Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.Saying
Back in my student days, I lived in share-houses. We pooled our money to pay the rent, to buy food, and to pay for expenses. Share houses guaranteed you a social life, and household duties could be shared. Hooray!
I went to university in a country town, and many of the students I shared houses with had lived at boarding school, or had a mum who had cooked for them. I soon learned that taking turns at cooking could be a disaster, so in most of the share-houses I lived in (except the ones with students studying hotel management) I offered to grocery shop and cook, if my housemates did the washing up!
Pov Pie (Pov is short for poverty) came about after some of the boys sharing our rambling old house came home from football training and ate the cupboards and fridge bare one night while I was at the library. The next night, when I went to make dinner, there was almost nothing left. We were all on student allowances and payday wasn’t for two more days. No-one had any money left. So, Pov Pie, (delightfully named by one of my larrikin housemates), was born.
Pov Pie became one of our favourite and most-requested meals, especially around exam time.
I still make it now. It’s homely comfort food. It’s easy. It’s cheap. What’s not to love?
I’ve given rough quantities below, but you can wing it and make it up as you go to suit the size of crowd you need to cook for. It reheats beautifully, and also makes great jaffle filling too!
I apologise for the pictures. We were too hungry after a day of farmwork for me to remember to take the first pics. These pics are actually leftovers, scraped into a smaller tray, sprinkled with more cheese and re-baked for a second night’s dinner as a side for a barbeque. It was delicious, and anyway, it’s not about how it looks – it’s about how it tastes, right?
Pov Pie Ingredients
- Cubed raw potato and sweet potato or any other root vegetables you have to hand such as carrots. Pumpkin can be good too.
- Canned baked beans
- A rasher or two of bacon, or some sausage, leftover roast, ham or whatever else is lurking in the fridge. If you’re vego or vegan obviously omit this bit.
- A diced up onion
- Fresh tomato, roughly diced
- A handful of fresh parsley, or any other herb you may like to use – or omit if you don’t have any
- A little oil or butter
- Grated cheese – whatever takes your fancy or that’s in the fridge (use vegan if that’s your thing)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pov Pie Method
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil that’s large enough to hold your chopped root vegetables and cook them until they are done but not falling apart. Strain. Place in a greased tray or casserole dish with enough room left to put your beans on top!
- Place a frypan or another saucepan on the stove over medium heat, add a slug of oil or some butter and fry off your bacon or any other meat you might be using that needs cooking. Throw in the onions and cook until they are soft. Then add the baked beans, chopped tomato, and the herbs if you are using them. Stir well to combine and take off the heat. Spoon over the cooked potato mixture.
- Sprinkle with a generous amount of cheese.
- Place in a moderate oven and cook until cheese is bubbly and golden