Happy January. If, like me, you got paid early in December, and are now eagerly anticipating being paid and trying to wring value out of every last penny, then I hope this recipe helps.
It’s a Niger Slater one that does his talent for making superbly comforting food from easily available ingredients, and I’ve got two dinners out of it for about four quid.
A pack of sausages
A 250ml tub of cream
Slice open the sausages and put the insides in a bowl, discarding the skins. Add a couple of teaspoons of dill and chilli and squodge it all together with your hands.
Fashion this into about 8 largish meatballs. In a large saucepan, heat a generous amount of olive oil. Brown the meatballs win this, then cover and cook for another 10 minutes, shaking occasionally to evenly cook the balls.
Transfer the balls to a bowl. Put a pan of salty water on boil and cook the pasta. Chop the leeks, and put them on a low heat in the pan you cooked the meatballs in, to cook in the juices.
When they are soft and lovely, throw in the cream, some tarragon and chopped parsley, and season. Add the meatballs and drained tagliatelle and let it cook for a few more minutes.
Serve, eat, meditate on the fact your poverty is manageable for 10 minutes.
Obviously McMuffin is a registered trademark of McDonald’s, so from here on in I shall refer to it as a MockMuffin, and McDonald’s as SuperEvilMegaCorp.
So I’ve been pretty healthy in my posts of late, which is all a little bit dishonest, as I love bad food! The sad thing is, at the weekend where I want it most, SuperEvilMegaCorp stop serving their MockMuffins at half ten, and who can be bothered to leave the house to go to a fast food restaurant that early?
So here, I present the solution to the woes of unreasonable service times, a homemade, high class version of a fast food breakfast treat.
- 2 good quality sausages or 1 very cheap one
- An egg
- Grated cheddar or a processed cheese slice
- An English muffin
With a pair of scissors, remove the skin from the sausages, and put the contents in a bowl, discarding the skins. Mix a little pepper, and any other seasoning you like with the sausage meat. I like a bit of sage. Anything can work here according to your tastes.
Flatten the sausage out into one or two patties, and cook in a frying pan, in a little olive oil (or if you’re using my more authentic recipe, in a ton of cheap vegetable oil). When these are a few minutes off done, slice the muffin in two, and toast on a low setting. Crack the egg into the pan. If you have an egg ring, use this to make a strangely perfectly round egg. Break the yolk for authenticity, or leave it unbroken for pleasure. Butter your muffin (that sounds euphemistic), sprinkle on a little cheddar, and stack the sausage and egg. Enjoy. I am yet to make a partnering hash brown that’s good enough, though I suspect this is due to my fear of operating deep fat fryers.
A name I use far too much. Nigel Slater. It can’t be helped. Unlike any of the other chefs and cooks, he is neither of those things first. He is foremost an eater. And he likes normal things. A lump of cheese, a good roast with trimmings, a bacon sandwich, smarties. He is refreshingly normal in a world that prides itself on being flashy.
So you can imagine how happy I was, when in last week’s Observer, he had created a Frankenstein’s monster of two of the most comforting meals in the known world. Toad in the Hole and the Full English Breakfast.
I waited all week to do this, and on Saturday my chance came- I visited my sister, who had to get a flight in the morning, and who has recently converted from vegetarianism. It went down well, and as an extra treat, she took a photo of it, so for once, there is an appealing photo of something I have cooked!
The recipe is here, as it would be pretty shameless of me to reproduce it verbatim as if it were my own idea.
The one addition I put in is a dash of Worcester sauce in the batter mix. Along with the mustard, I found it gave it a brown sauce tang, which is essential with a good brekkie.
Worth staying hungry for 40 minutes for.