A Great affordable meal from leftovers :-) !

Ok so I was “umming and Arring” , (debating), on wether to put this recipe on.  But in actual fact I realised it was a great little number to write about.  
  Now this recipe isn’t one to “wow really” at first glance (please excuse the poor photo!),       and there are so many versions of this recipe,  just purely because I suppose it is very versatile.  However, one Vital point I have to make about this recipe, is that it is cost effective or even so, thus can be created from the brilliant leftovers from the day before! 
 One thing all of My readers out there will probably agree with, is that we all like to save a few pennies. To buy maybe the finer foods we enjoy to eat?  Or Fine wine?  Or even for that break away to maybe have them all ha ha! Here it is…

 Beef Keema Matar Curry:

Recipe: For 2-3 people (approx)

If you dont like dishes too spicy, just go easy on the chillies ok!

300g Minced Beef Or Lamb Mince (or if you had left over lamb or beef from a roast you could use)
1/2 tsp of Ginger
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped or minced
1 Onion Diced finely
salt and pepper
1 chopped green chilli (add more if you like it hot but we are adding hot chilli powder aswell)
1 tsp of hot chilli powder
1 tbsp of Mild curry powder
1/2 tbsp of Garam masala – Normally bost of these spices wouldn’t work quite well together and you could just use Tumeric powder, but I took the chance and it worked.
1/2 tin of chopped tomatoes or fresh
1/2 tbsp of Tomato puree
about 4 medium sized potatoes 
Frozen Petit pois or garden peas
A little beef stock with water just to keep a nice sauce and to enhance the Beef. Use Chicken stock or lamb if it is Lamb meat.
Chopped Coriander to serve.

Chop your potatoes into small chunks or quarters and blanch them off. Do not boil totally as you want them to still have a crunch as they are going into the curry.  Then defrost your peas.

Fry off the Onion, Garlic, Ginger, chillies and dry spices for a few minutes. Add the meat and the seasoning until the meat has browned and cooked through.  Add the Stock, Tomatoes, puree, and cook on the stove for about 10 minutes, checking that it wont go too dry or stick etc. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 5-10 mins and a few minutes before it is done, add the defrosted peas.
Serve with the chopped Coriander on top.  I served this with Basmati rice but you could just have this with lovely Chapatis…your choice!

Ragu Tagliatelle and National Butchers Week

Between The 4th and 10th of March was National Butchers week.  I am such  a Lover and very Passionate about using our Local shops and keeping that Tradition going in the Uk.  I.E Keep our Butchers, Grocers, Bakers going!! etc etc… 
  Anyway…So What could I produce from my local Butcher, Something I hadn’t ever done before.  My first thought into my mind was a traditional Ragu.  Now I know that doesn’t sound very adventurous but in fact, In the Past I had cooked a ragu sauce before but not a “PROPER” one.  One where if Antonio Carluccio Or Giorgio Locatelli walked into my kitchen, they would be proud! 
 So I thought of these two great Chefs and wondered what their take on a “Ragu” was.  Well I found that They had quite different recipes and of course I couldn’t decide which to use? “Right then”, I said to my Partner.  “I do My own.”  “Actually no, I will do Both theirs and a few of my added touches in with it.”  As Carluccio does more of a tomato based with no herbs and pancetta.  Whereas Locatelli Uses more in depth ingredients such as more Red wine and hardy herbs.  Now at the time, I thought I was doing the right thing, all getting excited but unbeknown to myself, I was doing what I have still always done with the Ragu and complicating it…

  My Partner loved the outcome, but For me I hadn’t achieved my goal.  But as all us Chefs/Cooks will know,  sometimes Recipes take time… Anyway Well here Is the Recipe that I used and the outcome.  

Ragu Tagliatelle ( Thanks to Antonio Carluccio and Giorgio Locatelli) 


250g of Pork mince
250g of Beef mince
100g of Chicken Livers
Olive Oil
1 Carrot finely diced
1 Celery stick finely diced
2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
very small sprigs of Rosemary , Sage and Thyme tied together,
150 ml of  white wine (pinot grigio)
1/2 a bottle of red wine ( I used a good chianti) 
2 tablespoons of tomato puree/paste
500ml of very good Organic Passata
Very small amount of chicken stock just added when
the sauce was getting dry.
Seasoning if needed.
Parmesan for serving.
Tagliatelle pasta (I used dried this time “shock horror”! next time I will do fresh) !


Heat up your pan with the Olive oil and Fry off the Onions, Celery, Carrot and Garlic for roughly 10 mins.  Then Add the Meat, not livers yet though, and cook until browned.  Add the white wine so that the alcohol evaporates into the meat. Add 250 ml of Red wine, The tomato paste and passata and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours. However long you do it for, add the chicken livers half an hour before the finish time and add the stock and rest of red wine if the sauce becomes dry. My Dish took 3 hours but that’s probably due to my sciatica! 
 Before the sauce is almost ready, cook the pasta for no more than 10 minutes, you need it “Al dente” (bit of a bite still to it).  Drain the pasta off add a little olive oil to coat.  Then I just took some of the sauce into another frying pan and added the right amount of pasta to it to coat ( as you can see from the pictures ), as this depends on how many people, how much people like to eat etc… you know how it is people?! 

So My outcome to this dish is that I felt I over complicated it. My Partner loved it, I know it needs working on.  But I have learnt from my mistake and will do Both their versions again and adapt to what I like I feel my taste is. However one thing I do know is that I will never go back to what I did before.  Thank you to, two, Great Italian Chefs.