, you can chuck in a glass of red. I did today, but prefer to save it for drinking, to be honest. Especially as that seems far more fiscally sensible.

Throw in the tin of tomatoes and drain the beans and add them too. Dissolve the stock cube in a cup of water and pour into the pan. Tip in the pepper and give it a good stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring everything to the boil and then turn the heat down. Let the pan gently simmer with the lid on for about half an hour. Check it occasionally to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it starts to, add a tiny bit of water and make sure the heat is properly low.

Take the lid off and turn the heat up to medium. Let it bubble until the sauce has really reduced and the meat is moist but not soaking in liquid.

Turn the heat off and pop the lid back on. You need to let it sit now for at least ten minutes. It is even better the next day so, if like me, you are cooking for your lonesome self, you can thank me twice.

While you’re letting it rest so all the flavours mingle you can cook your rice.

Serve up on top of the rice with a bit of cheese. Drink lots of beer or red wine and decide you really will go for your first run ever tomorrow, despite the fact everyone will clearly point and laugh. (You won’t go. We all know that.)

Rosemary pesto bread

1 Jul

O. M. F. G. Could it be any hotter? I’ve done like six big washes in two days because everything dries within half an hour. It’s amazing. Apart from the fact I got so badly sunburnt on Tuesday. Urgh, idiot.

And that’s before it got baaaaaad.

I’ve had a really cool few days, hanging out on the set of the TV show my friend works on, over here from the States. I basically got in everyone’s way and got filmed putting a burger right in my face.

Later a load of Americans put me in a phone booth and made me shout “Hello guv’nor” at them. I’d love to say it wasn’t awesome, but that would be a filthy lie.

Anyway. I’ve been off carbs for ages and then went mental, drinking loads of Camden Pale Ale and genuinely put on four pounds in a day, so tonight I thought fuck it, got really drunk on belinis and made my take on Strada’s rosemary pesto bread.

(It looked much better before I accidentally flipped it over on itself.)

This is really simple and just uses my pizza dough. Before you make this, chop the top of a head of garlic, rub a little bit of olive oil in, wrap in tinfoil and stick in a medium oven for half an hour to 45 minutes.

It’ll end up just squeezing out of the skin and be incredibly buttery.

Roll out the pizza dough very thin, pop on some lightly floured tin foil and pop in the oven on the highest heat  until it’s browned slightly. You might need to give any bubbles a poke with a fork.

Spread over as much garlic as you fancy, but remember after being roasted it will be seriously mellow. Add a bit of passata or pizza sauce, a good few dollops of pesto, and some dried or fresh rosemary, and a pinch of oregano and thyme. Slap some mozzarella on top and stick back in the oven for about 10/12 minutes.

Stick Archer on, drink more and realise that you’ve eaten a starter for four to yourself.


4 May


Flapjacks: nature’s way of telling you you’re too healthy. These are incredibly simple and make you popular at work because lets be honest, you can’t get by on your personality alone.

You need:

  • 300g of porridge oats
  • 300g (seriously, I know…) golden syrup
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 100g rasins

In a pan melt the sugar, butter and golden syrup together over a low heat. Mix together with the oats and the rasins until everything is coated and nice and caramely.

Line a deep tin with greaseproof paper, pour in the mix (level it out a bit) and bung in the middle of the oven at 180°c/gas mark 4 for around 20 minutes, or until the top is nice and golden. It’ll seem quite liquid when it first comes out, but never fear. Leave to cool for about 15, 20-ish minutes and then cut into chunks before it firms up too much.

You’re done, go and purchase people’s love with them.


Sort of Risotto thing

2 May

I love spice, I love carbs, and I love comfort food. And this is all three.

While I don’t need comforting, as for once I’m feeling quite bouncy, like a drunk Labrador, I had a massive brain fail trying to work out what to cook tonight so I decided to give this a crack. Though it serves four so…

Ignore this photo and read the list of ingredients as this isn’t all of them (sue me) but it looked nice so ¯\_()_/¯ 

The wine is for you to drink. 

  • Two chicken breasts
  • A mug and a half of Arborio (risotto) rice 
  • Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • A white onion, roughly chopped into half rounds
  • A red chilli, finely chopped 
  • Around two inches of chorizo 
  • A tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • One to two tablespoons of smoked paprika 
  • One to two tablespoons of cayenne pepper
  • A couple of chicken stock cubes 

In a large pan or a wok gently sweat the garlic, chilli (seeds in) and onions over a low heat in a littl bit of vegetable oil. (How many times do I have to tell you people not to fry in olive oil?!)

Roughly chop the chorizo into chunks. I’m not really the biggest fan of the stuff, but the depth of flavour it adds is *does cheffy kissing of fingers*, so I take the skin off and cut it into very small chunks. Add this to the pan with the chicken, also cut into chunks. 

Boil the kettle and dissolve your stock into around two and a half mugs of water.

Chuck in your rice and mix it up so all the oil from the pan and the chorizo coats it and pour in some of your stock. Throw in the paprika and the cayenne – use more or less depending how spicy you like things. Once the rice has soaked up all the stock add another bit, and repeat until your stock is all gone. Tip in your tin of tomatoes and let it simmer for a bit.

It’s cooked once all the liquid has been soaked up and the rice is soft. It shouldn’t be too sloppy but don’t worry if you need to chuck in a bit more boiling water – it’s really forgiving. 

Eat in your pyjamas in front of Made In Chelsea with a bottle of wine and remember that time Spencer’s girlfriend shoved past you really rudely when you had a bad back. Or serve up to three other people. Whatever. 

Sweet Potato Fries

13 Feb

If you’re trying to eat a bit healthier – which I halfheartedly am – sweet potato is a brilliant substitute for actual spuds. It’s terribly good for you and very tasty. It also fills you up for absolutely ages.

To make these, chop your sweet potato into fries, a little bit thicker than a *dreamy stare* McDonalds chip. One potato per person makes a very decent portion.

Heat the oven to 200°c/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with tin foil. Pour a tiny bit of vegetable oil over the sweet potato and toss everything with your hands until all the fries have a light coating.

Spread them out on the baking tray and sprinkle over some chilli flakes, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and a bit of black pepper.

Pop in the middle of the oven for half an hour until soft. They won’t get crispy but I think I actually prefer them from normal chips. I don’t know who I am any more.

Serve with salt and light mayo or some crème fraîche mixed with a dash of Sriracha.

Nigella’s Halloumi Bites

11 Feb

These are from Nigella Express and have been my go-to snack/dinner party finger food for years. Ever since I first made this my mum won’t eat halloumi any other way. It’s quick, simple and looks really impressive when dumped in front of people.

Simply slice some halloumi and dry fry in a medium pan until it’s golden on either side.

Toss in some finely chopped parsley with a good scrunch of black pepper, a squeeze of fresh lime and a good slug of garlic oil.

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