With a gale blowing outside, it was time to cook up some comfort food. No ingredient was safe as I ransacked the kitchen.
I boiled some potatoes, and mashed ’em with butter. Then I drained and tipped tinned kidney beans into a pan with a raw beetroot, cubed, and mushrooms, sliced. Plus a palmful of dried roasted buckwheat for earthiness (thanks, Chloe) and sliced fresh chilli, some salt and ground cinnamon for perkiness.
Once cooked (beetroot cubes still crunchy, or al dente), I poured the kidney bean mush into a greased casserole dish and forked the mashed potato on top, dotting it with butter. Then baked it in the oven for 40 minutes at a medium heat.
The dish looks dramatically red but there’s nary a tomato in sight – the colour is all down to the beautiful beetroot (and those kidney beans). And the minimalist amount I put on the plate for the dish’s photo shoot bears absolutely no relation to the amount I wolfed down.
UK food prices are soaring, and meat and dairy most of all. So if I had slowed on the butter, this would have been a topical economy dish.
But saving money on food should not be about depriving oneself, I think, but making good ingredients go further. So a bit of butter makes things better – especially when the winds are howling.