Tuesday 1 December 2015

It All Begins With A Chopped Onion

Hello, thank you for dropping in here, you are very welcome.  Thank you to all of you who left such encouraging comments about my WIPs on my last post - I had hoped to have finished them all off by now but I have been a tad distracted, so I can't do any showing-and-telling yet, but it won't be long.

In the meantime, I'd like to show you a frugal dinner which we have just about once a week.  It's cheap, nutritious, tasty, quick to knock up and versatile, which all adds up to it being a Very Useful Recipe.  I know that lot's of people have recipes like this so here's my version.

Here are the ingredients -

1 onion, peeled and chopped quite finely
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed (or very finely chopped)
smoked bacon lardons (entirely optional: if I don't have them, I leave them out)
1 tin of mixed beans in water
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
dried green herbs
black pepper
This is what I do -
1. Heat a lug of oil in a pan until it's medium hot, tip in the onions, garlic and bacon lardons if
    you are using them, turn the heat right down and gently cook until the onion is soft and
    translucent.  This will take about 15 minutes.

2  Empty the tin of beans into a colander and rinse all the gloop off under running water 
    before you add the beans to the pan. 
3  Add the tomatoes and herbs - I used oregano but rosemary, thyme or mixed herbs are 
    also good.  I also add a splash of alcohol (cooking sherry) if I have it, then grind in the
    pepper and give it all a good stir.
4. Increase the heat under the pan, bring it up to a simmer, put the lid on and let it gently
    putter away unattended for about 10 minutes.  It's all cooked, you are simply trying to
    meld it all together.

That's it!  I serve it with rice.  This quantity serves two hungry adults but if there are three of us, I use a larger tin of beans and a bit more liquid - plain water is fine; four of us and it's two tins of beans, etc.  If I'm not using the bacon, I add a very small amount of salt.  If you make it in the morning, let it cool and then reheat it in the evening, it tastes even better.
I hope to see you again soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x


  1. An old favourite, I like it with chopped basil. Take care.

    1. Ooh yes, I love basil with tomato, it's a match made in heaven. x

  2. Where would we be without tinned tomatoes and beans! You can get so many types of beans now too. I made a tomato soup with tinned tomatoes and the recipe suggested putting in cubes of bread to thicken it. I overdid the bread though and it turned out somewhat solid! Tasty though! x

    1. Absolutely. So much easier with tinned beans than the old days when we had to soak them overnight and then boil them for hours. I like the sound of the bread, might have to try that. x

  3. I love meals like this! I agree that canned tomatoes and bean are a life saver, use them all the time.

    1. I don't know where I'd be without them either. And they are SO cheap! x

  4. Sometimes the simplest meals are the best. We had leftover ribs and sweet potatoes last night, and it was delicious.

    1. Leftovers are fab, I think the fridge time often gives the flavours a chance to develop. x

  5. Sounds delicious, I love things like this! xx

  6. This looks soooo good! Stick to the ribs delicious! Thanks for sharing! x Karen

    1. You are welcome, Karen. It really is delicious. x