Pearl Barley Soup

Iconic family recipe. Remember to boil it up for several minutes each day to keep it healthy

Dried mixed herbs
One roasted carcass with a bit of meat left on it
Pearl barley
Chopped onion
Salt to taste.

Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 3 hours. Cool and de-bone.

Quantities vary according to the size of the carcass.
Chicken: 1 medium onion, 2 handfuls of pearl barley, 1 tablespoon of herbs.
Turkey: double the above.

Add the salt before the simmer, but not too much, so you can salt to taste at the end.

If you reboil for at least 3 mins each day it’ll last for ages without going in the fridge. Kind of like a hunter’s pot.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cheap, cheerful, easy, tasty and filling. What’s not to like? Oh, and quick.

Chicken stock, made with Knorr style stock cubes at the rate of 1 per litre of water. Add half a teaspoon of garlic granules and half a teaspoon of ginger.

Chicken. Used to be breast strips, but drop in a leg portion or two and allow to cook through, then strip the meat off and the extra flavour from the bones will have gone into the stock.

Pasta. Could use 5 nests of tagliatelle, but linguine holds its consistency better. Aim for as much as you would use to feed two. Add to the pot when the bones have been removed and simmer until tender.

When the pasta is ready, stir in 100g washed spinach, heat just long enough for it to wilt. You can add as much spinach as you like – 100g is just a guideline.

Beefaroni (Slumgullion)

Quick and easy meal, cooks in one pot in about half an hour and serves 4 on a budget

500g mince beef (not too lean)
Half a medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 tube tomato puree
250g pasta (dry weight)
Salt to taste
Small bowl of peas (could also use green beans)

Cook the pasta first – this can sit off to one side while you cook the meat mix in the same pan and save on washing up!

Fry the onion, herbs, garlic and mince in a little oil until the onion is soft and the mince is browned through. Add the puree and allow to cook gently for 5 mins. Stir in the peas and allow to continue on the heat until they are warmed through. Stir through the pasta and allow that to reheat too.

Hearts Casserole

Family favourite and not too expensive if you use the Knorr wine concentrate and avoid the expense of a bottle!

450g hearts (chopped is fine, or 4 whole ones – allow 2 per person)
Half a medium onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped (or wing it with celery salt)
2-3 rashers bacon, chopped
1 dessertspoon mixed herbs
Juniper berries – 2 per heart or 1 per 100g
Beef Oxo cube
Oxo red wine concentrate capsule (or a small glass of the real stuff, or cooking wine)
125g pasta

Fry onion, bacon, celery with the herbs in a little oil. Add the juniper and the hearts and fry until browned. Add wine, water to cover and simmer over a gentle heat until meat is tender. This may be 30 mins for chopped hearts or 1 hour for whole. Add pasta and allow to cook until tender, adding more water if necessary. Salt to taste.


Quick and easy one pot recipe, if you use the cheaty method. Can be cheap if you get lucky with a pack of ready made meatballs on a yellow label…

12 meatballs. Traditionally handmade with minced lamb, parsley, salt, pepper, egg and pudding rice, but ready made turkey meatballs work fine in this cheaty version, with the pudding rice thrown in to cook in the stock with the meatballs
Juice of 1 lemon
1 litre water
1 Knorr style chicken stock cube
2 generous handfuls of pudding rice
1 beaten egg

Heat the water with the stock cube until boiling. Drop in the meatballs with the rice and the lemon juice and cook until the rice is tender.

Gently stir in the beaten egg at the end. You can prevent it from curdling by first adding some of the stock to the egg, to raise the temperature more gently before adding to the pot.

Halogen Oven Roast Chicken

Most things in a halogen oven are 20 mins at 200 degrees (8 mins for a steak), but chicken is a little more tricky. For tasty veg, parboil ahead of time and put in the bottom of the oven to finish off in the chicken juices

1.6kg whole bird

Place chicken on the rack, breast side down and season. Cook at 190 celsius for 30 minutes

Turn and season on the other side, cook for 40 minutes.

Rest for 10 and carve.

Homemade Doner Kebab

Not the best recipe we’ve tried, so if you find a better one please shout

1 kg mince (beef/lamb is correct, but 20% fat beef/5% fat pork works well)
2 tsp Onion powder
2 tsp Garlic granules
2 tsp Ground cumin
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 Bulb of garlic

For the sauce:
75 g Mayo
100 g Greek yoghurt
2 tsp Mint sauce

Mix the slow cook ingredients (apart from the garlic bulb) together in a bowl with clean hands. You need to knead it with your hands until everything is fully combined and the meat is smooth.
Put the meat mixture onto a sheet of tin foil and shape it with your hands into a brick/log type shape. Roll it up very tightly, twisting the ends of the tin foil like a sweetie wrapper to secure. Place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Take the unpeeled garlic bulb (yes a whole bulb!) and wrap up in tin foil. Place alongside the meat parcel in the slow cooker.
Cook for 1.5 hours at 180 celcius in a regular oven, or in the slow cooker 3-4 hours on HIGH or 5-6 on LOW or until cooked through when you test the internal temperature with a meat thermometer (see notes).
Remove the meat and garlic from the oven/slow cooker. Let the meat sit to cool for 15-30 minutes (save the juices).
When the meat has cooled slightly, unwrap it and use a very sharp knife to slice very thin strips. Drizzle over the meat juices from the bottom of the slow cooker to serve (this is important as it will be quite dry without this).
Make the garlic sauce by squeeze the cooked, very soft garlic from it’s skin. Just hold the bulb and squeeze from the bottom and it will squish straight out. Add the mayo, yoghurt and mint sauce, mix well. Add a splash of water if you’d like it to be more runny.
Serve the meat as it is with the usual kebab accompaniments and the garlic sauce, OR reheat the meat, with the slow cooker cooking liquid in a frying pan for a few minutes until hot through (see notes).

Red Curry

Family favourite, based on a tamatar murgh, Indian curry with a strong tomato base but not too much spice. No added garlic, other than what’s in the chilli powder, so you shouldn’t be too antisocial the next day! Low fat, depending on what meat you use.

Chicken to serve 4, including bone-in pieces
2 large onions
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground black pepper
1.5 tsp cinnamon
Half tsp ground ginger
Half tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
pinch nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
olive oil
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
Knorr chicken stock cube
Salt to taste

Heat the spices in the oil. Soften the onions and brown the chicken. Add tomatoes, stock cube and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the lid before the end to allow the liquid to reduce before serving with rice.

Jerk Chicken

Really spicy but the chicken stays succulent. It’s nicely cut with a side dish of rice n peas (red kidney beans)

2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp thyme
Half tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground sage
Half tsp ground nutmeg
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1 large clove garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
4oz orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
Half tsp chilli powder
1 large onion
Salt to taste

Heat the spices in the oil. Brown the onions and chicken. Add water and allow to cook on the hob for 45-60 minutes. Allow the liquid to reduce before serving with rice.


This one takes a bit of prep but the flavour pays off. Not the cheapest dish, so wheel it out for a special occasion

750g seafood cocktail
3 chicken thighs, boned & cut into bitesize pieces
200g bite sized pork cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
Half tsp paprika

1 finely chopped small onion
2 green peppers – in strips
2 chopped large tomatoes
500g easy cook short grain rice
1250ml hot or boiling liquid
Half tsp saffron
Salt & pepper

Brown two cloves garlic and the bay leaf over a high heat in half the oil. Remove and set aside.
Brown the chicken and and pork and set aside.
Add the onion and pepper and cook for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and the remaining oil and cook over a high heat.
Add the rice and cook for a few more minutes, stirring regularly.
For the liquid, use stock from bones, seafood trimmings etc, and/or a Knorr stock cube. Add now, with the chicken and pork and continue to cook on a high heat.
Crush or blend the fried garlic and bay leaf with the saffron, paprika and the remaining clove of (raw) garlic. Add to the paella and season to taste.
Stir well.
Turn down the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked.
Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

error: Content is protected !!