tried and tasted

In a world where confusion reigns it’s good to be reminded of what’s important - namely smoked salmon, lasagne, chocolate and gin. Individually each are potent, but as a combination it’s a miracle cure that can heal everything from a tricky day at work to a broken heart. But which brand is best?

Tried and Tasted (Channel 4, 27 June, 8pm) did the hard work for us. The gin round was interesting. The category has exploded in recent years, largely thanks to the variety of botanicals that give rise to infinite possibilities of flavour. So it was interesting to see good old Gordon’s win, a reassuring nod that some things will remain the same whatever unpredictability surrounds us.

As for lasagne, it’s obviously the greatest thing in the world, but ironically the one group of people that haven’t got a clue about lasagne are ready meal lasagne makers. Shame on them for thinking lasagne is just layer upon layer of meat ragu and pasta with a topping of béchamel sauce. This is so very wrong. The basic construction of lasagne is being abused like I abuse gin after a bad day - a generous layer of béchamel sauce in the middle of a lasagne is non-negotiable.

The absence of any criticism by any of the judges over this common and perplexing omission was astonishing. Some things must be left untouched, otherwise this world really will have lost its mind. As the brilliantly talented chef and host Michel Roux Jr said: “When you pair lasagne with a glass of chianti, there is nothing better”. So, to ready meal makers everywhere I implore you - just get it right.