My life on a plate - Stephen Mangan

Actor Stephen Mangan shares recipes that make him think of home, how he's encouraging his kids in the kitchen and his favourite Saturday staple.

My life on a plate - Stephen Mangan

RADA-trained actor Stephen Mangan is best known for his television roles in Green Wing and BBC Two’s Episodes, and last year received rave reviews for his performance in Rules for Living at the National Theatre. Earlier this year, he starred in the new ITV Encore series Houdini & Doyle. He lives in London with his wife and three young children.

The recipe I grew up with...

'We had this weird dish called Victorian diable, which was made from leftover roast beef with a gravy sauce made with capers. I didn't particularly like it, but it featured largely in my childhood. It felt like we had it every week; we must have had roast beef most weekends. We were very traditional in that way.

'My mum was the cook and, as the only boy, I wasn't really expected to help around the house, only in the garden. It was all very sexist. I was never involved in preparing food, but I'm not making the same mistake with my children.'

Try this twist on the classic diable recipe.

The recipe I would pass on...

'We've already got our older two children cooking - they're five and eight. Children and food is a very emotive subject; it gets very difficult when your child won't eat. I can understand why parents get so fraught about that. Food is such an essential part of their well-being, and mine are picky, like a lot of kids. It drives me crazy, but I know that shouting at them to eat avocado is not the way forward.

'We make pancakes together because they're so easy, even for young kids. Mine are slightly customised - we sort of 'health food' it up with agave syrup and a nut mixture. They're delicious. We use those packs of mixed nuts all crunched up. It's a weekend tradition that we make them together. I want to get them used to the idea that food doesn't magically appear by itself. My eight-year-old, Harry, can make them on his own already. He hasn't given himself third-degree burns yet - so far, so good.'

Check out Stephen's recipe for child-friendly pancakes

Let us know which recipes bring back memories for you in the comments below...

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