Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Posh nosh

With snow on the ground (a rarity on the coast) I'm pleased not to have to walk the half mile to Morrison's or Lunt's. I also want something warming for dinner. What to do with a couple of pounds of potatoes, two carrots, an onion, a cabbage, some mushrooms and four (vegan) sausages for me and a tin of corned beef for CJBS?

Potato and cabbage automatically sing bubble and squeak, but I've got little to serve it with. The carrots and the onion as well, however, suggest colcannon.

Colcannon is "peasant food", used by poor people to make a lot out of a little (and all the more delicious for that) but of late it has had a makeover, becoming posh nosh. From a simple mashed potato, onion and cabbage it now appears on BBC Food with lashings of double cream and melted butter, and elsewhere with bacon and yet more butter.

CJBS's bacon ration is something he prizes highly for a lazy breakfast. My own vegan bacon is unuseful for baking, being designed to be fried and put in a sandwich - which to me feels like a waste of both bacon and fat when I'm so short. Butter just can't be wasted on melting to make something taste a bit better. Double cream? Yeah, okay if you can get it, but my own rules forbid me from getting it to use in such a damp way. Don't they know there's a war on?

I brought the peeled and diced potatoes to the boil with the carrots. When the water boiled, I put the cabbage in. Meanwhile, I heated a knob (about a heaped teaspoon) of butter in a frying pan and fried off the onion and the mushrooms. When the potatoes were soft, I mashed the contents of the pan with a little milk, then added the onion and the mushrooms. With the frying pan still hot, I cooked off the vegan sausages, then diced the corned beef.

I divided the mash into two, mixing the vegan sausage into one and the diced beef into the other. Then I put both into a slow oven - it needs to cook very slowly as CJBS isn't home until 7:30pm. The heat isn't wasted as I'll make croutons for the leftover soup from yesterday (these are just cubes of brown bread baked slowly for 15 minutes) as the oven cools.

The result, in theory, should be crispy on top but fluffy in the middle. Onion gravy, an easy standby since I have leftover gravy from yesterday, will help lubricate it.


angygraham said...

I think that I shall try this myself as I have the ingredients.
2nd go at commenting. Last one didn't work.
mum of course.

Kif............ said...

Well, that was an education in every sense. It reminded me of better school dinners. I quite liked school food and so that's a compliment! Comfort Food, they call it sniffily these days. It was technically Colcannon but to me was Corned Beef Hash with added other vegetables. Loved it. Smelled Good. Tasted Good. Filling! The inevitable onion gravy added to the flavours and kept it moist. Had seconds. It followed more excellent soup. This project is working well. I feel more satisfied and suited than I expected to!