Grandma’s Minced Meat Pies

22 Cut open on a plate

The idea for today’s recipe comes from my Mother. She was telling me about the minced meat pies that her Mother used to make. She didn’t have the original recipe, so I made this one up inspired by what my Mother could recall. She told me that they:

  • Were individual pies – ACHIEVED
  • Made with minced meat and onions – ACHIEVED
  • and nothing else – NOT ACHIEVED
  • Were moist pies, not dry at all – ACHIEVED

Sorry Mum, but I just couldn’t resist adding in a few extra ingredients. In some cases I can use the excuse that I had them growing in the garden and just wanted to use them up, but other items I went out of my way to buy…….sorry.

My Grandparents had a walled garden at the back of their house. My Grandmother would open the back door of a morning and feed “her” birds. She had all manner of birds come and visit her, to sample her breadcrumbs or small pieces of cheese. She seemed to have a special way with the birds, but then again she was of course a witch.

(To see my proofs of why I believe she was indeed a witch please click here.)

99 Fried egg plants 3

My Grandmother always had these “Fried Egg” flowers in her garden!

One day she came scurrying back into the house with the tale of a large eagle perched on her bird table. We all rushed outside but there was nothing to be seen. We assumed she had imagined it, in spite of her being adamant of the contrary…………..

To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

 

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Lemon Cordial

12 Finished drink

An exceedingly simple recipe this week, but with the estival heat there is no better time to publish a recipe for a chilled, tangy lemon drink that goes down so well on a hot summer’s day. This one comes from my maternal grandfather……..

My grandfather liked his gadgets and was an early adopter of many, from video recorders to stylophones, bread slicers to blenders. My grandfather was a bank manager, but he was good with more than number. During the Second World War he was with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). He was good with his hands and he told me that whilst in training for REME he created a musical synthesiser. He told me that he wondered whether it was in fact the first and whether he could have been a millionaire!

He also played the violin, I guess that and his flirting with a synthesiser led him to buy a musical gadget called a stylophone. And just how many of you can recall Rolf Harris’ stylophone?………………

……………. So here is the original recipe, from some 40 years ago…… easy, delicious and perfect for the summer…………

 

To read the rest of the article and view the recipe please click here.

 


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Ossobuco Chilli

20 Finished dish

This is my quick and easy chilli recipe and, as it is cooked in the oven, you can more or less leave it and forget it! I will be making the recipe more or less from scratch, but  using jars and tins instead will give you a great tasting chilli with almost no preparation time. As long as you buy good ingredients there should be no problems.

Contrary to many recipes that use minced meat, I use a veal leg chop, or ossobuco, for this recipe. The name of ossobuco comes from the Italian word bone and hole. The reason is clear as this cut of meat has a cross-section of the leg bone right in the middle. I prefer this cut because it is cheap, full of flavour and because you know what you are getting…….

01 The raw meat

For the more than 25 years I worked in a large multinational, work that involved frequent trips abroad. I visited more than 20 countries and scores of hotels and restaurants. I have had food from across the globe, eaten in small traditional local restaurants or larger ones with menu choices dedicated to the tourist and business travellers. I have had some very good meals and, perhaps luckily, not so many bad ones. More interestingly perhaps is that I have sat down to eat with an almost infinite number of work colleagues and clients.

As I write this article today my mind wanders back to a conversation I had during a meal, many, many years ago with a young lady from the team. The lady in question is still in the company and has gone on to great things, I wonder if she still remembers the conversation? 

Basically the lady was averse to eating anything where she couldn’t see where the meat of fish came from. Basically she wanted to see a piece of meat or fish and was less inclined to eat things like meatballs or hamburgers where the meat has been minced up until it is no longer recognisable. Looking back now her comments were almost prophetic and I would suggest that time has proven her right.

Relatively recently in the UK there was the scandal of the use of horse meat in ready made meals that were labeled as made of beef………..

…………… To read the rest of the article and to view the recipe, please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

White Chocolate and Wild Strawberry Muffins

08 Finished buns

Quite a few years ago now I was sat on a plane, travelling back from a business trip in the UK. I started talking to the lady next to me, who happened to be an editor. Conversation turned to my interest in food and my interest in sharing recipes with the general public. She said I ought to start a blog.

Once home I decided to have a look at the possibility of starting a blog. The process of publishing a blog seemed easy enough, I am after all an IT engineer, but when I looked at the quality of the blogs out there I was dissuaded from giving it a go. I was particularly overawed by the overall visual content of the blogs and in particular the photographs on display. I realised I would have to up my game and invest a considerable amount of time, time which I did not have.

Fast forward several years, to just a couple of years ago. I suddenly had more time as I left full time employment. One problem solved, but what about those fantastic professional photographs, that if anything had improved over time? It started me thinking about what exactly did I want to publish, what was my goal? …………………

……………. These muffins can be made with fresh strawberries or indeed just about any soft fruit. If you choose large pieces of fruit, just roughly chop them first. Now is a good time for fresh strawberries be they wild or otherwise and these muffins also work well with raspberries.

To read the full article and to view the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Natillas

05 Finished with sponge and cinnamon

Natillas are a traditional Spanish pudding that is similar in many ways to a posh cold custard! It is therefore very simple, but if made properly is quite delicious and it is one of my favourite Spanish desserts. This recipe was kindly given to us by an instructor at the Catering School in Ateca, near Calatayud in Spain. This gives me a segue, perhaps tenuous at best, to the diatribe for this week. Given that here in Spain June is the month of final school exams, and for the teacher this means long days of marking and soul searching, I thought I would talk about a teacher’s lot here in Spain.

But what is to teach?…… perhaps I should start there. According to my trusty Collins Contemporary Dictionary from 1959 it is “to instruct, to educate, to discipline, to impart knowledge”. You will notice that there is nothing in the description about the measurement of a student’s ability to assimilate what he has been taught i.e. the setting and marking of exams. This to me is logical, wherever one looks in industry the work produced is always checked by an independent team or group. The worthiness of a new car is not checked by the team that built it, the correctness of a new computer programme is not checked by those that wrote it. So why do many teachers fight for the right to set and mark their own exams?……………..

99 Ateca

Ateca

………………… to read the full article and view the recipe, please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Salmon and Chard Quiche

11 Cooked quiche

I wanted to get this one out before the last of the chard and other winter vegetables disappeared, to be replaced by summer ones. Although I make the quiche with chard, it can also be made using spinach. Over here we have two very distinct growing periods, as it is warm enough to have quite abundant winter and summer crops. It is a little different to many parts of Britain and certainly to where I was brung up.

Last week I mentioned, albeit briefly, that my local Spanish friends think I and indeed the British are a bit eccentric and often comment that we do everything the opposite to them. This is almost certainly inspired by the fact the the British drive on the “wrong” side of the road. Over the years I have come to realise that it is much more than that, in fact the British do many things the opposite way to what Spanish people do (a case of versa vice perhaps?).

Firstly Britain is not alone in driving on the left, there are more than 70 other countries that do likewise. Secondly and strangely considering that Spain is a Catholic Country, driving on the left was a Popish edict of 1300. They have obviously chosen to ignore the Pope on that one!

Not to take up too many pages on driving…………

99 Cyclists

……….And so back to the quiche, and something both Spanish and Brits seem to be able to agree on. The word is written the same in both English and Spanish and, according to the dictionary at least, the pronunciation should be the same too! This one tastes great and I hope you like it……..

To read the rest of the article and view the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge

Bizcocho de Almendras / Almond Cake

07 Finished cake, cut

A couple of weeks ago I published an article titled Pollo en Pepitoria / Tarazona Chicken. As I mentioned at the time, we were on the way back from a weekend in Olite. This recipe is also inspired by that weekend away.

We actually stayed in the Parador in Olite. For those of you unfamiliar with the Spanish Paradors, they are state owned hotels in renovated castles and palaces. They are in some of the most amazing buildings, often perched on high with commanding views. I also believe that they are reasonably priced and as such I would recommend them to anyone. We opted to eat one of our meals in the Parador and we were served what they called an Ujué almond cake…………..

………………… My first visit to the town was many, many years ago. I liked it then, but it has in fact improved since that first visit. Whilst we were there we could see that they were re-cobbling many of the streets. From the areas that were finished we could see that it was well conceived and constructed and should improve and harmonise the structure of this medieval village. They have also done work in restoring the church and the availability of tourist information at key points within and without the building itself. The church itself really is a magnificent edifice to behold………….

2017 03 21 Ujue

………The cake is really simple to make and with some flaked almonds and icing sugar can be made into quite a centre-piece for when next you have some friends over…….

To read the rest of the article and to see the recipe please click here.


2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge