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.

Review – Patak Chicken Tikka Masala

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In a hurry?  No time to cook from scratch? Need a quick and tasty dinner cooked straight from the freezer?  Yes, sometimes we all do!

Although I’m not normally one to buy ready meals, sometimes we all have to make sure dinner is on the table quickly if we’re in a rush, and the other night was no exception. As I was late in from work, and rushing to get out the door again, it called for me to have a ‘quick on draw’ dinner.  Luckily, Patak’s had sent me one of their new range of frozen Chicken Tikka Masala ready meals to review so I could get this out of the freezer, into the microwave and on the table in a matter of only 10 minutes, which was hardly time to get changed and ready to go out again!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

The packaging says it’s medium strength, however I personally think it was quite mild. The chicken was lean and stayed succulent in a generous portion of sauce and the pilau rice stayed in individual grains and not a gloopy lump of stodge. The smell was so tantalising that my husband appeared and miraculously managed to have a fork in his hand to dig in and share my dinner; the cheeky boy!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

As the mother of a son at Uni, I think this would also make a perfect freezer filler for him during study time when the books are calling and there is less time for him to cook his own curry from scratch.

At 550 Calories per pack, it’s possibly a little higher than I would normally eat, however the saturated fat at 3.4g made it a less of a guilt and more of a pleasure and much more of reasonable calorific intake than a take away curry would.  I’d certainly buy a couple of these as quick stand by dinners for my freezer.

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

Thanks to Patak’s PR company for arranging to send me a sample to review.

 

Jersey Royals with Minted Lamb Leg Steaks

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My other recipe using Jersey Royal potatoes is more of a traditional one.  For this one, they’re gently boiled and then roasted to perfection, served with Chantenay carrots and deliciously lean New Zealand lamb leg steaks, slowly cooked in a rich Barolo red wine and mint sauce.

Jersey Royals with Asda

  • 1 lemon, zest & juice
  • 1 lamb leg steak per person
  • 10ml Rapeseed oil
  • 2 Red onions, chopped finely
  • 10ml Plain flour
  • 15ml Mint sauce concentrate
  • 250ml Barolo red wine
  • 100ml Vegetable stock
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Rapeseed oil sufficient to roast the potatoes
  • Jersey Royal potatoes
  • Chantenay carrots
  • Broccoli
  1. Zest the lemon and squeeze the lemon juice over the lamb steaks. Toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours to start to tenderise the meat.
  2. Heat the oven to 180℃/160℃ fan.
  3. In a large ovenproof pan (with a lid), heat the oil and fry the onions gently until transparent.
  4. Turn up the heat and fry the lamb leg steaks until browned on both sides. Remove the lamb to a plate to keep warm.
  5. Evenly sprinkle the flour over the onions and oil and mix thoroughly to a paste (no floury lumps).
  6. Slowly add the red wine and vegetable stock, stirring constantly, to prevent lumps forming.
  7. Add the mint sauce concentrate and stir through, then add the bay leaf.
  8. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes until slightly reduced.  Season to taste.
  9. Return the lamb steaks to the pan, stir to coat and then cover with the lid. Place in the oven to cook.
  10. Add the Jersey Royals to a large pan of salted water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Increase the oven temperature to 200℃, and place a roasting dish with oil in to heat up.
  12. Drain the potatoes and gently add these to the hot oil, toss to coat evenly and return to the oven for 30-40 minutes.
  13. Scrub the carrots, then slice them vertically from top to bottom.
  14. Steam the carrots over a pan of boiling water, adding the prepared broccoli florets for the last 10 minutes until both vegetables are cooked to taste.
  15. Serve the roasted Jersey Royals with the vegetables and a lamb leg steak each.

Jersey Royals with Asda

This recipe is cooked in collaboration with Asda and Jersey Royals to highlight the versatility and great flavour of Jersey Royal potatoes.

 

Jersey Royals are in season

Jersey Royals are a delicious, nutty flavoured, little new potato, grown exclusively on the beautiful British island of Jersey, just off the west coast of France. They’re naturally fertilised with Vraic (seaweed) that is washed up on the shores from the tidal flows and have been grown on Jersey for over 130 years.  The majority of these tasty little morsels are still hand lifted from the ground by the island’s 20 major farmers. They’re high in vitamin C and fibre as well as containing less calories than both pasta and rice. They have less fat than cous cous and they’re gluten free too. Their slow releasing carbohydrates make them perfect for a low GI diet; keeping your fuller for longer thereby keeping hunger at bay.

In order for potatoes to be sold as Jersey Royals, they must be grown on the island and they have been awarded EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), thereby ensuring their provenance and integrity.  Jersey grows, harvests and exports between 30-40,000 tonnes per year, and at the peak season in May, can export up to 1,500 tonnes per day!  That’s a whole lot of potatoes!!!!

Jersey Royals with Asda

So, what can you do with Jersey Royals then?  Well, they’re absolutely perfect for boiling, steaming or roasting in their skins. Having cold with a salad, enrobed in creamy garlic infused mayonnaise, sprinkled gently with freshly chopped chives. Alternatively, why not make a delicious vegetable curry with them?

I’ve got two recipes to share with you, both featuring delicious Jersey Royals, and both of which are completely different to each other.  See my posts for a tasty Jersey Royal and Vegetable Curry or a delicious roast leg of lamb steaks with oven roasted Jersey Royals.

This and my recipe posts were sponsored by Asda & Jersey Royals for which I was provided with a gift voucher to purchase ingredients to make my meals.