Friday, 11 September 2015


Thank goodness the new school term has started and I can get back into a routine. Summer was lovely but I am happy it is over. However I am at a complete loss of what to cook at the moment, I think we eat too much pasta and white carbs but they are everyone's favourites! Anyway tonight I decided to cook a very traditional cottage pie.

This took about an hour in total and the recipe is from Fay Ripley's second cookbook.

Ingredients for 4 - 6 people (depending on portion size):

500g potatoes, peeled and chopped
250g parsnips, peeled and chopped
A big knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
Splash of olive oil
500g lean mince beef
1 beef stock cube
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup

My daughter Arabella is keen to help cook as she thinks it is good "family time". I am not going to say no to that so she helped me peel and chop the parsnips and the potatoes! We then put them in a saucepan of boiling water for about 20 minutes until soft.

Once cooked, drain and mash with a big dollop of butter until smooth and then set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan) / 200 C / gas mark 6.

Meanwhile fry the thinly sliced onions in oil for around 5 minutes.

 Add the mince and fry until it turns brown.

Dissolve the beef stock cube with three tablespoons of boiling water and then add to the mince along with a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup. Mix all together.

Scrape it all into an ovenproof dish.

Top with rough dollops of the mash and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

This was easy to prepare but tasted very good - we did obviously add some grated cheese at the end which I would really recommend and next time I will probably add some to the top of the pie before I cook it. I also think it would be great served with peas. A fantastic mid week family supper - plus you can make it the day before and it is freezable.

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