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.

Sausage Casserole

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Who buys packet casserole mix? WHY do you buy packet casserole mixes? Do you know just how EASY it is to make your own; do you KNOW what is in it (no preservatives, copious amounts of salt or ‘E’ numbers) No? Then let me show you.

Simply take (remember it’s cooking not baking so it’s not a precise science; add or take away ingredients that you do or don’t like, even alter the proportions to suit your taste).

1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) plain flour
1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) tomato puree
1 HEAPED tbs (20ml) wholegrain mustard
2tsp (10ml) mixed herbs
1 400g chopped tomatoes
1 pint (570mls) Beef/Chicken stock.
1 pack of your favourite sausages (I use Lincolnshire)
1 medium swede, diced.
3 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium parsnips, diced
1 red pepper, diced

Oven temperature from 150°C to 180°C depending on how quickly you want it to cook. I normally do mine on 150°C for a few hours. Alternatively, why not put it all into your slow cooker and come home to the amazing smell of your home cooked fayre?

1. In a large casserole dish, put your flour, tomato puree, mustard, herbs and chopped tomatoes.

2. Add the stock and mix thoroughly.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and stir through.

4. Add the sausages (I don’t bother to brown mine as it’s a slow cooked recipe). You MAY need to add some more water at this stage. You want it to submerge the majority of your veg but not all.

5. Place in the oven and ignore for the next couple of hours or so.

6. Remove, stir through and serve with buttery mashed potatoes and some lovely Savoy cabbage.

Perfect for a cold Autumn or Winter’s evening.

Now you’ve seen just how EASY it is to make your own casserole sauce, why not have a go for yourself? Come back and tell me how you got on!

Rosie
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