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.

Potato Topped Chicken and Leek Bake

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A delicious meal of chicken and leeks in a white wine and cream sauce topped with thinly sliced potatoes, sprinkled with cheese and baked until golden.  What more can I say?  Except sumptuous!

25g Butter
15ml Rapeseed Oil
2 Leeks, finely sliced
4 Chicken Breasts, cubed into bite sized pieces
15ml Chopped fresh parsley
30ml White Wine
60ml Single Cream
Salt and Pepper to season
4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (3-4mm)
25g Butter
50g Cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
2. Melt the butter and the oil in a large pan.
3. Gently sauté the leeks until softened.
4. Add the diced chicken and cook gently for 5 minutes.
5. Add the chopped parsley, wine and the cream
6. Season to taste.
7. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
8. Meanwhile bring a large pan of water to the boil and drop the sliced potatoes in.
9. Boil for 4-5 minutes until starting to soften.
10. Pour the chicken and leek mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
11. Drain the potato slices and layer on top of the chicken and leek to cover completely.
12. Dot with the butter and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
13. Cook for 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbling on top.
14. Serve with steamed vegetables.
I cooked and paired this dish with a Central Co-Operative Fairtrade 2013 Pinot Grigio which I reviewed on my post {here}

Chicken and Leek Stroganoff

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I’ve previously reviewed Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food book that I bought for my husband.  There are several recipes in there that have become firm family favourites and that my husband often cooks for us; this recipe being one of them as it’s quick, tasty and very easy to prepare. Leeks give a wonderful flavour to a meal – coming from the Allium family which includes the onion and garlic, their flavour is much more subtle and delicate.

This recipe is based on Jamie’s from his book.

2 Large leeks
4 Chicken breasts
2tbs Olive oil
20g Butter
250ml White wine (if it’s not good enough to drink, it’s not good enough to cook with)
100ml Water
15ml Wholegrain mustard
300g Basmati Rice
Bunch fresh, flat leaved parsley
300ml Single cream
1/2 Lemon
Salt & pepper

1. Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil.
2. Wash your leeks then cut them lengthways into quarters, from top to bottom, then slice across the stems (whites and greens) into 1cm thicknesses.

3. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized pieces, approx. 1cm x 2cm .
4. Heat a large frying pan and add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.
5. Add the leeks, wine, water, mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Stir together then bring to the boil and cover loosely with a lid or foil.
7. Put your rice in your boiling water, stir once and return to the boil.  Simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes (according to packet instructions).
8. Chop the parsley, leaves and stalks, finely.
9. Add the chicken, parsley and the cream to the frying pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

10. Drain the cooked rice.
11. Add the juice of your lemon half to the stroganoff and stir just before serving.
12. Place a pile of rice on your plate and add a generous couple of spoons of the stroganoff.

Serve with a perfectly chilled glass of the white wine that you used to cook this dish with.

Meatballs with a Spicy Chilli Sauce

Similar to my other meatball recipe, I made this today but had a play with the sauce to spice it up using a Knorr Mixed Chilli Flavour pot.
2 medium Onions
3 cloves Garlic
Generous handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, sage, thyme, oregano & parsley)
2 eggs
100g Dried breadcrumbs
500g Minced Beef
Sauce
Small handful of fresh basil, sage & oregano
540g Passata sauce
1 medium Onion
4tbs tomato ketchup
1tbs Tomato purée
2tbs Cider vinegar
Knorr beef stock pot
Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot
Extra Virgin Olive oil

1. In a food processor, place the onions, garlic cloves, herbs and eggs.
2. Blitz until they form a thick, foamy paste.
3. In a large bowl, place your breadcrumbs and mince.
4. Pour your onion, garlic, herb and egg paste onto the mince and breadcrumbs and mix together thoroughly, using your hands.  Then wash your hands.
5. Without the need to wash the food processor bowl, add the sauce herbs, Passata and onion.  Blitz these together until they form a smooth sauce.
6. Pour your sauce ingredients into a large saucepan and add the ketchup, tomato purée and cider vinegar.
7. Mix the Knorr beef stock pot in 500ml boiling water until dissolved.
8. Add this to the sauce mixture with the Knorr mixed chilli flavour pot (I only used half of the chilli pot, but add more or less according to your own personal taste).
9. Bring the sauce ingredients to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
10. Roll your meatball mixture into small balls, about 2cm in diameter.
11. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs all over.  It’s best to do these in batches so that they brown and don’t steam.
12. Transfer your browned meatballs to the sauce and shake the pan to coat.
13. Repeat until all of your meatballs are in your sauce mixture.  Try to avoid stirring the sauce so that you don’t break your meatballs up.
14. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add your chosen pasta shape. Return to the boil then simmer until cooked to your liking.
15. Drain the pasta and add to your serving bowl.  Spoon some meatballs and sauce over your pasta.
16. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.