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I can't cook, can you help please?

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Comments

  • rygon
    rygon Posts: 748 Forumite
    The way i make cottage pie, is to brown the beef (with cracked black pepper) and chopped onions in a frying pan. Add it to a cooking dish (with the juices). Add frozen veg. Make some instant gravy (add some tomato ketchup as well...sometime i put spices like cayanne pepper to add a bit of heat) and pour over the top. Make some mash up from spud (little bit of butter and milk). i try and keep the mash slightly dry as it picks up quite a bit of moisture from the gravy. grate some cheese on top and bung it in the oven until cheese has gone golden.
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
  • HappyIdiotTalk
    HappyIdiotTalk Posts: 1,443 Forumite

    The cottage pie wasn't great to be honest. I might skip that for a few weeks, the gravy was too runny but had floury lumps in, the mince was mushy and the carrots a bit underdone. So, not a great success but I do have the lunchtime bread triumph to focus on.


    Dont wait too long before you make another one! Learn from your mistakes and correct them before you forget. They'll just get better and better.

    That said I've been making tomato sauces for paste for about 6 years now, and I must have made hundreds of them. I can knock up fairly decent one's now, but I'm still trying to master it and make the perfect sauce everytime. Its a long process!
    SIMPLE SIMON - Met a pie man going to the fair. Said Simple Simon to the pie man, "What have you got there?" Said the pie man unto Simon, "Pies, you simpleton!"
  • debtworrier
    debtworrier Posts: 250 Forumite
    Well, we're still alive after last night's chicken. I kept checking it, it went from raw in the middle to cooked but a little dry. But, it wasn't too bad. I gave up on the cous cous to be honest and made jacket potatoes instead which actually turned out lovely. So, all together the meal wasn't a total disaster, I was quite proud of myself actually.

    Well done! :T

    I love couscous, but you did the right thing if you're not happy with something: think "oh the hell with it" and do what you want to do! It's the joy of making your own meals.
  • Stephen_Leak
    Stephen_Leak Posts: 8,762 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    The cottage pie wasn't great to be honest.

    At least a man from the council didn't come around and condemn it.
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
  • Psykicpup
    Psykicpup Posts: 1,398 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    The potatoes are cooking at the moment for the cottage pie. I think it's going to be ok, but, when ever I cook meat in my slow cooker it goes too soft, the mince is a bit mushy if that makes sense? Am I cooking it too long?

    It might be the mince - I get the same thing if I use 'value' mince & I also find it cooks down to a lot less than I expected - I try to only use mince from the butchers now as its much coarser ground - ccant say I've ever used my slow cooker for cottage pie so cant comment on that

    I have a couple of easy recipes that come out great everytime if you would like...? pm me or just ask on here...
    I THINK is a whole sentence, not a replacement for I Know



    Supermarket Rebel No 19:T
  • seashore321
    seashore321 Posts: 1,027 Forumite
    When you first make your own Yorkshires you will be soooo thrilled there is nothing to be scard of> The main thing with yorkshires is the fat must be smoking when you put the batter in to it. The minute the batter drops in it will start to cook, then you know it is the right temperature try with individuals but just one in a lasagne type tray is easier as you can cut it into slices which are different.

    Always let the batter for your yorkshire pudding mix stand for at least 1/2 an hour preferably in the fridge as it reacts quicker with the oil. I always find that adding a slurp of beer helps to make it lighter.

    Keep trying I think you are probably already finding that cooking can be fun!!
  • mrbadexample
    mrbadexample Posts: 10,805 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    My tip is to continually post on here whilst you're cooking, so you can get prompt help when the unexpected happens. :D

    Then, at least, when it all goes wrong you have someone else to blame. :rotfl:

    Seriously though, if this lot can help me, you ought to be a doddle. :p
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • mrbadexample
    mrbadexample Posts: 10,805 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Photogenic
    Thanks so much for the Mr BE thread, I've been reading it for hours and I'm going to try the chocolate yoghurt cake tomorrow. I went through the same tin dilemma today, I got 2 20cm tins... are they any good? I also got some of that silicone sheeting stuff.

    Mr BE is right, this OS thing is costing me a fortune, but I'm really having fun.

    Sorry, they are a little long-winded! :rolleyes: When you make the CYC, add an extra spoonful of cocoa powder, as it's not quite chocolatey enough in the original recipe. I just used the one tin - the big one. It's dead easy. ;)

    Try not to run before you can crawl. Your proposed menu looked a bit ambitious! :eek: Get to grips with one dish at a time, and build up from there. My stew thread is bombproof for the slow cooker, and, IMHO, better than cottage pie. :D
    If you lend someone a tenner and never see them again, it was probably worth it.
  • Stephen_Leak
    Stephen_Leak Posts: 8,762 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    The gravy was too runny but had floury lumps

    Stew and dumplings?
    The carrots (were) a bit underdone.

    Have you ever had to suffer a meal at a really posh restaurant? You are lucky if the vegetables have been shown a picture of an Aga!
    The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in my life. :)
  • debtworrier
    debtworrier Posts: 250 Forumite
    Thanks so much for the Mr BE thread, I've been reading it for hours and I'm going to try the chocolate yoghurt cake tomorrow. I went through the same tin dilemma today, I got 2 20cm tins... are they any good? I also got some of that silicone sheeting stuff.

    Mr BE is right, this OS thing is costing me a fortune, but I'm really having fun.

    The cottage pie wasn't great to be honest. I might skip that for a few weeks, the gravy was too runny but had floury lumps in, the mince was mushy and the carrots a bit underdone. So, not a great success but I do have the lunchtime bread triumph to focus on.

    You're doing great Ms Scarlett - you should have seen some of the burned, chewy and lumpy things I've quietly put out of their misery while I was learning!

    My big mistake when thickening sauces was that I thought you just sprinkled the flour on and stirred it in - instant lumps!

    The best thing I've found for thickening something hot is cornflour (you don't have to cook it for ages to get rid of that nasty floury taste). Here's how I do it:

    1. Ladle or spoon off about half a pint of the liquid you want to thicken into a plastic jug. Put it on one side to cool a little.

    2. Spoon a couple of teaspoons of cornflour into a teacup. (I like my gravy quite runny, so you may want to use more.)

    3. Add a little slurp of *cold* water (about 1 or 2 dessertspoons of water, but it's not critical.)

    4. Mix into a runny paste (the cornflour will sometimes go sort of 'hard' under the surface of the water. Just keep prodding it and it will mix in.)

    5. Once it's all mixed in, keep stirring and pour in about a teaspoonful of the hot liquid. Repeat with a slightly larger amount *stirring the cornflour mix all the time*.

    6. Now, still stirring the cornflour, you can pour in about half a teacupful of the liquid from the jug.

    7. Now, stirring the liquid in the jug, pour the contents of your teacup into the jug. Keep stirring for a moment so that you're sure it's well stirred in.

    8. Now pour the jug back into the saucepan, casserole or whatever. Stir it a little just to mix things together.

    Once it comes back up to the boil/simmer, it's thickened and done.

    This sounds like a lot of faffing about, but once you've done it a time or two it's no trouble really. And no lumps either! :D
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