cookery chat with david and sandra biddle 2

cookery chat with david & sandra biddle

2: baked beano, corned beef & potato

herb gardenIt amazes us how wonderful some boats look with the addition of home grown pots of flowers. Many also have small herb pots. This is a great way to add flavour to your food at very little cost if growing from seed. We think the following herbs are essential and if you can this year or next try to start cultivating these.

Basil, coriander, mint, chive and coriander – you can even buy kits in cute little boxes, albeit a little expensive.

With these herbs you can add them to meals straight from the plant. You can even pick and then dry them, especially sage and thyme and then store them in air sealed containers. (We treated ourselves to small Kinder jars from IKEA for this purpose). We would also suggest growing your own garlic – dead easy to do.

Last month we also talked about spicy food. We grind most of our own spices as we need them for our various recipes. We find powder spices lose their pungency over time.

The essential spices you should try and keep on board are the following:

Black pepper, bay leaves, cardomons, cinnamon, curry leaves, fennel seeds, Mustard seeds, coriander seeds and leaves, Turmeric powder, chilli, Cumin, Fenugreek seeds and leaves, ginger (fresh if possible) garlic (fresh if possible).

Curry powder and Garam Masala can be made from the above to your own tastes if you have a grinder. We will be covering the blends for this at a later date.

Other items that should be in your larder or fridge are - basmati rice, lentils, tins of tomatoes, yoghurt and salt.

Over the next few months we will be using most of the items in the boat larder, so it will be worth getting the above on board. We always find it so frustrating that you get half way through a recipe and then find an ingredient missing. Being on a boat you can’t always just ‘nip’ down to the shops.
Recipes of the Month

This month, rather than tying you to the cooker with a complicated dish we have gone simple with these two, one a great lunchtime snack and the other an evening meal.

Savoury Snack - Baked Beano


  • Tin of Beans
  • 2 slices of Bread
  • Tin of Corned Beef
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Worcestershire sauce

What to do

Toast both slices of bread, then butter lightly, top with slices of corned beef making sure you cover right to the edges. Heat beans up and then drain beans slightly using a slotted spoon and layer onto the corned beef toast. Top then with grated cheese and sprinkle lightly with Worcestershire sauce.

Now place under a grill until the cheese is bubbling and then serve on a plate pouring over the remaining bean juice. Beautiful, tasty and simple.

Savoury Corned Beef and Potato


  • Tin of Corned Beef
  • Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Beef stock – 2 OXO cubes in a half cup of hot water

What to do

Butter an oven proof dish then with crushed garlic go round the dish. Slice potatoes thinly and layer on the base, then layer with thinly sliced onion and top with sliced corned beef. Do this again until a quarter of an inch from the top of your dish. Pour over the beef stock. Cook at a medium heat in the oven for 30 minutes – take out and cover with grated cheese and sliced tomatoes. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with vegetables – we usually serve it with baked beans!