Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Cowboy Pie

When I was a small boy, my godmother, who I now realise was very short of money, used to make her daughter and me Cowboy Pie. I remember thinking of this as a treat, real childrens food. It is only now, as an adult, that I realise what a frugal dish this is, made, literally for a few pence. I also realise that this is not the original version, recipes for which you can find on the internet, but these contain a lot more ingredients. Having tried it again recently I find that it is still a nice, comfort food sort of dish, and can make a few meals for under a pound.
Put 2 cans of baked beans in a casserole dish. Usually I shy away from value range beans, but for this dish they are fine. Mash up some potatoes with milk and plenty of butter and season well. Put the mash on top of the beans and smooth out. On top of this grate plenty of cheddar cheese for a nice thick layer. Put in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes.
That really is it. OK, not the most exciting meal, but plenty tasty enough. Plus, when you really want to budget one week, well, like I say, the whole thing comes in for a pound. Can also be served with a couple of sausages. or you could maybe try adding some spices to the beans to liven it up. Chilli powder or cayenne perhaps.


  1. I used to make something similar for my kids in the past, and sometimes mixed in some left over veg from a meal the night before. I hate food waste. This would use up what was not eaten, the next day. The kids used to love it.

  2. I will do anything to avoid food waste. It seems so basic to me. I think growing your own makes you begin to understand what has gone into the production of food and so you take care to waste none of it.

  3. Frugal food rocks my world. Anything with beans and corn gets me all culinarily overexcited. Yummy food, cheap to make, filling and healthy. Woweeee