Friday, 30 June 2017

Crispy Cowboy Bake

I thought I'd kick off the blog with the recipe that I feel most embodies what we're trying to achieve here.

It ticks all the boxes:

1. It's mainly brown.
2. It looks like something decomposed on a plate but tastes of sheer joy.
3. Someone's mum used to make it in the 80s.
4. You can make it up as you go along.
5. It has one truly bewildering feature.

So ladies and gentlemen, I give you...Crispy Cowboy Bake.

This is my friend Andy's mum's recipe. Well, she claims to have found it in Womans Weekly or something back in the early 80s, but I'm pretty sure that nobody ever made this apart from Andy's mum so I'm going to credit her with that honour. I've changed the ingredients for this recipe in a few places, so it's not exactly like the original. Sorry about that, Andy's mum; I just really like sausages.

Serves: 2 adults and 2 children. Or 2-3 really greedy adults.

Preparation time: 5 minutes to chop everything up, about 30 minutes to cook

Note: You can more or less replace most of this with any old crap from the fridge, so feel free to go rogue.

1 packet of sausages - the original recipe called for mince so feel free to substitute. I just felt that sausages were more cowboy-y
1 tin of baked beans
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic 
random veg (I used mushrooms and a pepper but bung in whatever needs to be used up)
Cheddar cheese
4 slices of bread - no artisan loaves. This is 1982 so you must use plastic white bread from the corner shop
Butter or margarine
MARMITE (If you hate Marmite you could use Bovril instead. BUT YOU WOULD BE WRONG).


1. Chop up your veg and sausages. You don't have to set them out on a 70s patterned Lazy Susan like I have here, but why would you not?

2. Fry the onions and garlic in a large pan until translucent. Add the sausage and cook through.

3. Add the veg, the tin of baked beans and a teaspoon or two of Marmite, stir and leave to cook for another few minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, use the bread, butter and more Marmite to make Marmite sandwiches.Cut them into 4 triangles each and set aside.

5. Transfer the sausage mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top with the Marmite sandwiches. Yes, you're topping a sausage strew thing with sandwiches. Shhh, don't question it, just do it. Now sprinkle on some cheddar cheese. I haven't provided a quantity for the cheese. Just do what you want here. Feel free to smother that tasty bastard.

6. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the sandwiches have turned into toast. This will probably take about 15 minutes. Put it on a plate and enjoy.

observe the crispy marmitey filth
get it on your plate

There you have it, people. You can serve it with potatoes and vegetables if you like, and we'd probably have done this in the 70s and 80s (most probably those rank frozen runner beans that my mum insisted on dishing up day after day), but it contains protein, carbs and veg anyway so it's fine as it is.

Give it a try. Remember, you can swap the sausages for beef or lamb mince, kidney beans or whatever roast meat needs to be used up. You can add stock, worcestershire sauce, use Bovril instead of Marmite - whatever you like. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments.

Got a bizarre old family recipes you'd like me to try? Email me at or tell me about it in the comments and I'll feature it.


  1. What! No quinoa??
    I'm so making that next left over night. My husband will start checking the level of the gin bottle...

    1. Do it! And then tell me all about it.

  2. Erm this sounds amazing. My husband would not approve. I would have to use bovril though. I had bovril at least once a day growing up, either on toast or a sandwich, so any excuse to eat it again is fine by me.

    1. Oooh, try it then tell me what it's like with Bovril. I'm counting on you...

  3. My gran used to make this all the time, was a family favourite. Although she used mince