Mixed bean goulash, then and now.


How times change. I just found one of my old notebooks – back from even I had a decent, well-paying job in the 999 control room at the Fire Service – that I used to write my recipes down in. There’s 14 of these in total, and I have most of them in grabbing distance, but this one was unearthed from the bottom of my wardrobe this afternoon, snug in a box of assorted things left over from the recent house move.

This is my old mixed bean goulash recipe – replete with balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika – both conspicuously absent from my store cupboard these days…

The bouillon was long replaced with 15p stock cubes, and the tin of mixed beans with a can of value baked beans with the sauce rinsed off…

However, minus the fancy ingredients, this is such a hearty favourite dish, that it’s definitely, definitely going in The Book. I’ll blog it later – after I’ve had it for tea.

And for the bitchy commentator on *that* online forum that said I “clearly don’t like food” – 14 filled and filthy tomato-spattered notebooks from 8 years of experimenting says you sort of lost that bet…

Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe



  1. don’t like food????? WHAT a twit…One does wonder what that commentator is/was eating (I have no idea what forum you reference, but no matter)

    in fact, Jack, you have such a knack with healthy/appealing/frugal nutrition, I have been much interested in learning from you. THAT to me, is a mark of someone who does enjoy what they are doing — that is, when they discuss it/blog it, and they draw new folks in.

    ( it is also the way to interest all folks, those short on funds/those not so short on funds, of healthy/frugal nutrition….I do believe you will acquire more and more following….)

    • I agree. There’s lots to learn here, even if I fail to think up an equally-priced alternative for any of the pork/bacon/sausages in the recipes.

  2. Hi Jack, looking forward to the goulash recipe:) I love beans! Did you receive the notebook I forwarded to you a few weeks ago? Hope it will be useful.

    I was thinking about the recent post regarding Maldon sea salt. I’ve never donated Maldon sea salt to the Food Bank but I think it’s nice to give something a bit special sometimes in the hope that it will be a bit different from the usual stuff and might brighten someone’s day. That’s not meant to be patronising, just in a spirit of kindness and sharing.

    Hope SB is on the mend and not suffering in the heat too much with his plaster cast. A word of advice from the mum of ‘a once SG’ now a BG… keep him away from paddling pools! The hospital doesn’t take too kindly to plaster casts that have been unable to resist the temptation of a quick splash…!

    • Julie I agree with you totally. Last Christmas we were in Tesco in Port Glasgow and they were asking people to buy a couple of extra things to donate to a food bank. One of the things I donated along with ‘useful’ items was a family tin of Quality Street. My thinking was that it was always something we had in the home at Christmas and why should a family having it tough not have a treat at this time.

  3. Don’t like food?! I’m not sure what they are reading, but your clear love of food shines out of every recipe post!
    I don’t know which forum you are referring to either (Mumsnet?) but there are always people willing to be rude from the safety of their keyboard

  4. The person who suggested you don’t like food clearly has never tried your recipes. Your carrot and cumin burgers are the best vegetable-burgers I’ve ever eaten – your chickpea and apricot curry is delicious! Only someone who loves food could turn such humble ingredients into a recipe so divine!
    I give the aforementioned commentator the ‘tosh-spouter of the year’ award.
    Keep it up – I’m so looking forward to The Book!

  5. The commentator in question evidently has no idea what they are talking about. It takes someone with a love of decent food to come up with nutritious recipes with no money!! Ignore them, they are probably just jealous (not to mention a raving snob) that they can’t do it and don’t have the dedicated following that you do x

  6. New recipes – cool! We’re having your curry with apricots tomorrow. As we’ve added back in the turkey leg, my 9 year old daughter has renamed it Dinosaur Leg Stew!

  7. By chance I had a look at some borlotti beans in our cupboard, expiry date December 2007, and decided to try cooking some. Soaked them overnight, etc. The result seems to be edible, though the skins are rather tough, either through age or perhaps my hour-long simmering was too hot. Hard to skin because the bean tends to crumble when I try to do that. I think I’ll eat a few and see if I survive – I’ll let you know if I do! I’ll certainly casserole them if they really are ok.

    • Next time, try sprouting a few! Keep rinsing a number of the old beans in a jar, pouring off the excess but leaving them damp, after a day or two, they should have begun to sprout – if they do, the processes involved will make them very eatable but more to the point, you will know that they are also ok to cook and eat – I used to cook beans when a single parent, they need a good couple of hours and absolutely definitely no salt in that water until they have softened! Tough skins are yucky.

      • oh, and don’t forget to start the cooking off with a strong “rolling boil” for ten minutes.

  8. I can’t believe that someone could possibly think you don’t love food! Like others, I’m not sure which forum, but I’m guessing they haven’t read your blog very much. I have recommended your recipes to lots of people who are on a budget, or need to change their diet because of health issues, and I am waiting eagerly for your book. Keep up the good work, and ignore those who just want to be unpleasant.

  9. I agree best vegie burgers ever and I won’t start about the you obviously don’t like food comment or it will sound like a rant and I won’t waste my breath or time x

  10. My friend sometimes gives me leftover roast beef, always cooked far too rare for me, and I throw it in the crockpot to slow-cook with chillies ( or chili powder ) beans, tomato paste and whatever veggies are leftover, it always comes out great & freezes well.

Any thoughts? Comment below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s