The Boy doesn't really read the weekend papers. In fact, he doesn't really read the paper at all. This is a source of amazement to me: how does he know what is going on in the world?
For me, the weekend papers are a ritual and a treat. Two hours on the sofa with the Sunday Times, a cup of English Breakfast and a slab of cake, is time well spent.
This weekend, though, when I returned from the queue at Fabrique Bakery, laden with cinnamon buns, he pointed at an article by Carole Bamford, of the (very lovely) Daylesford Farm Shops, in the Saturday Telegraph and said 'I want to make this [beef brisket and lentils]. And this [Pan Haggerty]'.
Well, I made the beef brisket on Friday night and, you know, it was fine. But the Pan Haggerty has two major things going for it:
1. The name. Pan Haggerty. What's not to love? It sounds, as The Boy said, like a character from an 80s kids' movie. Ol' Pan Haggerty, whose garden is so overgrown you'd be scared to rescue your ball but who turns out to be none other than Professor Patrick Haggerty, world expert in the obscure hieroglyphics on the map those pesky kids have found.
2. The taste. It's not a looker, Ol' Pan, but what it lacks in refinement, it makes up for in yumminess. Potato. Cheese. Bacon. Onion. You can't lose, really, can you?
The original recipe gave instructions for making the mayonnaise from scratch but, to be honest, I couldn't be bothered, so below is my own loose approximation which was excellent - sharp and tangy, cutting right through the creaminess of the potato and cheese.
Perfect Sunday night (or Bank Holiday Monday night) fare.
Printed in the Telegraph but taken, I think, from A Love for Food by Carole Bamford.
Serves 4 (or 2 with 1 chunky cake left over in the fridge to fry the following night)
For the Pan Haggerty:
75g Smoked Bacon
150g Cheddar Cheese
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbsp fresh parsley
For the mayonnaise:
3 tbsp Mayonnaise
2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
2 tsp Capers
1 tbsp Parsley
Heat the oven to 170 degrees.
Peel and chop the potatoes and simmer them for about 15 mins, until they are softer but still a bit hard. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle.
Melt the butter, add the chopped onion, bacon and garlic and let it all soften, but not brown.
Roughly grate the cooled potato and the cheese. Mix with the onion and bacon mixture. Add salt, lots of pepper, the (2tbsp) parsley and mix it all together.
Form it into small cakes using your hands. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan (non-stick best here...as we found out...) and brown the cakes on both sides. Then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to crisp up a little more.
Chop the capers and (1 tbsp) parsley roughly and mix in a bowl with the mayo and mustard.
Serve it all with the salad leaves, dressed with a little oil and lemon juice.