This makes enough for 1Kg mince. If you have a smaller quantity of mince just divide the taco mix in proportion and save in a jar for next time. It keeps fine.
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1.5 tsp cumin powder
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
- 0.5tsp salt
To make taco mince, dry fry the mince until it is no longer pink; add the taco mix, fry a few minutes more; add 4 tbs tomato puree per kilo of mince and 250ml water, bubble away for 20 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water if you like it gloopy.
Great on tacos, filled wraps, on potato skins and in jacket potato with a combo of Jalapeno peppers, grated cheese, chopped tomato, chopped avacado, sour cream, salsa, fresh coriander leaves, shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped red onion. What’s not to like.
I found this recipe on YouTube, and now use it all the time. It keeps the meat succulent and makes amazing gravy at the same time.
Take your beef joint and stab it with a sharp knife. Into the slits put slivers of sliced garlic. Oil the joint all over and rub salt and pepper into the oil. Put the joint on a roasting rack over a roasting tin. In the tin, put a peeled and quartered onion, a couple of sticks of celery and a couple of carrots, quartered. Put about half a litre of vegetable stock in the tin. Turn the oven up full whack and sear the beef for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 170C and cook for 40 minutes per 500g. Keep an eye on the stock and as it bubbles away keep topping up with hot water. When done, wrap in foil and rest for 20 minutes. Make amazing gravy with the stock and juices. Here is a timing chart:
- 1kg joint sear 15 mins cook 1hr 20 mins rest 20 mins
- 1.2kg joint sear 15 mins cook 1hr 40 mins rest 20 mins
- 1.75kg joint sear 15 mins cook 2hrs 20 mins rest 20 mins
- 2kg joint sear 15 mins cook 2hrs 40 mins rest 20 mins
Ignore the roasting instructions, this is the best way. First soak your ham if it is salty or smoked. Just place it in cold water, leave overnight then chuck the water away. This isn’t necessary for standard supermarket ham joints. In a large saucepan or stockpot, cover your joint with water. Add
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stick
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- 4 cloves.
Bring to the boil and simmer 20 minutes per 500gm + 20 minutes. Here are the sums for the common joint sizes:
1.2kg = 1hour 10 minutes
1.5Kg = 1 hour 20 minutes
1.8kg = 1 hour 32 minutes
2kg = 1 hour 40 minutes
2.8kg = 2 hours
This does not need to be exact, a few more minutes will do no harm.
Now for the important part: when cooked remove from the stock and let the joint rest for at least 20 minutes covered in foil and a cloth. After resting cut off the skin and outer fat before carving. Best serves simply with potatoes and a green vegetable, plus bread sauce or parsley sauce.
Don’t chuck the stock away, use it to make ham and lentil soup.
Ingredients (for one) – easily multiplied up for more people.
- 125g beef mince (not too lean)
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Tin of chopped tomatoes (1 tin for 1-2 people, 2 tins for 3-4 etc)
- Half an onion
- 125ml beef stock (half a cube in boiling water)
- a pinch of mixed herbs
- Cooking oil
- Pasta (or rice)
- Grated cheese (optional)
Step 1: Put the beef mince in a bowl and mix in the seasoning and herbs with your hands. Make little balls about 3cms diameter as if you were playing with Plasticine.
Step 2: Heat a pan to medium heat and put in a little oil to make to base shiny. Put your meatballs in the pan and after they start sizzling, roll them around by jiggling the pan handle. They should roll around and brown evenly but if you were not capable of making ball shaped balls some may get stuck in position. If so help them out by turning with a spoon. Once they are well browned, take them out and put then on a plate nearby to rest. They don’t need to be cooked right through at this point but should look well browned on the outside.
Step 3: Chop the onion finely (5mm cubes) and cook in the pan you have just been using (assuming you have not carbonised it) until soft. The meat usually adds a bit of extra fat to cook in but if you have been using very lean mince you may have to add an extra glug of oil.
Step 4: Add the tomatoes and stock. Add more salt and pepper and another pinch of herbs. Heat until bubbling then turn down and cook away for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Add the meatballs and cook for a further 10 minutes. If it is drying out add a splash of water. If you have a lid for the pan put it on to keep it moist. At the same time put your pasta/rice of choice on to boil so everything is ready at the same time.
Plate up the pasta first, then the meatballs and sauce over, and top with grated cheese if you wish
Cheats Note: You can get away with using a good quality chilled/fresh tomato sauce instead of making your own, in which case omit step 3 and 4, and use the ready-made sauce instead for step 5. Follow the pack instructions for further heating but give it at least 10 minutes to finish the meatballs.
Ingredients (for two) – easily halved
- 2 lamb things (steaks, pairs of chops or a small pack of lamb mince to be made into meatballs)
- 2 tsp harrisa paste
- 1 mug couscous
- 1 mug boiling chicken stock
- 1 can of chickpeas
- Handful of dried fruit and nuts (chopped dried apricot, sultanas, flaked almonds, cashews, stuff like that)
Rub the meat with the harrisa paste, or if using mince make meatballs with the harrisa paste mixed in. Heat the oil and fry the meat until it looks cooked. Add the couscous, drained chick peas, fruit and nuts, and stir about. Add the stock, cover with a lid or plate and turn off the heat. Come back ten minutes later and eat it all up. Quite nice if you chop parsley or mint leaves and toss them in.
Ingredients (for two) – easily halved
- 2 chicken breasts or 2 pork steaks
- 225gm new potatoes
- 100gm green beans or peas
- 1 clove of garlic
- half a lemon
- Handful of pitted green olives
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tbs Cajun seasoning
Boil the potatoes. After 10 minutes add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes (if using peas wait 12 minutes and cook for another 3). Meanwhile rub the Cajun seasoning all over the meat and in another pan fry both sides in a spoon of oil until cooked through. Squeeze over the lemon juice and if you can be bothered, grate the zest in too (it is worth it). Time it so this is when the vegetables are cooked. Drain them and add to the meat pan, with the garlic. Fry for half a minute then add the tomatoes. Fry for another minute or two so the tomatoes are a bit cooked. Add a splash of water of it is getting way too dry. Done!
This is very easy and cheap. You can either use the leftover half of your Sunday gammon joint or buy a small joint (750g about £3 in Tesco) and use that. To feed four greedy people you need:
- Gammon/ham joint, cooked or uncooked, fat and rind removed.
- 1 onion
- 2 parsnips
- 2 carrots
- 2 potatoes
- 200ml white wine or dry cider
- 400ml water
- Sprig of thyme
- 400gm tin of flageolet beans or similar
- 400gm tin of butter beans
- Large handful of frozen peas
- Chopped parsley
Heat a large saucepan or metal casserole on the stove with a tablespoon of oil. If your ham is uncooked, brown the ham and remove. Chop the root vegetables roughly and add to the pan. Sweat gently for five minutes. Add the cider or wine, water, thyme and beans. Cook for one hour. Add the peas, cook three minutes more. Adjust the seasoning, add chopped parsley and serve!
If you don’t like corned beef which I admit does smell like cat food, use sliced chorizo for a Spanish touch.
Ingredients (For One) – easily multiplied up for more people. If you have leftover cooked boiled potatoes use these and omit Step 1 below
- 2 or 3 medium sized potatoes
- Half an onion, chopped (optional)
- Half a 340g tin of corned beef (use the other half sliced in sandwiches, it slices well when cold from the fridge) or, about 75g sliced chorizo
- Sunflower oil for frying
- 1 egg
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional), about a tablespoon
- Salt and pepper
Step 1: If you are using raw potatoes, peel them then chop into cubes about the size of a sugar cube (12mm across). Boil for five minutes. Drain very thoroughly.
Step 2: Put a generous glug of oil in a frying pan. Fry the onion gently if using, until soft but not browning.
Step 3: Add the potatoes, and fry, turning around with a spatula, until just starting to look brown and crispy.
Step 4: Add the corned beef or chorizo and keep stirring about until it starts to look a lot more brown and crispy.
The next stage is up you you – you can eat as it is, or poach or fry an egg to put on top, you can put chopped parsley through, you can lash it with black pepper and a bit more salt, then eat with tomato sauce, hot sauce or any kind of sauce you like.
You can cook mince in many difference ways starting from the same point: taco mince, chilli, Bolognese, shepherd’s pie and also this Indian version.
Instructions are vague as this is something you can experiment with. Recipe for one:
- 125g beef mince (not too lean)
- Balti Curry Paste in a jar
- Garlic puree
- Half a small onion chopped
- A small potato, cubed
Other soft vegetable as available: a handful of peas, a quarter of a pepper, or a few mushrooms, or half a courgette or whatever else is lying around
Fry the onion is some oil. Add the garlic, fry briefly then add the mince. Fry and stir until browned. This is how you start many recipes. Now add a tablespoon of Balti curry paste. Having tried it you may decide to use more next time. Now add a tomato, chopped, and stir around in the pan briefly. Now add a cup of water, the potato and the veg. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. It should be gloopy: if too runny leave the lid off and boil some of that juice away, if it dries out add a bit more water. Adjust the seasoning and serve with rice or naan bread. Feel free to experiment. You can make it more tomato-ey with some tomato puree; add some mango chutney; different veg; more curry paste and so on. It is not a purist’s Balti but pretty nice all the same.
This one one of those recipes with lots of options. Fundamentally it is a quick bean stew with meat on top. You can use what is available, as follows:
Ingredients (for one) – easily multiplied:
- Meat thing ( a lamb steak, a chicken breast or a bacon chop, even a couple of sausages)
- half a tin of either butter beans, canellini beans, black-eye beans, flageolet beans, pinto beans or similar
- half an onion
- a garlic clove
- Other veg you may have to hand – chose two or three from: a carrot, a celery stick, half a red pepper, a small courgette, a lonely potato
- 1 mug boiling chicken stock (if using chicken or pork), or lamb or beef stock if using a lamb steak
- half a teaspoon paprika
- Oil, salt, pepper
Take your onions and vegetables and chop to about sugar cube size. Heat the oil in a pan and sweat the veg and garlic until soft. Add the paprika and stir around for a bit longer. Pour in the stock, cover and simmer gently for ten minutes. Add the beans (drained) and heat for another five. If you are hungry and on your own use the whole tin, why not. Check the seasoning and add some if needed, it depends on your stock.
In another pan heat a spoon of oil and cook your meat thing both sides until done. You can speed this up for chicken by slicing the breast into 1cm slices cross-ways, it will be cooked in about four minutes!
Serve your bean and vegetable stew in a bowl with the meat on top. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if you have some. Eat.