Beefcake Meal Number One – Tuna Steak & Sweet Potato Mash (with a bite)

Right, I’m going to attempt my first recipe blog post. Well, it’s not really a recipe, more a slap stuff together and end up with a meal type thing.

Given that I’ve been going to the gym a fair bit recently (hey, twice in 12 weeks ain’t bad!) and now have a physique akin to Adonis, I reckon I’m an authority on gym/man food. Consequently, I’m going to start telling you all what to eat and how to eat it (everyone else does right?)

In honour of me now having the body of a God, this recipe is constructed via the use of the God fish, or as most of you will know it, since I just made that up, Tuna.

Here’s what we’re making.

tuna on sweet potato

What you need

  • Tuna Steak  (x2)
  • Sweet Potatoes (6 of average size)
  • Curly Kale (1 bag)
  • Spinach (1 bag)
  • Cinnamon
  • Encona Hot Pepper Sauce
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Fresh Lemon

This should serve 4, or 1 really fat guy.

Note: That says Tuna STEAK not a can of tuna. We’re not making a substitute for a crappy supermarket sandwich here dude, if the word STEAK ain’t in it, it just doesn’t qualify as man grub. If you’re feeling flash, or just think you’re minted, you could get Albacore tuna which will allow you to flex your platinum Amex card at the tills in Morrisons (we all know how much you love doing that, but we also know real rich people have the black one) for the rest of us, good old yellowfin will do fine.

A note about the chilli sauce. This Encona stuff is good. Real good, so use it. However, some knuckle dragging chilli head is bound to come along and tell me that it’s NOT a hot sauce, so I’ll pre-emptively say this: I know it’s not like eating freshly molten lava on the scale of Dave’s/Blair’s sauces. I also know you guys drink that stuff by the gallon and use it as mouthwash, but for mere mortals, the Encona sauce is pretty spangly. It also doesn’t turn the morning after into an event that would measure comparatively to the eruption of Vesuvius OR make you feel like you’ve fallen arse first into a Scout’s campfire. In short terms, it doesn’t make everything taste like a norovirus.

Do taste it first, though. If you’re a bit of a fairy, use Nandos medium or something equally girly.

Cinnamon isn’t really necessary but it’s fun to continuously repeat its name in a heavy Jamaican accent. This will massively wind up your girlfriend or anyone else that you live with. Good times.


Start by preparing your sweet potatoes. If you’re a total man and aren’t used to preparing food (cos doing that’s for girls right?) this means you need to peel the skin off them and chop them into smallish pieces. I reckon most of you can work out what ‘smallish’ means but for the truly special readers out there, cut an average sweet potato into about 6 pieces. The shape does not matter. DO NOT do what you do when you’re chopping carrots and eat half of what you’re cutting raw (everyone does that right?) You won’t grow three heads or an extra toe, but you will probably spit it out, make a mess and then have to clean it up.

GEEK FACT – Some people will say you shouldn’t eat potatoes raw because the potato plant is toxic and contains an alkaloid named solanine that appears in all the external parts of the plant. It is also found in the tender buds of the tubers during the germination process. This is bad BUT the sweet potato is not actually a potato, it’s more closely related to the flower ‘Morning Glory’. No sir, not that kind. You can now go and impress your (boring) friends with a useless fact.

You’ll now want to wash the curly kale. Wait…I’ll repeat that WASH THE CURLY KALE. You really do want to wash the curly kale. I know us guys usually eschew things like washing food before we eat it (it’s just not manly), but in this case, unless you enjoy the taste of licking a badgers poo socket, I highly recommend that you do so. Talking of curly kale, has anyone EVER seen straight kale? Why isn’t curly kale just called ‘kale’? Answers on a postcard, please!

Just in case some maniac in a factory had been hacking a raw chicken to death prior to stuffing your spinach into its cosy little bag, wash that stuff too (there’s also a good chance of it having been pissed on by a skanky, flea-ridden tabby cat with three legs).

To prepare the Tuna, sprinkle some salt (easy on the salt, though, caveman) and pepper (your own preference but tuna is quite a delicate flavour so go gently) onto a plate or chopping board and drop your tuna from a couple of feet in the air onto it. Actually, do drop it. There are few things in life that produce a sound more satisfying than a hunk of raw meat falling from a great height onto a plate. Perhaps slapping someone round the noggin with a prime cut of Kobe beef steak is better but I haven’t actually tried that. If you have, please let me know what it was like, I imagine it being euphoric. Flip the Tuna over so the seasoning covers both sides else it’ll look like someone who fell asleep on a Sun bed sideways.

Good To Go

Let’s cook this bad ass food, eh!

Start by chucking your chopped sweet potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Do not walk away for 20 mins like you would if cooking normal potatoes! These guys break down faster than a bad metal band. Look away and there’ll be a br00talz mosh in your kitchen before you know it and the neighbours won’t like it. You’ll also end up with really watery sweet potato soup that is not wildly unlike what you’d get served by the ‘healthy eating’ stand at Reading festival at 3am in the morning. (In seriousness they take about 15 mins)

After 9 or 10 minutes, you’ll want to think about plonking your curly kale into another (smaller) pan of boiling water. If you’re mental, you can also eat this stuff raw (see earlier point about washing it), but as well as it tasting awful, you’ll miss it turning a really vibrant, pretty green colour when it gets hot and wet. Awwwww.  (I can’t believe I just said hot and wet in the context of a food post. Yes!)

Let everything boil away for a few minutes until your sweet potatoes start to get almost soft enough to stick a fork straight through. Drain the water off through a colander. Wearing the colander on your head and pretending you’re in a bunker during world war 2 is optional, though if you do this, getting someone else to throw brussel sprouts at your face makes it infinitely more fun.

Once the potatoes are drained, put them back in the pan you cooked them in (without the water, Sherlock) and grab a potato masher because it’s time to be a MAN! Roawr! Start mashing those potatoes good. For extra man points, you can discard the potato masher and mash them with your face.

You’ll probably notice that sweet potato is a bit coarser than normal potato mash, it’s not unlike Swede (the vegetable, not Sven Goran Erikson…That would just be weird). This is a good thing. Do not be tempted to use milk. Believe me, milk really doesn’t work in this instance and will leave you with something resembling baby vomit. Yeah. Exactly.

As you smash the potatoes into a pulp, add some butter (not too much, fatty) to cream them up a bit. Little and often here is better. Once the butter’s in and your potatoes are getting smooooooth like Miles Davis,  you can start adding your cinnamon. If you didn’t earlier, it’s now mandatory to loudly pronounce cinnamon in a Jamaican accent (more fun if you say it like a confused Jamaican). Don’t put too much in straight away, like voodoo, cinnamon is pretty powerful (if you don’t believe me, check out some cinnamon challenge videos on YouTube) Actually, I’ll put one right here, enjoy:

You can also start mashing the (raw) spinach straight into the potatoes. Yup, it doesn’t need to be cooked first!  Wahooo! The heat from the pan and the potatoes will do a good job of cooking it. Result!

Add it a little bit at a time and you’ll be able to get the whole bag of spinach in, which is awesome, have you SEEN Popeye’s arms?! Honestly, spinach must have one of the greatest powers of reduction known to man. It’s a little bit like watching a woman removing a Push-up bra. The science geeks  need to get some spinach in the Hadron Collider and figure out how this black magic works. If they do, there’s a small chance I’d actually be able to fit inside a G-Whizz car which is good for the environment and would make me a happy bunny. If they don’t figure it out, I reckon it’d be fun anyway and definitely more interesting than reading this nonsense!

Pour some of the chilli sauce into the mash at this point. Again, little and often is key. Keep tasting it and don’t over do it. Not because anything other than loading in the whole bottle makes you a girl, but you’ll honestly completely blow away the relatively delicate taste of the Tuna and that would be a very bad thing, kiddos.

Once you’ve mashed everything together, stick a lid on the pan to keep everything warm while we cook the tuna. If you’re a bit of a pro in the kitchen, you could cook the tuna whilst you’re mashing the spuds, but you have to be real careful not to overcook it as tuna dries out faster than….well…. that comment would perhaps be a bit too far for this blog. Just be careful.

Heat a bit of good quality (hello again Amex users!) extra virgin olive oil in a pan and once it’s nice and warm, drop your tuna steak in it. That’s a LITTLE BIT of oil. We’re not deep-frying it, this is HEALTHY not a TV show about the fifty stone man. You probably only need a couple of minutes each side to seal it as you still want the middle to be raw (It should look like a well produced rare beef steak). Don’t undercook it either, we’re not making sushi and you probably don’t enjoy the idea of swallowing parasites (although eating a politician would be quite entertaining).

You could use a George Foreman or a normal grill to do the tuna if you’re feeling pedantic (or if you just want slightly less fat, but it doesn’t quite bake in the seasoning quite as well)

As the Tuna finishes itself off in the pan (haha!) spoon out some of your mash mix onto a plate. Drain the Kale (you hadn’t forgotten that was cooking in the background right!?) and put some if it on top of the mash.

Remove the tuna from the pan and slice it thinly (with the grain man!) Lay the slices nicely on top of the mash. It looks pretty hot right, it’s like the Kate Beckinsale of food! Dash some lemon juice over the tuna (please don’t use a jif lemon, it just isn’t right). Then garnish with a bit of parsley or if you don’t have any of that, just use some grass from the garden – It looks prettier with something green on it. (Disclaimer: Remove the grass before eating).

Done. Eat. Savour. Salivate like the god you shall become by eating food like this.

P.S I know the Tuna in the picture is slightly overdone, but it still tasted sweet 🙂

A Few Simple Words

As fathers day approaches I’m reminded of the fact that my father (and unfortunately many others in my life) decided to take his own life a few years ago. I just want to say a few words to anyone who’s listening who may be feeling like ending it all is the only path to resolve their mental state; I promise you that it isn’t the only way.

I genuinely know how it feels to not see the wood through the trees, to feel desolate, to feel so empty that it hurts, to feel so unbelievably alone despite being surrounded by people that to all intents and purposes mean you shouldn’t feel that way. I know what it is to believe no-one understands you and to KNOW your problems are so much bigger than you are….They probably are….but there are people in your life who LOVE you, who WANT to see you SUCCEED and grow. There ARE people out there who ‘get it’. This I also know.

There is so much left in you, so much more for you to give. There are so many people who care. You MATTER to people. Open up. To anyone. More people than you would believe will listen. They WILL believe you and not cast you aside and dismiss your feelings like they don’t exist.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter how much you think you fucked up or got fucked up. There is always a way back. You just can’t see it right now…. other people might just be able to see you through.. Let them help you. It is NOT a failure as a man, woman, child or teenager to admit that you’re struggling or in need of help.

Here’s to saving yourself…after all this is through, you may save somebody else. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy, but talk. I promise you that’s all it may take. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on this road, but it’s worth walking.

One final promise. Just in case you were wondering. I didn’t write this for credibility, I didn’t write this to be cool. I certainly didn’t write this so people think I’m sweet or ‘cute’. I wrote this because I genuinely care about YOU. I wrote this to stop you from wanting to kiss the concrete. So think about it aye?

Bought A House

I have officially turned into a middle aged man (in age, not in that I’ve started walking round wearing nothing but a tea towel and eating raw meat and subsequently beating the crap out of a Velociraptor named Tarquin with the left over bone). I now own a driveway and a garden…oh and a house. A quaint little 2 bed house in the town that I (pretend I) grew up in.

Here are a few things I learned during the process of getting a mortgage and giving all of my money to someone who gets paid far too much to do not very much and doesn’t really care about you. That sounds a lot like a girlfriend doesn’t it!

1) look at the place properly before you buy it.

It’s amazing to think that given how much you can agonise over whether to buy that 80p can of Heinz beans vs the crappy, watered down own brand store ones that you can part with such a VAST amount of your hard earned mullah without fully inspecting something. It’s amazing how many little things I hadn’t spotted when I first checked the place out! Doors that won’t close without enough force to push an elephant down a hill, skirting boards that have a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between themselves and the wall and worst of all; some truly, truly awful artex that has been applied to the ENTIRE house. The shit is everywhere dude! These guys even artexed inside the bloody wardrobes! This may not be a problem for some of you (if you’re 75 years old, on the verge of death or just generally have no taste you probably quite like artex) but if you’re of a similar ilk to me (or just not mental) you probably think that artex looks like a team of babies have crawled around on the ceiling (David Bowie Labyrinth style) and vomited cement everywhere for a couple of hours. It’s hideous. I can’t tell you how much i hate it because there simply are no words to convey the level of passionate violence I would like to apply to whoever invented it . There’s also a small Irish man living in one of the wall cavities, but that’s ok.

2) When painting with gloss, let a door dry before you close it (duuuhhh!)

I’ve decided gloss paint should be remarketed as door glue. Seriously, the back door got painted and naturally being a god damn door, got closed again. I couldn’t get the bad boy opening again for toffee. I kicked it, ran into it head first and tried to pull it open from outside with a rope ladder and all manner of other over engineered solutions. I ended up semi-inverted with both feet on the door and my hands on the handle; looked like something from a bloody cartoon.

If I had WANTED to glue the door shut, gloss would have done a much better job than anything actually marketed as something to do so (i realise theres probably no actual reason to ever glue a door closed but hey, I can dream). The solution to this one is not to be a total numpty and let paint dry before you close the bloody door. In the end liberal use of a wallpaper scraper did the job.

3) Wallpaper scrapers are the Swiss Army knives of the decorating world.

Seriously man, their uses are endless. I even used one the other day as a spatula whilst frying an egg.

4) Check your water supply before you go for a err number 2.

Yeah you read that right. On completion of the contracts etc (more on that later) I eagerly went over to my new abode without emptying my bowels. Upon arrival at the property I unloaded what can only be described as a monstrosity into my newly obtained toilet. No problem there, that is until I attempted to flush the bugger away. The flusher was pulled, nothing happened, the flusher was pulled again, still nothing happened, the flusher was pulled again as my brain was clearly in a state of denial and bewilderment. You know, your brain is conditioned to just expect some things to work and when they don’t; shock, panic and confusion set in. I am now of the opinion that the next world war will be won by whoever disconnects all of the toilet flushers in the opposing nations first.

Anyway, back on point, the little turd is just sat there looking at me, slopping around with a wry grin on its face. I think it knew its lifespan was far greater than its species has evolutionarily come to to expect. I thought about covering my nose, scooping it up with my hands and throwing it out the window until I thought of the implications of throwing a massive human poo all over my newly acquired neighbours car, garden or cat. On second thoughts, if I could have thrown it at the cat I would have, but I’m not well practiced enough in the art of shit-chucking to have guaranteed a headshot (nothing else would have satisfied a hardcore FPS’er like me). Plus the little fucker would remember (cats always remember, bastards) and it would then spend the next 6 months shitting on my freshly washed patio to repay me for my formidable skills. It was either the cat, or hit the little old lady tottering down the road with a manky old shopping trolley in the face, which would have been hilarious, but jail time was an undesirable outcome in this particular instance.

Instead, I had the lightbulb moment of going downstairs and turning the water back on…Waheeey! Flush action resumed normally. I smiled as my new ‘friend’ literally slipped out of view and spiralled away to join his companions in the underworld of our town; soon to be diluted, given a brief smattering of a chemical concoction and then make its way out of your cold water tap and into your mouth. Yum.

Everything was now right with the world and I was happy again. Then I heard the dreadful sound of water flowing onto a kitchen floor, which leads me onto my next point:

5) Check the plumbing before you turn the water supply back on!

Fortunately this was just a leak – the little fella from the previous point had not returned to mock me whilst casually setting up shop for a showdown on the kitchen floor; but what it had managed to do was prove that when thrown on the floor, something as little as a pint of fluid can break all scientific rules and boundaries and is capable of a scale of flooding that would give the Thames barrier a hard-on. Have you ever tried to mop up pints of filthy dirty water with nothing but a single bog roll? It’s a bit of an effort, believe me, it was also cheap nasty loo roll that gives you way too many of those ‘oops my finger has gone through the paper’ moments.

6) Solicitors are truly, truly useless.

I’m not saying anything else about this but… Little bitches. (In honesty, I’ll level with you, I’m just terrified of being sued, because I have no money left).

7) Before buying a house collect every piece of data about yourself that’s EVER been produced.

Honestly, the amount of documents and random tidbits of information about myself I’ve had to send to various people (financial advisors, banks, building societies, mortgage lenders and the bank managers mum) is unreal. They could reproduce me in explicit detail (just had a thought about an army of me-clones taking over the world – hot) They want everything; it felt like I was asked for passports, NI numbers, payslips from the last 306 years, naked baby photos and a complete history of myself plus script detailing everything I’ve bought or paid for for the last 29 years. I spent about 300 quid on stamps (with the current price of a stamp, that probably got me about 3 first class pieces of fucking paper) to send this stuff over only to be asked for it again 2 days later by someone working for a company I’d never heard of (Anyone else had a call from a Nigerian prince recently?). Honestly, with current technology, is it really not possible to make this easier? Could I not collate it and put it all in one place? Could i not just walk into the fucking bank and ask them to do it for me?! I think the housing market is single handedly keeping Royal Mail alive. That’s probably a good thing though. Royal Mail is the foundation of what this country is built upon – failure to deliver and costing far, far too much and ultimately providing nothing but dissapointment.


Painting is probably the most boring thing in the world. Especially when you’re a using a colour that’s as boring, dull and just generally miserable as “soft cream”. Paint is also more costly than adamantium. It would actually be more fun to run face first into a glass wall and paint the rest of the house with the blood that is slowly leaking from your skull. Must try that.