Hello & welcome to my Blog.
I came up with the idea of this blog as I had been writing a cookery book for my Children after my eldest Son Simon left home and would ring me for all his favourite recipes. I thought that this way it would be easier to update & where ever they were they could cook their favourite recipes. This blog is that index card box of scribbled recipes, torn out recipes from magazines, lost somewhere in the house, all brought neatly together in one place.
What I didn't expect was the thousands of people that have looked at it since its creation, from all over the World, I have even created a Facebook fanpage so that I can chat to fellow foodies who have enjoyed the blog!
I really hope you enjoy the recipes, please feel free to post comments or recipes and I just want you to know that all recipes have been cooked time & time again by myself and all photographs, where possible, have been taken by me of the food that I have cooked.
I apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors, I bake better than I write.
Thursday, 8 November 2012
Delia's Shepherds Pie
Well Halloween has passed, Bonfire Night is over and Jack Frost can be seen more often than not most mornings, it has been a glorious autumn this year and I have enjoyed watching the garden change as we have been through the seasons in the new house. I was once told that you can not truly love or know a house until you have lived in it for a year, so far we have done, spring, summer and autumn and I have loved everyone of them. As I sit in the office and type this, the sun is streaming in and it puts a massive smile on my face, this is a good house !
Monday we celebrated Bonfire Night, we had a house full and as we struggled to squeeze around the dinner table to eat our bangers and mash I realised just how much fun we have in this house, it is a real family home.
Ben & Stephen provided us with the funniest firework display I have ever seen, we were laughing so much that we had tears streaming down our faces, I hate to think what the neighbours must think, but afterwards we snuggled around the fire with toffee apples, hot chocolates and homemade marshmallow, it was a perfect evening.
Now all I can think about is Christmas, I just want to get the decorations out, start baking and getting everyone together again, any excuse is a good excuse to me.
So as my thoughts are of family, warmth and of course food, I thought I would share this gorgeous shepherds pie with you, its perfect comfort food for this time of year.
1 lb (450 g) minced lamb
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 oz (75 g) carrot, peeled and chopped very small
3 oz (75 g) swede, peeled and chopped very small
½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 level tablespoon plain flour
10 fl oz (275 ml) fresh lamb stock
1 level tablespoon tomato purée
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the topping:
2 oz (50 g) mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
2 medium leeks, cleaned and cut into ½ inch (1 cm) slices
2 lb (900 g) Desirée or King Edward potatoes
2 oz (50 g) butter
salt and freshly milled black pepper
You will also need a large lidded frying pan or saucepan, and a 7½ inch (19 cm) square baking dish, 2 inches (5 cm) deep, well buttered.
Begin by taking the frying pan or saucepan and, over a medium flame, gently heat the olive oil. Now fry the onions in the hot oil until they are tinged brown at the edges – about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrot and swede and cook for 5 minutes or so, then remove the vegetables and put them to one side.
Now turn the heat up and brown the meat in batches, tossing it around to get it all nicely browned. You may find a wooden fork helpful here, as it helps to break up the mince. After that, give the meat a good seasoning of salt and pepper, then add the cooked vegetables, cinnamon, thyme and parsley.
Next, stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice, then gradually add the stock to the meat mixture until it is all incorporated. Finally, stir in the tomato purée. Now turn the heat right down, put the lid on the pan and let it cook gently for about 30 minutes.
While the meat is cooking you can make the topping. Peel the potatoes, cut them into even-sized pieces and place in a steamer fitted over a large pan of boiling water, sprinkle with some salt, put a lid on and steam until they're completely tender – about 25 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
When the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes. Next, add the butter and mash them to a purée – the best way to do this is with an electric hand whisk.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
When the meat is ready, spoon it into the baking dish and level it out with the back of the spoon. After that, spread the mashed potato evenly all over.
Now sprinkle the leeks on top of the potato, scatter the cheese over the leeks and bake the whole thing on a high shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden.