Timely recipe from top chef Nick Cullen

For the next few weeks I’ll be concentrating on recipes that are easy to prepare, suitable for the whole family and things that can be made in advance and frozen if needed.

During these unsettling times, I believe that it’s still really important to eat well and nourish ourselves and our families. It’s also a good opportunity to get creative with ingredients and be a bit more adventurous in the kitchen.

There’s plenty of fresh food available and a wealth of recipes online.

Potato hash is an old favourite of mine, a staple meal of my childhood and proper comfort food in my eyes. I make it now and again for the family and for my staff, normally when it’s cold and I need to feed a lot of people, and it always goes down a storm.

There are a few variations of the recipe, and no doubt your mum/nan/uncle will have a different method, but I like to add bacon to mine to give it another element of flavour and texture.

A dish which traditionally dates back to the war because of the availability of tinned corned beef (compared to the heavily rationed fresh meat), potato hash has continued to be a firm favourite in the North.

I’ve even seen it served in some high-end restaurants in recent years so it must be good! In the US they serve a variation of this dish for breakfast, often accompanied by eggs, but for me nothing can beat it served with a slice of thickly buttered bread and a mug of hot Vimto!

This dish is a great, budget-friendly family meal that everyone will love. Once cooled, it’s perfectly suitable for the freezer if you want to make a big batch.

This can be eaten on its own or served with some carrots, buttered greens or home-made red cabbage for a more substantial meal.

Traditional Potato Hash

(serves 4)

1 tin corned beef, sliced

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes

1 large onion

2½ pints of hot chicken stock

5 rashers bacon, sliced

Salt and pepper

Oil for frying

In a deep pan, fry the bacon until the fat starts to break down and release into the pan. Reduce the heat and add the onions, sweating them until softened but before they start to brown.

Add the cubed potatoes to the pan and mix together before adding the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the potatoes become soft. Stir in the corned beef and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

Finally, season to taste and using a fork or whisk, gently break the ingredients apart a little.