Something to warm your cockles…

Interesting idiom, isn’t it? To some of my readers I know you must be wondering what on earth am I talking about?

Warm your cockles?

It’s a phrase used a lot in British culture as a way of denoting something that induces happiness and warmth particularly where food is concerned. In fact, there is a great debate has to the true origins of the word which came into use possibly around the 17th century. Supposedly, the first form of the phrase was “rejoice the cockles of one’s heart.” It’s amazing how much our personal experiences and just pure luck can shape the language we speak. I mean, you just have to look at how the word “twerking” has grown popular despite the dance being found previously in cultures for years.

There are a of couple theories to how the phrase came to be used today. The first, being that it was because molluscs like mussels and cockles were such a big part of British cuisine in those days. And they typically had shells that display a shape akin to heart ventricles.

The second theory posits Medieval Latin as the origin because the ventricles of the heart can also be written as cochleae cordis. In this case, it is believed that the phrase was either changed for sheer amusement or mistranslated. But what is funny, is that the word “cochleae” can also mean snail which would turn the whole idea on it’s head. Because we’d then be saying “warm the snails of your heart,” which would probably have not got very far at all!

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Today’s forecast doesn’t look great 😦

Since the cold weather has begun to arrive, a warming and comforting dinner would be best for these winter/autumnal blues…

My Beef and veggie casserole:

It’s such an easy recipe because it involves just throwing everything together and then bunging them straight into the oven.

Great for students. Great for families. Everybody!


500g beef fillets, washed and cubed (2-3cm)

3 spring onions, washed and sliced

2 small onions, washed and diced

3 garlic cloves, washed and diced

1 tin of red kidney beans

1 tin of sweetcorn, drained

4 potatoes, washed and cubed

400ml beef stock

200ml tinned tomatoes

2 maggi cubes

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning

1 scotch bonnet pepper, washed and sliced

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp sugar

Heat the onions and garlic together in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. I thought that it would be a good way to release their aromas without frying.

Add them along with the all purpose seasoning, maggi cubes and scotch bonnet pepper to the meat, mixing thoroughly.

Allow to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes but ideally overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.

Add to the baking tray along with all the remaining ingredients, spices and herbs.

Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil, pour in the sweetcorn and place back into oven for a further 10-15 minutes until tender.

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Hope you guys enjoy it! Your aiming for something with a balance of heat, sweetness and good flavour so if you need to adjust anything please don’t feel afraid.

Until next time…

Bye x


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