Cottage Pie

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The summer is at an end, the nights are drawing in and it’s getting darker slightly earlier each evening.  You can see the leaves turning their amazing hues of yellow, gold and red almost in front of your eyes, and there’s a distinct nip in the air to be felt.  Shortly we’ll be putting our clocks back and that will signify the real start of the dark nights ahead until the promise of spring joins us once more.

At this time of year, what better meal to enjoy then a hearty Cottage Pie?  Good quality, lean minced beef. Thick and delicious gravy enrobing the meat, topped off with a delightful, buttery soft mashed potato.  It’s not a pretty dish for the eyes to behold, but it sure is a tasty one! Am I making you hungry yet?

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

I used 5% lean Angus Steak mince from Lidl and British grown Albert Bartlett potatoes (which I love for their taste and light, fluffy texture when cooked.  Both of which have the Red Tractor mark of quality.  To enjoy a meal as tasty as this, you’ll need:

  • 15ml Rapeseed oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 500g Lean minced beef
  • 1 Knorr onion gravy pot
  • 200ml Boiling water
  • 50ml Red wine
  • 10ml Worcester sauce
  • 10ml Dried parsley
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 4 Large Adrian Bartlett Potatoes, peeled & cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • 100g Butter, cubed
    1. Heat your oven to 200℃.
    2. Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion until soft, but not browned.
    3. Add the mince and cook until browned.
    4. Mix the stock pot with the boiling water, red wine and Worcester sauce, then add this to the mince along with the parsley.
    5. Bring to the boil and season to taste.
    6. Turn the heat down low and simmer, stirring occasionally, whilst you cook your potatoes.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

  1. Add your potatoes to a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes, add the cubed butter, season and mash them really well (no lumps are welcome in this recipe!).
  3. Pour the minced beef in to an ovenproof dish, then scoop the potatoes on top.
  4. Spread out the potatoes to an even layer and rough the surface with a fork to allow parts of the potato topping to brown more than others.
  5. Place the cottage pie in the oven and cook for 20 minutes until the top is a rich golden brown, and the gravy is just oozing up between the potatoes and the dish.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

  1. Remove from the oven and serve with generous amounts of vegetables.

Cottage pie with Albert Bartlett potatoes

Don’t forget, that when dinner tastes this good, it’s perfectly OK to go back for seconds.

This recipe was not sponsored or endorsed by either Lidl UK or by Adrian Bartlett potatoes.

Beef Cobbler

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I’m sharing a tasty meal for you to enjoy. It’s relatively quick and easy to make, so perfect for a midweek meal, and will feed a family when combined with fresh vegetables.

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10ml vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

500g minced beef

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 beef stock cube

1 Knorr herb flavour pot

15ml Bisto gravy powder

175g self raising flour

15ml cornflour

175g self raising flour

0.25ml Colemans mustard powder

Pinch salt

25g butter, cubed

25g Parmesan cheese, grated

50g Cheddar cheese, grated

2 eggs, beaten

Oven temperature: 200°C

1. In a saucepan, heat the oil gently and add the onion. Cook until starting to soften, but not brown.

2. Add the minced beef and cook until browned.

3. Add the chopped carrot and stir through.

4. Dissolve the stock cube in 100ml boiling water and add to the saucepan along with the Knorr flavour pot.

5. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the carrots are softened.

6. To make the cobbler (scone) topping, in a large bowl place the flour and mustard powder and stir together to combine.

7. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

8. Stir in the cheeses.

9. Beat the eggs and add approx 2/3 of these to the flour and butter mixture. Combine with a fork until it starts to bind together, then knead gently until it forms a ball, adding more egg as required.

10. Turn the cobbler mix out onto a floured surface and gently roll out to a thickness of about 1cm.

11. Using a 5cm circular cutter, cut out as many rounds as you able to get from the mixture, re-forming and rolling as required.  Set aside briefly whilst you thicken the minced beef.

12. Mix the Bisto and cornflour together and add cold water to mix to a runny paste, the consistency of single cream.

13. Increase the heat under the mince and return to the boil.

14. Add the Bisto and cornflour mixture and stir constantly until thickened. It is essential that you continue to stir this whilst it thickens or you will get a lumpy gravy!

15. Season to taste.

16. Transfer the mince to a heatproof dish and top with the cobbler rounds, overlapping as required.

17. Brush the top of the cobblers with the remaining beaten egg and transfer the dish to the oven.

18. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cobblers are browned.

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19. Serve with plenty of freshly steamed vegetables.

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Meat Juices Gravy

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When you’ve gone to all the effort and cost of making a roast dinner with a light and crispy Yorkshire Pudding, using whatever is your favourite meat, what better way of using those unctuous juices than in a proper gravy, the way my mum taught me to make it.

Meat Juices from your roast (approx. 250ml)
1 stock cube/Knorr stock pot
45ml (3tbs) Yorkshire pudding mix
30ml (2tbs) Bisto gravy powder
200ml Cold Water
2 or 3 splashes of Tabasco sauce

1. In a saucepan, place your meat juices and stock cube/stock pot.
2. Bring to the boil until your stock cube/stock pot is fully dissolved.
3. Mix the Yorkshire pudding batter mix and your Bisto gravy powder into a paste then add the cold water and mix thoroughly.

4. Pour this into your meat juices and bring to the boil, stirring continuously to prevent lumps forming, until thickened.
5. Add additional boiling water, if the gravy is too thick.
6. Turn the heat down to a simmer and taste.

7. Add a couple of splashes of Tabasco and taste again.  Add an additional splash of Tabasco, one at a time, until you’ve got the most amazing flavour that you can imagine.
8. Serve poured generously over your Sunday roast!

*It’s essential that you stir your gravy continuously when you pour in the Bisto thickened batter mix, or lumps will form as it cooks unevenly. If you don’t and the worst does happen, then whisk briskly until they’ve been broken up. Lumpy gravy is not appetising in the slightest!!!

Sunday Dinner

Traditionally when we grew up, mum always made a proper Sunday Roastof a joint of meat, vegetables, roast and/or mashed potatoes with a light and crispy Yorkshire pudding and home made gravy.

Since I married many, many years ago and then with a growing up family of our own to feed, it’s our favourite meal of the week.  Family time to enjoy amazing food, lovingly prepared, to be the final meal of the weekend before the working and school week commences the following day.
I’ve broken my Sunday roast dinner down for you into three parts:
The gravy.
The Yorkshire pudding.
Just add your vegetables, sit down around the table with family, friends and loved ones and enjoy!
Rosie
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