Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    What secret/special ingredient do you add to certain food/dishes?
    • #1
    • 1st Feb 09, 8:53 PM
    What secret/special ingredient do you add to certain food/dishes? 1st Feb 09 at 8:53 PM
    Hi all,

    I was wondering if everyone would like to share any special ingredient/s that you may add to certain foods.

    For example mine is:

    2tbsp of desicated coconut and 1 tsp of chutney to curry
    a splash of worcester sauce to bolognaise sauce.
    and for juicy sweet carrots after steaming/boiling add a squirt of syrup and knob of butter.

    They are not secret ingredients as such but while cooking one day I found the above to make a big difference taste wise.

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Deborah; 03-02-2009 at 6:20 PM.
Page 1
  • voiceofreason
    • #2
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:30 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:30 PM
    Bolognaise sauce - a big teaspoon of sugar and a tablespoon of red-wine vinegar to stir through just before serving.

    Makes the tomato flavour sing
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 1st Feb 09, 9:33 PM
    • 2,629 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    • #3
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:33 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:33 PM
    I always add half a teaspoon of sugar to peas and to dishes with a tomato base. This was passed on to me by my Mum

    I 'hide' lots of veg in bolognese's, stews & soups and lentils too. For a bolognese I chop the veg in the food processor then put it in with the onions & the kids never notice
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
  • rach
    • #4
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:47 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:47 PM
    balsamic vinegar in spag bol & chilli
    star anise in spag bol
    Mum to gorgeous baby boy born Sept 2010
    • Francesanne
    • By Francesanne 1st Feb 09, 9:52 PM
    • 2,015 Posts
    • 2,101 Thanks
    • #5
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:52 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:52 PM
    I like to add a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard to my bolognaise sauce.
    Gives it a bit of oomph.
    • tanith
    • By tanith 1st Feb 09, 9:54 PM
    • 7,982 Posts
    • 8,589 Thanks
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:54 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Feb 09, 9:54 PM
    Two squares of Dark Chocolate into Chilli Con Carne makes it delice..
    #6 of the SKI-ers Club

    "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke
  • *Maya*
    • #7
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:04 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:04 PM
    Add small amount of English mustard to cheese sauce. Theres no taste from the mustard but it enhances the cheese flavour and you can use less cheese. Money saving and less fattening.
    • bunty109
    • By bunty109 1st Feb 09, 10:06 PM
    • 1,227 Posts
    • 3,295 Thanks
    • #8
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:06 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:06 PM
    Stick of cinammon in my chilli con carne. You don't notice it in there, but when I make it without, I notice it isn't there! (and I don't really go a bundle on cinammon!)
    MFW 2019#24 4383.52/20000 MFW 2018#24 23025.41/15000
    MFi3 v5 #53
    MFi3 v4 #53 59442/39387
  • Bettyboop
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:12 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 09, 10:12 PM
    What great tips so far. So far everything mentioned I never thought to try. Someone told me to baste pork chops in mustard and that tasted awful.
    • gremlin
    • By gremlin 1st Feb 09, 10:14 PM
    • 1,128 Posts
    • 1,513 Thanks
    Im veggie and for any meals using quorn/soya type ingredients I always add a few splashes of Hendersons relish.

    For those not familiar with it its like a veggie alternative to worcester sauce.

    It gives a nice meaty richness to meals that you dont normally get without meat.

    I also add mustard to cheesy meals - I agree that it brings out the cheesiness without tasting it (and I dont like the taste of mustard)
    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye" - Miss Piggy
    • bunty109
    • By bunty109 1st Feb 09, 10:28 PM
    • 1,227 Posts
    • 3,295 Thanks
    I do a sauce for pork chops using mustard that's lovely......1 tablespoon of mustard powder; 2 of brown sugar (darker the better) and 3 of orange juice (although I usually up this).
    MFW 2019#24 4383.52/20000 MFW 2018#24 23025.41/15000
    MFi3 v5 #53
    MFi3 v4 #53 59442/39387
    • kitschkitty
    • By kitschkitty 1st Feb 09, 10:30 PM
    • 3,107 Posts
    • 5,043 Thanks
    mustard powder in cheese scone mix too!

    fizzy water or beer etc when making batter so it is lighter and crispier!

    white chocolate in custard so it sets better in a trifle.

    a few slices of chopped streaky bacon in bolognese.

    Chopped carrots in chili for added sweetness.

    Worcester sauce in mince and gravy/cottage pie/shepherds pie etc, also baked beans and their "juice" to bulk it out (and tastes yummy)!

    Balsamic vinegar on beetroot rather than buying it pickled (and never buy the prepacked stuff if there's any chemicals added as it tastes horrid)!

    Dijon mustard mixed with mayo for a change in sandwiches, also works for coleslaw, and on many jacket spud fillings etc.

    Add 1 chopped/cubed cooked pork escalope/chop to a tin of Tuscan bean soup (Asda good for you range 35p) to make a main meal of pork and bean casserole! (nice served with a jacket spud if really hungry)!
    Last edited by kitschkitty; 01-02-2009 at 10:33 PM.
    A waist is a terrible thing to mind.
    • maman
    • By maman 1st Feb 09, 10:32 PM
    • 19,541 Posts
    • 116,878 Thanks
    I use Dijon mustard to add to my cheese sauce. To gravy I add all and anything to make it more tasty. Tonight to my lamb gravy I added (because I could) some cranberry sauce, red wine, marmite and a splash of Worcestershre sauce. Generally to gravy I add the marmite and a small amount of relevant stock cube and some red wine (got it frozen from leftovers). With some meats there are bits of stuffing in the baking tin but otherwise I often sprinkle over some dried thyme.
    • beautiful_ravens
    • By beautiful_ravens 1st Feb 09, 10:38 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 2,874 Thanks
    I have a battery of soup and packet mixes (the ones by scwartz or colmans etc like chilli con carne/beef stroganof/chicken chasseur, or leek and chicken soup and so on) and whatever Im cooking gets a sprinkle of this and a dash of that ...
    eg. Today, we had what was a chicken chasseur, which the kids got, but before I dished up mine and OH's I put in the last of a packet of chicken fahjita mix, and we had an almost chicken curry. Ive used a cheese sauce mix in bolognaise, and various packet mixes in sausage casseroles, especially shepherds pie..!!! This is all hob cooking BTW, not casseroles.
    I think alot of those packet mixes have pretty similar ingredients, but I use them very sparingly - theres usually several open at once and I just make everything up as I go along! I use them in pretty much the same way as a stock cube, just chuck a bit in and give it a few minutes to cook in.

    Next thing I'll try is to see whether cup-a-soup packets can be used in the same way. because I LOVE CROUTONS!!

    We always have mayo & mustard in our cheese/ham sarnies.
    ''A moment's thinking is an hour in words.'' -Thomas Hood
  • luckys mum
    I wash out the leftover HP sauce in the bottle and add it to cottage pie, just below the mashed potato
  • Olliebeak
    I wash out the leftover HP sauce in the bottle and add it to cottage pie, just below the mashed potato
    Originally posted by luckys mum
    awwwwww my secret ingredient is no secret any more ! Have always used a dollop of HP in my cottage pie gravy - very yummy !!
    • mioliere
    • By mioliere 2nd Feb 09, 4:42 AM
    • 6,827 Posts
    • 71,655 Thanks
    I always add half a teaspoon of Marmite to stews and casseroles and, to most meat dishes, I add half a tsp of sugar and around half a tsp of Natco's indian seasoning (I get mine from the Co-op, on the Indian foods counter and my last one cost just 49p for a packet which lasts for ages and really adds that 'something')

    Squares: 11, Animal blankets: 2
  • kunekune
    I add bacon and chopped chicken liver to bolognese, also a bit of cream at the end.
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : 129,600
    Overpayments to date: 3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
    • By MRSTITTLEMOUSE 2nd Feb 09, 7:09 AM
    • 8,080 Posts
    • 19,560 Thanks
    I use mushroom ketchup/marmite/hendersons relish in any veggie mince recipes although not always together.
    I use a real chocolate essence in chilli,it's realy strong and adding even the darkest chocolate does'nt give the smoothness the essence does.
    Port goes in stews.Gives it a lovely flavour.
    Mustard and paprka in cheese sauce.
    Honey and mustard with sausages makes a lovely sauce.
    Smoked paparka,just pinch goes lovely with sauces for sausages ect.too.
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    I always add some A1 american steak sauce and a tin of baked beans to my Shepherds Pie meat.
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

116Posts Today

2,100Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next?

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin