Cheese and potato pie

There’s little better than a pile of buttery mashed potato.

Unless of course you stir through fried onions, masses of grated cheese and then bake it until there’s a crispy top.

And then you end up with the glorious thing that is cheese and potato pie.

Cheese and onion potato pie

This started out as my mother-in-law’s recipe but I tweaked a few things. Though we still serve it her way – with gammon and green beans – it also makes a pretty good side to sausages too.

Start off with boiling a huge pile of potatoes in salted water – Maris Pipers are good for mashing. They’re ready when you can pierce them easily with a knife, about 15-20 minutes depending on how big you’ve cut your potatoes. You could also add in a couple of parsnips if you wanted to, they add a sweetness that’s really tasty.

While they’re boiling away, fry a couple of sliced (not diced!) onions in oil. Do this relatively slowly, you’re not going to caramelise them in any way but you want them to turn lovely and soft and translucent. Grate a fat chunk of extra mature cheddar. Sneakily eat some off the board too.

Once your potatoes have been drained, return them to the pan and sit them on the turned off but still hot hob for a couple of minutes to dry them out slightly. Chuck in a good knob of butter, season well and mash them up. Continue reading “Cheese and potato pie”

Easy meatballs and tomato sauce

One of the most popular recipes on my old blog, Fish Fingers for Tea, was this recipe for easy meatballs and tomato sauce.

And it’s not without reason.

Though it’s not the fastest recipe out there, the end result is beautifully tender meatballs with a tasty sauce.

Easy meatballs and tomato sauce

You can pile these on top of a bowlful of pasta, or our favourite is to cram them into sub rolls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan. Perfect Saturday night fodder.

You’re looking at around an hour from start to finish with this, so it doesn’t fall into the ‘on the table in 30 minutes’ midweek category but for a Friday or Saturday night it’s a good balance of ease and ‘proper’ cooking.

The tomato sauce is a really simple one. Start with a base of onions and garlic, then add a tin of tomatoes and some water. Season with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of sugar to lift any acidity then leave it to reduce while you make the meatballs.  A squeeze of lemon juice later on brightens things up.

Use mince with 20% fat, it helps to give you a tender result. Bread soaked in a little milk will bind things together and don’t over handle them when you’re mixing in fried onions and garlic, nor when you’re shaping them. Continue reading “Easy meatballs and tomato sauce”