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Lamb Mince Madness

Hi, howdy and hello. Today I’m going to keep my usual pre-recipe pre-amble down to a minimum, as I have lots of recipe goodness to type up. However, lets just see how carried away with it I get.

You see, on Monday night it was my dad’s birthday. I say Monday night, I mean, it was his birthday all of the day , all 24 hours of it, but it was Monday night when we celebrated his travelling forwards through time at a constant rate of one year… erm… per year. He turned 48, so in two years time he’ll be able to get a plethora of Parker Pens just for enquiring with various companies about life insurance. We shall never be short for pens when jotting down a number on the telephone again. That said, surely in 2 years time we’ll have microchips implanted in our brains that mean we have amazingly astonishing memory skills, and we can remember any list of things, no matter how long, to help save on both paper and Bic Biro pens?

Or is that just me going a bit doo-lally tap?

Anyway, as I was saying, it was my dad’s birthday, so I cooked tea! Hooray! So I cooked up some Moroccan Meatballs, with Harissa Roast Potatoes , and I’ll fess up right away, the roast potato recipe came from one of those cards with recipes to plug their products you pick up at Sainsburys. But I did my shopping at Morrisons. Nerr. The recipe(s) follows.

Please note that I don’t give spice measurements, as I think we’re all adult enough to choose how much we want in our food, and how not to go to the overkill.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs with a Tomato Sauce, and Harissa Roast Potatoes

(Serves 4)

Ingredients :

For the meatballs :

  • 600g lamb mince
  • 150g breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 shallot, minced finely
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
  • Ground cinnamon (toasted and ground)
  • Dried mint
  • 2 teaspoons of harissa paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For the tomato sauce :
  • 2 tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 shallots, minced finely
  • 1 onion, minced finely
  • Garlic, minced finely
  • Cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
  • Coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
  • Chilli powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
For the harissa roasties :
  • New potatoes
  • Harissa paste
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
Method :
  1. Firstly toast off enough cumin and coriander seeds (separately) for both the meatballs and the sauce. To do this, just heat up a dry non-stick frying pan, and then once rather hot, turn off the heat, and add the cumin seeds, keep the seeds moving until you can smell them, then transfer to a pestle and mortar, and grind. Repeat process with coriander seeds.
  2. Mix together all of your meatball ingredients, adding the egg last. Using wet hands (so the mixture doesn’t stick), shape the mixture into balls, you want to end up with 12 decent sized meatballs, or if you want, 24 small ones. Leave meatballs in the fridge until needed.
  3. In a deep frying pan, heat some olive oil, gently fry the onion, and then add the shallot and garlic, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the tomato purée to the onions, stirring through until the rawness is cooked off. Then add the tinned tomatoes and the spices, including the two cinnamon sticks, and leave on a low light to simmer for half an hour at least. If it looks to be reducing too much, just add a splash of water.
  5. Whilst the tomato sauce is cooking, begin work on the roast potatoes. Slice the new potatoes so that they are all roughly the same size (leaving smaller ones whole), and in a bowl toss with a generous amount of harissa paste and an equally generous amount of olive oil.
  6. Transfer the potatoes onto a roasting tray, add slices of lemon amongst the spuds, and pop in a preheated oven at around 200 degrees C, turning throughout cooking
  7. After the potatoes have been cooking for 15minutes, add the tray of meatballs to the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes, turning over halfway through.
  8. Once the meatballs are cooked through, chop the parsley and mint (saving enough mint for decoration), and stir through the tomato sauce, and then add the meatballs, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Serve, with a scattering of finely sliced mint, and if you want some slivered almonds. I hate almonds, though, so I left them out.
Yeah, it’s really nice, so you should probably try it… the only thing is, I bought a kilogram of lamb mince… and then I had all of this mince meat left. So then the following night, I decided to make myself some lamb kofta patties. So here comes another recipe. See why I tried not to ramble on too much at the beginning?
Lamb Kofta Patties with a Cucumber and Shallot Salad
(Serves 2 as a light meal)
Ingredients :
for the kofta patties :
  • 400g lamb mince
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • Garlic, finely minced
  • Lots of fresh mint, chopped
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Toasted and ground coriander and cumin
  • Chilli powder
for the cucumber salad :
  • Cucumber
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Also, Pitta breads and Greek yoghurt for serving
Method :
  1. Halve, and slice the cucumber very finely and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the shallot, salt, pepper and mint, and stir, and leave for the flavours to marinade, and salt draw water out for an hour in the fridge.
  3. Mix all the kofta patty ingredients together in a bowl and shape into thin patties, and gently fry in a little olive oil until golden brown and cooked through.
  4. Toast some pitta breads, and put the patties inside them, with a good dollop of yoghurt.

I’m finishing this blog now. My PC has crashed twice throughout this blog, once yesterday when I started it (I’ve had to change all references of “yesterday” to “Monday night, now… grrr) as I just got sick of the internet and went to watch Masterchef : The Professionals, and the new Alan Davies comedy set in a kitchen, Whites, which is brilliant, and I recommend it!

Now it’s time to get a bacon butty, sit back and relax, and watch Monk.

Right. I’m going to start on a MASSIVE rant. I’m not some supermarket hating, smug food writer who uses words like “bounty” to describe a lot of food, telling you to boycott supermarkets, and only get your fruit, veg and meat from farmers markets,  I’m just not that kind of writer.

It’s not that I love supermarkets, and think the sun shines out of the CEO of Tesco’s arse, either. But I do wish they would stock seasonal vegetables, such as pumpkins, when they are in season (which is a massively long one, too, as they store for ages, too!)… sadly, supermarkets only sell pumpkins about 1 week before halloween, and then come the 1st of November, you’ll not see them for another year.

Added onto that, there’s no point in buying a supermarket pumpkin. Don’t bother. They’re crap. They only sell big carving pumpkins, brilliant if you want a stupid orange face outside your front door, but crap if you want to eat it. So on that note, before you try this brilliant recipe, go to a farmers market, or a decent greengrocers, and if you can’t get a pumpkin, use a butternut sqaush, it’s still very similar!

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

(makes a huge amount)

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-medium sized pumpkin, or a large butternut squash
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 large onion
  • Garlic
  • 4 french onion stock cubes (diluted to 2 litres) or good quality veg stock (2 litres)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Chilli powder
  • Turmeric
  • All Purpose Seasoning
  • Oil
  • Butter

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150degrees c.
  2. Quarter your pumpkin, and deseed.
  3. Coat the pumpkin in a light dusting of the cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, salt and pepper. Give a drizzle of oil, and rub in the spices.
  4. Place the pumkin in the oven and cook until nice and roasted and the flesh is fully cooked.
  5. Whilst roasting the pumpkin, chop and sweat the onions in a little oil and butter.
  6. Finely dice the potato, add to the onions, and then add a teaspoon of turmeric (this gives the soup another earthy taste, and improves the yellow colour of the soup).
  7. Add the stock to the onion and potato, and leave to simmer till the potato is fully cooked (the potato helps thicken the soup and bulk it out a little)
  8. Remove the pumpkin from the oven, allow to cool a little. Peel off the skin (best way to remove is if you pull from the pointiest corner, it should come off in one) and then add to the stock and onions.
  9. Using a hand blender or food processor, blitz the soup down and it will have a gorgeous velvety texture.
  10. Add a dash of All Purpose Seasoning*
  11. Check for seasoning, add salt and pepper if required.
  12. If adding more spice, whisk the spices in, as they will clump together otherwise!

*Why I use All Purpose Seasoning:

CONTROVERSAL STATEMENT ALERT

I use it for the MSG content. MSG is the second main ingredient in All Purpose Seasoning. There’s a big media shitstorm over MSG, basically people think it causes autism, for which there’s not enough proof for it. The other issue people take with it, is if they have a glutamate intolerance (MSG is Mono-Sodium Glutamate).  Our bodies have no problem digesting the Mono-sodium, but it’s the glutamate that we struggle with. People with a glutamate intolerance blame it on MSG, but they would also suffer with the related symptoms if they ate something with a lot of parmesan cheese, or leeks, or mushrooms, which all contain glutamate.

So chill out, use MSG if you want to, just don’t overdo it, everything in moderation, yeah?

P.S. This recipe makes a lot of soup, best invite the family and friends over to help polish it off!

Kris x

A Return?

This is interesting, really. I’m kinda returning to the blogsphere,  sort of. You see, I just cooked up a Spiced Pumpkin Soup, and a few things have been playing on my minds recently. Even though I lost heart with cooking, I never gave up, though I did go back to eating a lot more processed shit, but recently, every time I eat processed shit, I feel rotten. Not always in a way where I feel sick, but sometimes, it’s just depressing, and I feel miserable eating it. I guess it’s because processed shit only comes in two colours. Grey and golden brown.

Grey food : Sausage, cheap bacon, pie fillings, etc

Golden brown food : Chips, beans, anything coated in batter or breadcrumbs.

BORING HORRIBLE BLAND TASTELESS SHIT!

So yeah, amidst the dreary cheap crap, I’ve been cooking nice things, and also, my friend Asher (remember the chap who wrote the guest blog about Jamaican patties) has asked if he could take over the blog with his friend. This seemed a good idea to me, and I agreed to it, yet, I didn’t want to completely give up ownership of the blog, as it still has a special place in my heart. I’ve written posts on here that have generated masses of interest, and people thanking me for a recipe. I’ve had TV producers ask me to come audition for their shows through this blog, and yeah, I may not have gotten through the auditions, but it was nice to be asked (even though I didn’t really feel that way at the time).

So here is what I propose (I haven’t even asked Asher about this yet, haha!). I can’t actually change the title of the blog, but I reckon it should no longer be just this one Punkchef, but three Punkchefs, Asher, myself and Asher’s friend (who I apologise, I cannot remember his name).

Tomorrow, I shall post the recipe for the soup I made today.

Kris (A Punkchef)

That’s it, I’m going to keep this short, because, well… I can’t be bothered with blogging any more. I guess you could say I’ve lost my muse, I’ve no inspiration, my passion for writing has slipped away. It’s hard to put my finger on it, I mean, I’ve hardly cooked anything exciting in recent days.

I guess maybe I got myself too hyped up about that Britain’s Best Dish thing, I felt real confident, but then I never heard anything back from them. I thought I may have gotten a job offer through somebody reading my blog, and taking me on in their kitchen. Even though I have always said I wouldn’t want to work as a chef, I was considering that maybe it was a logical option.

That spark, that love of food I once had is dwindling away. Maybe I’ll come back later in the year, with renewed enthusiasm. Maybe I just want to go off this summer, and get drunk and play some gigs, and not even give a rats arse about eating well, because I’m too busy getting drunk and playing up.

I dunno.

Kristoff

“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note, stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany. … It is evil things that we will be fighting against—brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution—and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.”

Neville Chamberlain – September 3rd, 1939

On September 3rd, 1939, it was announced, that Great Britain was at war with Hitler’s Nazi Germany, and life for the British was to change drastically. I am sure you are all aware of the tragedies of WWII, but I want to focus on the one part of life during wartime Britain that I have a keen interest in. Food.

During the First World War, Britain had a food crisis, in that two years into the war, we were left with only six weeks food and from therein, food had to be rationed. There was no strict plan in force, and unfortunately many measures taken towards rationing failed. During the Second World War, rationing was re-introduced just months after war was declared, in an effort to make sure that Britain had food. Infact, during the war, Britons were at their healthiest than ever, nobody ate too much fatty foods, too many carbohydrates, etc. Rationing provided everyone with a healthy, balanced diet.

Anyway, that’s enough fact regurgitating for now, I’ve got a few more blogs planned for this week, where I can share some more!

If I were to ask most people now, what they would expect ration based meals to be like, I would expect them to be suspicious of them, expecting them to be dull, and bland meals, however, I know this not to be true. Sure, life during the war was hard for everyone, but food brought people together, and when you’re limited in the kitchen, and as they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, and some great dishes were made during this time of austerity!

I’m going to share with you, a three course feast, all based on rations, and to start off with, a dish that people would have enjoyed, until 1942, when onions were rationed for two years, until 1944….

Onion Soup

Ingredients :

  • 6 onions, very thinly sliced
  • 30g butter (ration per week ranged from 227g to 57g), or margerine (ration per week ranged from 340g to 113g)
  • tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1tsp sugar (ration per week ranged from 454g to 227g)
  • tbsp vinegar
  • 1 litre of beef “tea”, made from Oxo or Bovril, for authenticity
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bread (bread wasn’t rationed until after the war, but you would have been limited to “national loaf”)

Method :

  1. Place your pan on the stove, and bring to a high head, add the butter and oil.
  2. When very hot, add the thinly sliced onions and sugar, and stir for 5 minutes, until they start to take on colour.
  3. When the onions have taken on colour, reduce heat to a minimum, and leave to sweat for around 30 minutes.
  4. Return to a high heat, and then add the vinegar to the pan.
  5. Add the beef tea, and reduce to a simmer for an hour without a lid on.
  6. Adjust the seasoning with a little salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with some bread to dunk in.

So there is your starter for your three course, wartime feast! It’s brilliant how so few ingredients, so simple, can make something both tasty, nutritious, and on a cold night during the war, warming, which would have been a welcome treat for any air raid wardens working throughout the night, in their trusty Thermos flask!

As I said, food was something that brought people together during WWII, but one other, was music. It was important to keep morale high, and the BBC, gave big band and jazz, dance music, better slots in their radio scheduling. Also, artists like George Formby (and no, I still won’t play any Fromby numbers on my ukulele!) were played. Upbeat, jaunty music kept morale high.

The reason I’m now talking about music, is that my good friend, Lorraine “Swingaroo”, is putting on a monthly event in Preston, the “Swingaroo Vintage Dancehall“, where music from the 1920′s, to the 1950′s will be played. There will be a good mix of music, from vocal harmony groups, to big bands, to rock’n’roll, and each night begins with a dance lesson, to teach you how to do The Lindy Hop, I’ll be the one flat on his face. I’m a terrible dancer.

So yeah, this is the reason for my rationing era themed week, I want to help get you “In The Mood” for the Swingaroo Vintage Dancehall, and remember… “We’ll eat again, don’t know where, don’t know when”

Woah, it’s been quite a whilst since my last blog, and for that I can only apologise! You may have noticed last week that there were a few guest blogs, and I hope you enjoyed them, and I did plan to return to blogging on the Friday, but unfortunately fate was determined to get me to diet somehow, and I ended up with gastroenteritis, which meant from Wednesday-Saturday I spent all day in bed, crying with pain of my kidneys trying to get rid of the nasty bug that decided to stop me eating for three whole days!!! As I said, my body was determined to get me on some kind of diet, and restore a normal sleeping pattern, and decided illness was the way forward.

Now of course, that doesn’t excuse me for no blog posts this week, but to be honest, I was still nibbling at comfort food most of this week! After being so ill, going back to food is like learning to eat again, you’re not sure what you like, so you end up sticking to bland things. However, all is better now, and on Tuesday I received a comment on my blog from a lovely researcher at ITV on my “About Punkchef” page, asking me if I would like to apply for Britain’s Best Dish! Of course I would, I was born to be a star, sweetie darlings!! I may have a face for radio, but that’s not going to stop me trying to interfere with your reception, and hopefully soon my beaming fizzog will be staring at people all across the country, so apologies in advance!

So after speaking to the people on the telephone, I had to decide what recipe I should use, should it be one I’ve already shared on the blog, the chicken and leek pie?, the mint and white chocolate mousse?, or should I do my as of yet, undocumented Chilli Con Carne? A recipe which I’ve been developing for quite some time, each time I make it I add something different, just to enhance it. “Yes!” I exclaimed, whilst sat alone in my room, to nobody, “I shall make the chilli”.

My audition is tomorrow, so please feel free to leave good luck comments. Here is the recipe, and I would like to point out, that even though it has a wide amount of spices, particularly chillies, it is not too spicy, my opinion on Chilli Con Carne, is that it’s an earthy dish first, and a spicy dish second!! The emphasis, for me, is on earthy flavours.

The Best? Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients :

  • 1kg pork mince
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, diced
  • 1 large spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 chipotle chillies, finely chopped, or tbsp dried chipotle flakes
  • 3tbsp cumin
  • 2tbsp chilli powder
  • 1tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 6 slices of pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh green chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin pinto beans
  • 200ml red wine (I suggest something Spanish or Chilean, I used a Tempranillo, but a Rioja would also work brilliantly)
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 90%+ cocoa solids, dark chocolate
  • zest of 2 limes, juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • pepper
  • corn or vegetable oil

Method :

  1. Add the chorizo sausage to a pan, and fry in a little vegetable oil to release spices and fats in the sausage, strain and reserve chorizo.
  2. Add the onion to the flavoured oil, and sweat over a low heat, until they have reduced to half their original volume.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the onions, and the paprika, and continue to sweat for another 10 minutes.
  4. Once the onion is thoroughly cooked, add the chipotle chilli, and increase the heat, and fry off for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the cumin and chilli powder to the onions, and fry until the spice catches the back of your throat when you breath in the aromas. This is how you know the dried spices have cooked.
  6. Return the chorizo to the onion and spice mixture, followed by the fresh chilli and jalapeños, and continue to cook over a high heat.
  7. Add the pork mince, and stir until browned, then add the wine, and leave the alcohol to cook off for a few minutes.
  8. Once the wine has cooked off, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a tin of pinto beans, and stir through.
  9. Chop the coriander and stir into the chilli, check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper.
  10. Grate 2-3 pieces of high quality, high cocoa percentage, dark chocolate into the chilli and allow to melt into the chilli.
  11. Finally, add the juice of a lime, and zest of 2 limes, check for seasoning once again (as the chocolate may contain a little sugar, which you may wish to combat with a little extra salt), and leave overnight, as this allows the flavours to mature.
  12. Serve with long grain rice, perhaps with some wild rice added to it.

As I said earlier in my blog, my recipe for chilli con carne focuses on the earthy flavours of cumin, and paprika, and good wine and chocolate, and although it does have a chilli kick, it’s not the main focus of the recipe. I know a lot of people claim to have “The best recipe for chilli con carne EVER”, but for a lot of people who make this claim, it’s just a synonym for “the most needlessly spicy recipe for chilli con carne EVER, where you won’t be able to taste anything else for days as your sensitive taste buds will have been rendered useless due to obscene amounts of capsicum”… and if you think I’m talking about your chilli con carne recipe here… I probably am.

Finally, I would like to add a MASSIVE, HUUUUGE “THANK YOU!!” to the very wonderful Paul Farley, the head chef at Hero Burrito, for donating me a can of chipotle chillies for my recipe, when Morrison’s decided that now would be a great time to stop selling them, which is a ball ache for me, as chipotle is a key ingredient in my recipe, and without it I would have been up a creek without a paddle! So go to their restaurant, or order a takeaway, and mention that you heard of them through me (even if you didn’t!! lol) and tell them I say thank you, again!!!

Hero Burrito : http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=145411818243&ref=ts

Anyway, wish me luck for tomorrow!!

Kris.

Hello and welcome to the second instalment in my week of guest blogs, today we have my favourite London raggapunk, Asher from the Spontaneous Operatic blog, here to share with you food he grew up with, and still makes regularly to this day!

________________________________________________________

Groovin’ out on life: Jamaican Patties

Wow, would you look at that. You’ve just started reading a food blog written by a Northern punk with a palette for absolutely everything (except ready meals), and suddenly this other, completely unknown raggapunk urchin from the dirty South (… alright, London town) rocks up to spoil the party. My name’s Asher, and I’m black. I also like food. Confused yet? You shouldn’t be, really. I’m just guest-blogging as a means of doing something other than soul-destroying exams. Basically, I’m avoiding revision. Fun times.
Well, this week we have a sort of treat for you, I suppose. But it’s not really a treat, because you still have to make it yourself in order to eat it. But it’s quite easy, I mean… I can do it. And I can’t really do much of anything. This recipe is one from my childhood, I might have been born in London, but I’m more cultured than a rastaman wi’ dem drum ‘at inna’ yard drink a Guinness punch. If you didn’t understand that, basically, I can cook all the Jamaican food my mother used to make. And this week, I’ve made some Jamaican patties. Ease up now. Taken from a place even further south than me, Cornwall – the Cornish pasty – the Jamaican pattie is essentially a cross between the pastry Devon wishes it could make and the Caribbean equivalent of a burger. Only, it’s much tastier than both of these. Jamaican patties sell in Caribbean bakeries around the various “black” areas of London (such as Peckham, Brixton and Camberwell) for over £1 a pop. That’s a rip off, don’t pay those prices, you can make 20 or more, depending on how well you can roll the dough, for much less.
Ingredients :

For the pastry :
  • 450g Flour
  • 255g Butter
  • 6tbsp Water
  • 3tbsp Ground Turmeric/Haldi
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 1 egg or 100ml milk

For the filling :

  • 500g Mince (can be beef or lamb, I prefer lamb but I use beef because it doesn’t go stodgy and fatty when cold.)
  • 2 Pointed peppers (or several baby peppers – sweeter the better)
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli pepper (I sometimes use two, depends on how spicy you like it.)
  • 1 Large onion
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 3-4 Scallions (Spring Onions)
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • Allspice/pimento seeds (I have them in a grinder)
  • Stock cube
  • 1 pint boiling water
  • Tomatoes
  • 3tbsp olive oil

Some things I add sometimes :

  • Grated root ginger
  • Jerk seasoning
  • Grated sweet potato

Method : (Delivered in Asher’s unique style!, Kris)

So, what you want to do after washing your hands is measure out your flour and add the turmeric and salt to it. Then sift it to get rid of the lumps. Leave the butter to rest on the side until it’s a bit softer, then cube it and add it to the flour mix. You can either work through it with your hands repeatedly (squeeze!) or you can be lazy and use a food processor. After I started making these at ridiculously industrial levels (I’m lying.. about 40 at a time), I started to favour the food processor, and it does get the pastry to a nice consistency. Once you’ve worked the flour and butter into breadcrumbs, add your water a bit at a time and knead it until it all sticks together. Or just add the water and blitz it in your food processor. Either way, if you find it’s too sticky, add some more flour, a bit at a time. If you find it’s not sticking together, slowly add some more water. Once it is ready, you’ll notice the ball of dough is a yellow colour. That’s the turmeric. It’s how people can tell you’ve made Jamaican patties, and not Cornish pasties. Racist? I think so. Wrap the dough up in clingfilm and put it in the fridge whilst you get on with this next bit.
This is how the pastry should look when rolled out

This is how the pastry should look when rolled out

You’ll wanna’ clean the side and dry it – it will need to dry completely whilst your dough is standing in the fridge so that none of it gets stuck when you’re rolling it later. Oh, I forgot everyone else has massive kitchens with more than one side to use. Nevermind. What you’ll want to do next is heat your oil in a pan (I prefer a proper saucepan, you can do it in a frying pan or wok, but if you’re anything like me, it will fall out over the sides later). Once it’s smokin’ a lickle bit, reduce the heat and break up your mince. Put it in the pan. Hear that sizzle? Cry as it spits at you, then turn the heat down some more because that means it’s too high. Break up the mince in the pan with a spatula, make sure none of it clumps together – rubbery mince is horrible. Brown the mince slowly, but whilst keeping a close eye on it, chop up the onion and put it in with the mince as it browns, You want to finely chop everything, this isn’t vegetable stew we’re making. Cut the top off the scotch bonnet and deseed it (don’t touch the seeds! If you get your fingers in your eyes they will burn you!) by poking or dragging them out into the bin with a small knife. Finely chop the scotch bonnet (proper finely – you don’t want a chunk of that bad boy turning up), and finely chop the other veggies except for the scallions. Put all of them in the pot with the thyme and the allspice and keep stirring it at a low heat.
Boil up a pint of water, add it to your stock cube. Use lamb stock or beef stock respective of your mince. Add the stock to the saucepan and stir it, wait for the stock to be absorbed before you stop stirring. Add about a cup more water and simmer it until the water has reduced down. Add the scallions and stir them in. Taste it to see if you like it. Cry if you don’t like it. Tell all your friends you have tasty food and they don’t if you do like it. Delight in their dismay. Tell your mum about it and be annoyed as she picks at it whilst you do the next step.
Filling for the patties, simmering away

Filling for the patties, simmering away

Leave the filling to cool down with a lid on it. That won’t stop your mum, but it keeps flies and whatever else out of it. Once it has cooled down, get your dough out of the fridge and unwrap it. Cut the ball of dough into four quarters. Roll one quarter in your hands for a bit until it’s a bit easier to manipulate, but don’t get it hot – hot dough doesn’t like you. Stop beating away your mum’s hand from the pot with your trusty rolling pin and use it to roll the dough with flour underneath and a bit on top of the dough to keep it from sticking. When you roll the dough, turn it around occasionally to stop it from sticking. Roll it to about the thickness of a pound coin. With a quarter of a ball, you should be able to get 5 rounds, but you might have to reroll the bits and bobs. Cut around a saucer with a knife to make a circle of dough. Cut many of these out and put them aside. Put some greaseproof paper onto a baking tray and preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. I’m not sure what this is in gas marks, because we bought a gas oven so we’d have gas marks, and for some reason, it uses temperatures in degrees. I think it might be gas mark six, but don’t quote me on that.
Put a generous dollop of mixture onto a round, just off-center, making sure it doesn’t touch the edge. Dip your fingers (after you’ve washed them, you filthy bastard) into some cold water, and run them around the edge of the round. Fold the round over, press it down a bit to form a seal, then use a fork to secure the seal and make a pattern around the edge. Then use the same fork to poke two holes in the top of the pattie for ventilation purposes. Fans of microwave dinners, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Just don’t stab the shit out of it.
Haha, shit stabber.
Once you’ve got a trayful of patties, get a small pastry brush and brush them with milk or egg. Or both. Just a bit though, you don’t want them being soggy. Slap them in the oven for 20 minutes. Make another trayful whilst you’re waiting. When the patties are cooked, they should be a shiny golden yellow colour. Take them out and they will harden once you leave them to cool down on a wire rack or something. Then eat them. Not all of them, leave some for mum. And that’s all there is to it!
Asher Baker, artisan baker

Asher Baker, artisan baker

Rolling the pastry was the hardest part for me, initially, getting it the right thickness and making sure it didn’t tear because it was too thin. If in doubt, make it a bit thicker than a pound coin to start with, you’ll soon get the hang of it. Remember to clean up once you’ve finished, or else mum will be cross with you. Then take the patties to a Sonic Boom Six gig, and feed them to Laila K to make her fat. The system works.
If you do make these patties, let me know! I would like to know if anyone has any alternative fillings they like to put in! Sometimes I like to use ackee and saltfish instead, but that’s a recipe for another day.
All fruits ripe, Punkchef. Bless.
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