‘If you ever see me eating sweet potato mash out of a saucepan, you know it’s bad news’, is a phrase that most of my friends are familiar with. Sweet potato mash with chilli and cheese is my go-to tragedy food, spooned straight from the saucepan whilst watching many a re-run of old sitcoms and new comedies. It’s simple, sweet, quick and comforting. Here I’ve topped it with another favourite – firecracker sausages, which work just as well with veggie sausages! If the double chilli hit is too much, eliminate it from the sausages but keep it in the mash. The quantities given here are easily doubled to make this for two people, because misery loves company, after all.

Serves 2 from 61p each. This post is not sponsored; I provide links to the ingredients that I use so you can see how I calculate my recipe costs, and I may earn a small commission if you click the links or purchase any ingredients. All prices correct at the time of printing and are subject to change.

1 large sweet potato, 50p (£1/350g pre prepared)

1 large white potato, 10p (£1.09/2.5kg)

4 sausages, 37p (£1.10/12)

a splash of oil, 3p (£1.10/1l)

1 small onion, 5p (54p/1kg)

2 small red chillies or a few pinches of the dried stuff, 2p

1 tablespoon vinegar, 2p

1 tablespoon marmalade, 1p (33p/454g)

¼ teaspoon English mustard, <1p

a handful of grated hard strong cheese, to taste, or cheese spread, which is cheaper, 10p

First, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.

Wash and roughly chop the sweet potato and white potato, and put them into the pan. I never bother to peel mine, but just give them a scrub with a nail brush I keep at the side of the sink specifically for vegetables.

Reduce the heat to a medium simmer and leave on a back hob to cook for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prick the sausages and put them into a medium-sized frying pan or sauté pan with the oil.

Peel and slice the onion – think chunky slices like hot dog onions! – and add them to the pan.

Once the onions have softened, add 1 finely sliced chilli, the vinegar, marmalade and mustard, and cook on a medium heat, stirring to encourage the onions to absorb all of the spicy sweet flavours and turning the sausages to brown and cook through.

When the potatoes are soft, drain them, leaving them slightly wet to mash. Finely slice the remaining chilli and toss it into the potato pan along with the grated cheese. Mash with a fork or potato masher according to desired consistency – I like mine a bit rough and chunky.

Spoon the mash into a bowl, top with the spicy sausages and onions, and any sauce and gubbins remaining in the pan, and enjoy.

From ‘A Girl Called Jack’ by Jack Monroe. Photography by Susan Bell.

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All text copyright Jack Monroe.