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.

Cherry & Almond Crumble

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Looking for a quick and simple pudding?  Then look no further.  As I was on a course with work today, and my hubby was cooking dinner, I wanted something that was quick and tasty for dessert.  I always have the basics in my cupboards but I also had a jar of pitted cherries that I’d bought in Lidl recently, so put a tasty recipe together in about 5 minutes ready for the oven. (Apologies for the photo quality, it was taken on my phone).

Crumble
110g (4oz) Self Raising flour
60g (2oz) Ground almonds
85g (3oz) Demerara sugar
85g (3oz) Butter, chilled

Filling
680g (24oz) jar (350g/12 1/4oz drained weight) pitted cherries in syrup (Lidl)
30g (1oz) Granulated sugar
5ml (1tsp) Almond extract
10ml (2tsp) cornflour
15ml (1tbs) cold water

1.   Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2.   Mix together the flour, almonds and sugar.
3.   Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour/almond/sugar mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.
4.   Drain the cherries, putting the juice into a small saucepan.
5.   Place the drained cherries in the bottom of a 25cm/10″ round dish.
6.   Add the granulated sugar to the cherry syrup and bring to the boil.
7.   Continue to boil for 5 minutes until reduced by a third.
8.   Mix the cornflour with the cold water.
9.   Add the almond extract and the cornflour mixture to the boiling syrup.
10. Continue to boil, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until thickened.
11. Pour thickened cherry syrup onto your cherries in the dish.
12. Sprinkle your crumble mix over the top evenly.
13. Cook for 30-35 minutes until golden.
14. Remove and serve hot with custard / ice cream / cream according to your preference.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did this evening.

Rosie
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