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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Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce

A favourite in our house that I’ve been making since my son was a baby 18 years ago. Over the years I’ve changed it slightly and added a little chilli to make it for a more grown up palette, but feel free to exclude the chilli (or even add a little more if you prefer).

500g Minced beef
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1tsp ground Garlic
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Chilli powder
50g Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
2tbs Rapeseed oil
Sauce
1 Onion, roughly chopped
540g Passata sauce
2tbs Tomato purée
1tbs Balsamic vinegar
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Sugar
1. In a blender, place your onion, Passata, tomato purée, balsamic vinegar, herbs & sugar.
2. Blitz all these together until smooth (alternatively you can put your sauce ingredients straight into your saucepan and use a stick blender).
3. Pour into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid whilst you make your meatballs.

4. In a large bowl, place your minced beef, onion, garlic, herbs, chilli, breadcrumbs and egg.

 

 5. Mix together until thoroughly combined.

6. Form small balls (you should be able to get 30-40 out of this mixture).  I generally use a 15ml (tbs) measuring spoon to portion my mixture out before rolling them into balls and setting to one side.

7. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry your meatballs in batches of 8-10 until browned all over.  Don’t add too many into the pan or they’ll steam rather than brown.

8. Tip your browned meatballs into the sauce and gently shake the pan to submerge them.

9. Continue to fry the batches of meatballs until they’re all browned and you’ve transferred them all into the sauce.
10. Simmer the sauce and meatballs, without the lid on, for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.  Try not to stir the meatballs as it may break them up, instead give the saucepan a shake every so often.

11. While your meatballs are cooking, you have time to bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook your spaghetti until ‘al dente’, then drain.

12. Serve the meatballs on a bed of spaghetti, sprinkled win some freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.

FREEZE: Once cooked, you can cool & freeze the sauce and meatballs for up to 3 months.  Allow to thoroughly defrost and then heat through gently in a saucepan until hot.  Serve with fresh pasta.

This is the perfect recipe to double up for another day’s easy meal.

Chilli for dinner

Autumn is definitely on the way and what better meal to have than a warming bowl of fresh chilli. Not from a jar plucked from a supermarket shelf, but from your own fair hands and a few simple, store cupboard ingredients.

10ml Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g Lean minced beef
1 Beef stock cube
5ml (1tsp) Chilli flakes (or more, if you’re feeling brave & like it hot!)
400g Can chopped tomatoes
15ml (1tbs) Tomato purée
10ml (2tsp) Oregano
1 can Red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1. Heat your oil gently in a saucepan.
2. Add the onion & garlic and cook until softened.
3. Add your minced beef & cook until browned.
4. Add the stock cube, chilli flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, oregano and kidney beans.
5. Bring to the boil & cook on a gentle simmer for at least 30 mins (uncovered) or for an hour (with the lid on).
Serve with boiled rice, grated cheese, soured cream & tortilla crisps.
* if it’s not hot enough, you can add extra chilli flakes, a chopped fresh chilli, or some Tabasco sauce.
Basmati rice the Rosie way…
1. Tip the quantity of rice you want into a large jug.
2. Pour over boiling water to cover plus about 1-2cm above.
3. Stir to break up any clumps.
4. Leave it alone while you.
5. Bring a large pan of cold water to the boil.
6. Stir then drain your rice.
7. Add the rice to your boiling water, stir & return to the boil.
8. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
9. Cook uncovered for about 7 mins until the grains have started to fluff & it’s cooked (taste a few grains to check).
10. Drain & serve.
**You’re wasting your money if you add oil to the water. Oil is lighter than water and simply floats on the surface whilst your rice sits below the surface. It doesn’t stop your rice grains from sticking together (you pour it down the sink when you drain your rice)