This blog started life as a handwritten notebook of recipes that I use on a fairly regular basis. The cunning plan being that my offspring would be able to refer to it and use it in their teen and adult lives to enable me to have more freedom!!! Ha Ha Ha, I make myself laugh. Turns out I’m such a control freak in the kitchen I don’t like anyone helping or sharing the cooking load. Anyway, now as the children have left home and started their adult lives officially they are starting to ask me for those recipes that I never got round to writing down. So I thought I would make a start on it finally, starting with my version of Spag Bol. As all family recipes do, this one has evolved over the years and isn’t always the same as written down here. You know how it is, sometimes you have a red pepper, sometimes some mushroom, sometimes not. The only constants are onion, beef and tomatoes. You also need to have a stick blender, a blender blender or something to make the veggies squishy once they’re cooked.
- 500g-750g beef mince ish. The amount varies depending on what I’ve got, what’s on offer. You know what it’s like.
- 1 red onion or two, depends on you and what you have
- 1 red pepper, or more
- Stick or two of celery
- 4-6 large tomatoes, plum ones are yummy but again whatever you have will be awesome
- Any other veggies you wish to squish and use up or hide from small, medium, or large people 🙂
- some mushrooms if you have them
- tin of chopped tomatoes
- clove or two of garlic
- sea salt, generous pinch of
- Olive oil or similar
- Mixed dried herbs, or oregano, basil. Whatever floats your boat or is hiding in your cupboards!!
- Chop up one of your onions into large pieces (around 4-6), same with the peppers, tomatoes and any other veggies that you may have that roast well. I’ve chucked carrots, courgettes, and swede in before now. As long as it will roast and squish it will work.
- Chuck all of these is a large roasting pan, drizzle over some of your olive oil, a generous pics of sea salt, some pepper if you like and herbs if you have. Also throw in your garlic cloves, depending on taste. They sweeten up a fair bit when roasted so you can be generous if you like.
- Pop all of this in your oven that you have already switched on (if you’re efficient, if you’re like me you’ll switch it on as they go in, ha ha. It matters not one jot) to around 180 degrees C. Roast your veggies for about half an hour till slightly charred and squishy.
- Once cooked pop them in your jug ready for your stick blender or whatever you are using to do this. Blitz till smooth “ish”.
- Meanwhile in a frying pan, fry up some more chopped veggies – onions, celery, garlic, carrots, mushrooms. Whatever you have to hand really.
- Then add your mince and brown that off.
- To this mixture add a tin of chopped tomatoes, your squished roasted veg, some salt and your herbs to taste.
- Then bring to a gentle bubble and leave to gently bubble away for as long as you can be bothered. You will need to check it from time to time. If it starts to stick then add a little water and turn it down. If you can, a couple of hours is great.
- Serve with pasta of your choice or use this as a base for a lasagna or add chilli, cumin, paprika, red kidney beans and hey presto Chilli con carne 🙂
Handy Cunning Tip
- Not sure if this is as much a tip as a guideline but this would serve a hungry six comfortably or even better, freeze into portions and then reheat on a busy Wednesday when you cannot be bothered to do anything more than that. This ALWAYS tastes better on a reheat.