Posted in American Cuisine, Barbecue, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Greek, Indian, Thai & Chinese Cuisine, Italian Cuisine, Mediterranean, Oven, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Turkish Cuisine

Basic Meatball / Burger Mixture


This is a basic recipe that can be used to make all kinds of meatballs or burgers.  In Turkey we like our Köfte, which are meatballs flattened into small discs.  In Italian and Indian cooking I tend to roll the meatballs into small balls.  You can even put small cubes of cheese in the middle of the balls which are especially nice when cooked in a tomato sauce and served with spaghetti. This is my husband’s recipe which he learned from his mother.


500 g minced beef

1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs (if using freshly ground – only use half a cup if using fine breadcrumbs bought in the shop or it will be too dry)

1 egg

1 onion (finely grated)

1 tsp cumin

A pinch of thyme

Salt & pepper

A pinch of hot chilli flakes (optional)


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hand.  Knead it for a good few minutes then form into a ball.

Now you can pull off small amounts to form into meatballs which you can freeze for later or cook straight away.  You can also divide up larger amounts to make burgers too.

Posted in American Cuisine, Beef Dishes, British Cuisine, Casseroles, Potato Dishes, Uncategorized

Beef Stew (second variety)



450 g (1/2 kilo) diced beef

1 tbsp olive oil

2 beef stock cubes (I used oxo)

750 ml boiling water

2 tsp mixed herbs (I used rosemary/thyme and oregano)

2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)

3 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 leeks (white part) cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tsps cornstarch

2 tsps cold water

2 tbsp gravy granules


Brown off the beef in the oil for 4-5 minutes or until brown.

Put the beef into a stew pot (I am using a deep terracotta pot).  Mix the stock cubes with the hot water and pour over the beef. Add the herbs then cover and cook at  about 180 c in the oven for about an hour.

Stir potatoes, carrots and leek into the pot.

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tsps of cold water and stir into the stew.

Cover and simmer 1 hour more.

Mix the gravy granules in a bowl with some of the juice from the stew then re add to stew and cook a further 20-30 minutes.


Posted in Casseroles, Lamb Dishes, Turkish Cuisine

Apricot & Cinnamon Lamb Casserole

peach cinnamon lamb casserole

This is an Eastern Turkish recipe I found from a Turkish housewives site (forget the name of it now)…


1 tbsp margarine (or oil) for frying

300g diced lamb

2 cinnamon sticks

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

1 cup water


3 dried apricots

1 tsp grated ginger

1 clove of garlic (crushed)

½ an onion (finely chopped)

½ tbsp flour


Marinade the lamb with all the spices ın room temperature for 30 minutes.

In a separate bowl, place the apricots and add enough boiling water to just cover them.

Put margarine/oil in a pan, heat then brown off the lamb.

Add the onion and garlic and stir until browned.

Add the flour and fry for 1-2 minutes.  Now add the ginger.

Add water to the same level of lamb (not too much) then dice and add the apricots.  Place the cinnamon sticks in the pan.

Simmer for 1 hour (check water while cooking and stir as necessary.  Add more boiled water if too thick.


Serve along with rice.

Posted in British Cuisine, Casseroles, Pork

Sausage & bacon with cherry tomatoes casserole


This is the updated version of my sausage casserole recipe.  This recipe will feed 3-4 people, but you can add more of the main ingredients such as the sausage and cherry tomatoes if cooking for a larger group.


1-2 tbsp olive oil

8 pork sausages

4 rashers streaky bacon

2 medium onions (thinly sliced)

2 garlic cloves (crushed)

A handful of mushrooms, halved

1 tsp chilli powder

A handful of cherry tomatoes sliced in half

300ml chicken stock

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp mixed dried herbs (or fresh herbs)

100ml red or white wine (or water)

400g butter beans or kidney beans (or even mixed beans)

Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the sausages until browned then put in a casserole dish.

Fry the bacon pieces until they are also browned and then put with the sausages in the casserole dish.

Put the onions in the frying pan and fry on a medium heat for about 5 minutes (until soft and browned).  A little more oil may be needed.

Now put the mushrooms, garlic and the cherry tomatoes in with the onions and fry for a few minutes more, then pour the contents of the frying pan into the casserole dish.

Sprinkle the chilli powder, brown sugar and herbs over the contents of the casserole dish and stir in the chicken stock, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce.

Drain the beans and rinse in cold water.  Stir them into the casserole dish along with the wine (or water), put the lid on and cook in the oven for about 25-30 minutes at 180c.

Season to taste.  Allow to sit 5-10 minutes before serving.


Serve with either mashed potato or rice and some nice fresh chunky bread on the side.