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A new recipe review today. It’s always refreshing to experiment with something you haven’t cooked before (that the kids will also enjoy) and this one originates from the North East of England. I get the feeling that historically, it was a peasant meal that could be put together ‘cheaply’ to feed a large family or a bunch of hungry workers. It’s probably as simple as simple gets, but, this version includes bacon which you all know, in my opinion can jazz up the most mundane of dishes. Thus, it made it on to the blog.

Dan found ‘Pan Haggerty’ in our new Hairy Bikers cookbook ‘Mums Know Best’ (which of course they do). We had most of the vegetables already left over from previous dinners, so we gave it a go. It’s a book that is brimming with ideas for comforting, family fare. Nothing too fancy, but let’s be honest, sometimes a big cuddle on a plate is all you want. Lots of family recipes, some of which are fairly quick and easy to prepare, which is often a blessing during the week. The full ingredients list and cooking method can be found on the BBC Food page here.

To make this meal (serves four) you will need:
– One tablespoon of oil
– A packet of back bacon
– Six medium sized potatoes (peeled and cut into rounds)
– Five carrots (peeled and sliced)
– Two onions (peeled and sliced)
– 500ml of chicken stock
– 150g of grated cheddar cheese
– Salt and black pepper

Here it is ready to be served (we cooked ours in a pot as opposed to a frying pan as we don’t currently own a frying pan lid!):

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I wasn’t expecting too much from this plate in light of the limited ingredients, but having said that, it was a pleasant change. However, I would say two things. For optimum taste and enjoyment, you really need to buy smoked back bacon and you also need a good quality, mature cheddar for the topping. These little touches really make a difference and transform it from being your every day meat and two veg, to something rather more-ish (not to mention filling!)

A little extra tip – Dan took off some of the broth a few minutes before it was fully cooked and transferred it to another saucepan on the hob to reduce. He also melted in a knob of butter. We then poured a little over each helping, which worked wonders to enhance the flavours.

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