Angie looked after my dad when he was growing up, and when I first started going to school she used to walk me home and give me lunch, which was regularly Irish stew. Her Irish stew is legendary in the Skehan family, with my dad’s five siblings and my eleven cousins all having been brought up on it. Angie always knew how to feed an army of hungry mouths, so I hope this version of the recipe does hers justice!
Chorizo is one of my favourite ingredients to use, it provides really delicious smoky flavours and, when fried, renders the most amazing red oil. One of the first few times I visited London, I got myself down to world-famous Borough market where you can pick up some of the best Spanish chorizo outside Spain. This salad is nicest if you can get your hands on some really good-quality chorizo – you will generally find the best stuff in Spanish specialty food shops.
This recipe comes from my Aunt Erica, and is adapted from her fairy cake recipe. If you are making these for the kids to decorate and you want to limit the time it takes put everything together, it may be easier to make the cupcakes in advance and then get the kids to decorate them later on.
On a recent visit to New York City, I tried the meatloaf in Kitchenette, a cool retro diner, and have been craving it ever since, which was why this recipe was born. It's true, unashamed comfort food and should be celebrated for being just that. You can make one big meatloaf and serve it in slices or I sometimes like to make mini ones and serve each sitting proudly on top of the spicy bean stew.