Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Family Favourites 1

CRAFT came to pick up the old sofa-bed that was taking up most of the space in the boys' bedroom this morning. We recently bought a more aesthetically pleasing (and comfortable)sofa-bed for the sitting room so that we didn't have to eject Christopher from his bedroom every time people came to stay (which was quite often). Besides which, I'd had the old one since I was 17 and still lived at my Mum and Dad's so it was time for it to go. Donating it to CRAFT eliminated the potential 'landfill guilt' we'd otherwise have felt; disposing of a perfectly serviceable piece of furniture just because it's no longer useful to us. Sometimes can't believe how lucky we are to have an organisation like CRAFT nearby. They make it very easy to be a little bit more responsible.
We had one of our great favourites for supper tonight - Savoury Mince Crumble. It's based on a recipe from a cookbook I was given as a child; My Own Cookbook by Carol Bowen, published for British Home Stores in 1985. The original recipe was actually the first 'proper' meal that I ever cooked - for my parents and brother when I was about 8.

Savoury Mince Crumble

1 medium onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
150g smoked bacon, chopped
400g minced beef
pinch mixed dried herbs

200g plain flour
50g butter. cubed
50g lard, cubed
30g strong cheddar cheese, finely grated
Preheat the oven to 180°c. Heat a little oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion, celery, carrot and herbs until the vegetables have softened. Add the bacon and fry until cooked but not browned. Turn the heat up a little, add the mince and cook until browned, stirring to break it up. Tip the meat sauce into a deep ovenproof dish. I use a standard white soufflĂ© dish (see pic). Rub the fat into the flour, then stir in the grated cheese. Season with black pepper and tip into the dish, spreading the crumble mixture evenly over the meat sauce. Bake for 30 minutes, until the crumble topping is cooked through and deliciously golden.

Yummy! We had a selection of vegetables to go with. I always feel that potatoes are de trop with dishes containing pastry and the like, but I suspect that as my boys grow up I shall have to give in; otherwise I'll have a mutiny on my hands!

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