Sausage and Prune Casserole

I was so pleased with the recipe I came up with for supper tonight that I thought I would share it with you

Sausage and Prune Casserole


100g pancetta
1 onion roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
25g butter
8 pork sausages
10-12 prunes (pitted)
Bottle (500ml) Cider
1Tbs dried Mixed Herbs (optional)


Put the oven on to 180°C
Using an oven proof casserole dish, cook the pancetta till the fat runs
Add the onion and garlic (and some butter if your pancetta wasn’t fatty enough) and cook gently until translucent. Meanwhile brown the sausages in the butter a separate pan.
When the onions are ready add the sausages, prunes and the cider. You will probably only need about 350-400ml – ensure that any left over is disposed of in an appropriate and environmentally friendly manner. Bring to the boil and add the herbs( if you are using them). Simmer for a few minutes, taste and adjust the seasoning if required, then transfer to the oven for about 30 minutes.
The sauce will probably be thick enough but if you need to return to the hob and reduce to the required constituency (or thicken it using cornflour paste.
Serve with mashed potatoes peas and carrots.
I suppose it should be accompanied by a cider but I found that Young’s Special London Ale went really well.



Allegra’s American Pancakes

Jack Monroe


There’s room in our lives for both the classic British flattie and the airier stackables that come from over the pond.

Makes eight decent-sized pancakes

plain flour 150g
caster sugar 3 tbsp
salt a pinch
baking powder 1 tsp
bicarbonate of soda ¼ tsp
buttermilk 250ml
egg 1
butter a knob

In a big bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet stuff except the butter. Make a well in the centre of the dry, then pour in the wet and mix very briefly with a fork – you are just barely combining the two, so the mix should still be a bit lumpy.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan or skillet, then turn down the flame to its lowest setting and melt the butter. Add blobs of the pancake mix, keeping them well apart (you’ll have to cook these in batches), and…

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Crispy potato roast

Crispy potato
If you like a traditional potato bake, but don’t like the heavy cream and cheese that go along with that, you might want to try this crispy spin on that classic dish.


1kg russet potatoes, peeled
1 ½ tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground pepper (or red pepper flakes)
50g diced bacon
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 190°C.
Combine the oil and melted butter in a small dish, and brush a little around a round baking dish.
Slice potatoes thinly and arrange vertically in the baking dish.
Insert the shallots between sections of potato, distributing evenly throughout the dish.
Sprinkle with the pepper and salt to taste, and brush with the remaining butter and oil mixture.
Bake for about one-hour-and-a-half.
Cook the diced bacon in a small pan and drain on a paper towel.
Remove potatoes from oven and scatter over the potatoes.
Bake for a further 35 minutes.

Pappa al Pomodoro (Italian Bread Crusts And Tomato Soup), 32p – VEGAN

Jack Monroe

Pappa al Pomodoro, or in other words, Bread-Crust-And-Tomato-Soup... Pappa al Pomodoro, or in other words, Bread-Crust-And-Tomato-Soup…

I love a good tomato soup, and quite often with the humble tomato, simplicity is key. So imagine my delight, yesterday evening, idly leafing through the iconic River Café Cookbook (Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers), and finding a recipe for Pappa al Pomodoro. I’d never heard of it, but fell in love instantly – garlic, salt, herbs, tomatoes and a little bread. Of course, the original calls for fresh tomatoes in late summer, and ‘open-textured white bread made with olive oil, such as Pugliese’, given that The River Café is famous for tremendously good Italian cooking (and was home to a fledgling Jamie Oliver, Sam and Sam Clark of Moro and many many other great chefs of our time). Alas, although my other half (also a River Café chef in her youth) is fond of the odd Pugliese, I’m not about to…

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Carrot, cumin & kidney bean burgers, 10p (VEGAN)

Jack Monroe

Photography by Susan Bell. Photography by Susan Bell.

This burger is where the media storm began, and dubbed ‘the 9p burger’ because of the low cost of the ingredients used to make it, it’s one of my most popular recipes. A can of value range red kidney beans is a cheap but excellent source of protein and I built a lot of my early cooking around it, and they became a firm staple in my household. I triple the recipe to make a batch of them, and freeze them in patties to whip out at a moment’s notice and fry on a low heat. I’ve updated the price list on this recipe to reflect the sad rise in the cost of basic and budget ingredients over the last two years, they’re not 9p burgers any more, but they are still incredibly cheap. I like mine best in a pitta bread (22p for 6) and…

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Oh-so-creamy cannelini and fennel pasta sauce, 24p (VEGAN)

Looks good try it on Grace

Jack Monroe

Softy softy creamy creamy garlicky sweet deliciousness... I'm a bit in love with this one... Softy softy creamy creamy garlicky sweet deliciousness… I’m a bit in love with this one…

This recipe started life as an idea for a vegan white sauce for a future-lentil-lasagne (for new readers, I’m not a practising vegan, my wife-to-be has a pig restaurant, but a lot of my recipes happen to be vegan and I have a loyal core of vegan readers, so I wanted to make a conscious effort this year to cook at least as many vegan or easy-to-veganise recipes as I did meat ones, hence the recent flurry of pulses!). Anyway, I woke up this morning and started tinkering with a can of cannelinis, and ended up with something so soft and creamy and comforting that all it needs is a spoon over some warm pasta, and the future-lentil-lasagne will have to wait. And next time anyone asks where you get your protein from in a…

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Mexican-style lime cupcakes

Diamond in the Ashes

Well…I say mexican but the only reason I say that is because I’ve made these for my mexican themed party which I’m having for my birthday.

I made these as a test, and after not being able to find a good british lime cupcake recipe on the internet, I thought I would share the recipe I used- adapted from my fave lemon cupcake recipe.

Also my cases were a present from Australia…literally the perfect gift for me (easily amused). But I’m sure they are probably available in the UK but might take a bit of searching.

Lime Cupcakes diamondintheashes

Makes 12 regular cupcakes


  1. 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  2. 235g caster sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 150g self raising flour, sifted
  5. 125g plain flour, sifted
  6. 90ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
  7. 1 tablespoon sour cream
  8. 2 tablespoons lime juice, squeezed from a lime
  9. Grated zest of 1 lime
  10. 1/2 a tube of Dr Oatker…

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Roasted carrot, chickpea and garlic soup, 26p (VEGAN)

Jack Monroe

A soup that's like a great big comforting hug... Yes please. A soup that’s like a great big comforting hug… Yes please.

I woke up this morning craving a carrot soup – it’s all rock and roll round here these days. I’m a bit snuffly around the edges at the moment, sore throat and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself, and still limping around tragically on a still-broken left foot. This may be the most self-pitying recipe introduction to date. But basically, I fancied something warm, and sweet, and comforting, and easy to do. Something I could fling in the oven and forget about, and get something good inside. Carrot led to roast carrot, and garlic, and some chickpeas for protein and good measure – and the result is a subtly spiced, hearty, sweet and delicious soup. It’s like the soup equivalent of a cuddle, this one. And suitable for all my lovely vegan readers, too. Hurrah.

Serves 4 at…

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Creamy mustard chicken with winter veg, £1.06

Jack Monroe

by Susan Bell for A Girl Called Jack by Susan Bell for A Girl Called Jack

This hearty, saucy dish is delicious in the winter, served with root vegetables and rice or mashed potatoes, or in the summer, with green vegetables and tossed over pasta. Any mustard will do for this – I keep English in the fridge, but wholegrain or any other sort will work fine. Use this recipe as a base, and adapt as you wish.

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite (eg serves 2 adults and 2 toddlers in my house, with rice on the side)

4 tablespoons oil (vegetable or sunflower will do), 8p
4 chicken thigh fillets, £3.60 for free range (personal choice, I know not everyone can afford it so there are cheaper options available, but I’m honest about what I use)
1 large onion (approx 150g), 9p
1 large carrot (approx 100g), 8p
1 teaspoon English mustard, 2p
500ml chicken or vegetable…

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Mum’s Apricot (Cinnamon) Tart.

Preparation Time approx 15 min
Cooking Time 25 min
Serves 16 portions

6oz self-raising flour
4oz margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon mixed spice
3oz caster sugar
1 egg
Apricot jam

Rub margarine into flour, add sugar and spice, some beaten egg ( you probably won’t need all of it) until mixture becomes a dough. Divide into 4, grease and flour two sandwich tins. Line each tin with 1/4 mixture, spread with jam, cover with another 1/4 of mixture. Bake in a moderate oven (180°C) for 25 mins. Cool before turning out, dust with icing sugar.

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