Go on, ask someone what they want for dinner. Just now, before you go any further. The four most common answers (based entirely on a tweet I heard yesterday) are:
- I don’t know
Okay, so these last 2 are actually my sister-in-law’s signature dishes and what tends to be served most commonly in their house.
Anyway, I am here to provide a simple recipe that can be used whenever any of the 4 above are requested…
Vegetables – whatever you happen to have in the cupboard. 2 or 3 different ones, for preference, but if all you’ve got is spuds then go with it.
Meat – something. Anything. That rabbit your neighbor ran over would do at a pinch. Next door’s dog if it really annoys you. That cat from down the road that keeps raiding your bins.
Store cupboard – chicken stock, olive oil, herbs, spices, whatever.
Bread – to mop up the juices.
Dice the veg, stick on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil (or veg oil if that’s your bag), sprinkle of salt, grate of pepper, some cumin seeds if you’ve got them, any fresh(ish) herbs that happen to be lying around.
Oven to 220C, roast for 20-30 minutes, agitating after 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, large frying pan onto a medium heat, good-sized knob of butter and cook the meat until it’s done. Should give off plenty of juice. If not, add some more butter.
Take the meat out of the pan, put it on a plate in the oven under the veg for the last 5 minutes. Tablespoon of flour into the pan, add a pint of chicken stock and whisk until it boils and thickens.
Divide equally among however many people are eating, meat on one side of the plate, veg on the other, gravy poured over the lot. Slice of bread on the side for mopping up.
Don’t do the meat or the gravy.
If you’ve got the time
Or the patience, or the inclination (which, frankly, if people can’t be bothered thinking what they want for dinner I wouldn’t have) you could do a quick mayo to go with the veg instead of/as well as the gravy…
- 1 egg
- Vegetable oil
- White wine vinegar
- Mustard powder
Crack the egg into the tall, thin mixing jug that comes with one of those stick-blenders. Top up to the 200ml mark with veg oil, add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of mustard powder.
Put the stick blender in right to the bottom of this frankly unpromising mix and turn on.
Slowly raise the blender to the top of the mix – watch as mayo magic happens!
Seriously, this is quick, simple and magic. All that rubbish about adding oil slowly and whisking until your arm falls off is absolute nonsense. I’m sure I’ve blogged about this little trick before but I couldn’t find it. If anyone spots it elsewhere on the blog, please let me know!