Week 2
2nd - 6th August

 

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Shepherd's Pie

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped

  • 500g pack lamb mince

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

  • large splash Worcestershire sauce

  • 500ml beef stock

  • 900g potatoes, cut into chunks

  • 85g butter

  • 3 tbsp milk

Method


STEP 1


Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a medium saucepan, then soften 1 chopped onion and 2-3 chopped carrots for a few mins.

STEP 2


When soft, turn up the heat, crumble in 500g lamb mince and brown, tipping off any excess fat.

STEP 3


Add 2 tbsp tomato purée and a large splash of Worcestershire sauce, then fry for a few mins.

STEP 4
Pour over 500ml beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40 mins, uncovering halfway.

STEP 5


Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4, then make the mash. Boil the 900g potato, cut into chunks, in salted water for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain, then mash with 85g butter and 3 tbsp milk.

STEP 6


Put the mince into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and ruffle with a fork. The pie can now be chilled and frozen for up to a month.

STEP 7


Bake for 20-25 mins until the top is starting to colour and the mince is bubbling through at the edges. (To bake from frozen, cook at 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot in the centre. Flash under the grill to brown, if you like.)

STEP 8
Leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

Did you know?

 

You can freeze shepherd's pie. Shepherd's pie can be frozen for around 3 months. You could also freeze shepherd's pie in parts if you'd prefer, keeping the mince mixture and potatoes separate until it comes time to reheat them.

Healthy Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 500g lean minced beef

  • 1 beef stock cube

  • 400g can chopped tomatoes

  • ½ tsp dried marjoram

  • 1 tsp sugar (or add a thumbnail-sized piece of dark chocolate along with the beans instead, see tip)

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée

  • 410g can red kidney beans

  • plain boiled long grain rice , to serve

  • soured cream , to serve

Method:

  • STEP 1​

       Prepare your vegetables. Chop 1 large onion into small dice, about 5mm square.​

  • STEP 2

    Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

  • STEP 3

    Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot.

  • STEP 4

    Add the onion and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft, squidgy and slightly translucent.

  • STEP 5

    Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin.

  • STEP 6

    Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • STEP 7

    Brown 500g lean minced beef. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle a bit when you add the mince.

  • STEP 8

    Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

  • STEP 9

    Make the sauce. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.

  • STEP 10

    Add a 400g can of chopped tomatoes. Tip in ½ tsp dried marjoram, 1 tsp sugar and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

  • STEP 11

    Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

  • STEP 12

    Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

  • STEP 13

    Drain and rinse a 410g can of red kidney beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

  • STEP 14

    Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think.

  • STEP 15

    Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. This is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle.

  • STEP 16

    Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

Did you know?

Chili Con Carne, featuring dark red kidney and pinto beans, has a whopping 5 grams of fibre per serving. A fibre-rich diet offers many health benefits — possibly reducing the risk of heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes. Beans also are low in fat, cholesterol-free and rich in protein, folate, iron and zinc.

Healthy Fish Pie

Ingredients:

  • 450ml (3/4 pint) semi-skimmed milk​

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ​3 spring onions, finely chopped​

  • 3 tbsp cornflour​

  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard​

  • 2 tbsp chopped dill​

  • 160g (5 1/2oz) cod, cut into chunks​

  • 160g (5 1/2oz) smoked haddock, cut into chunks​

  • 160g (5 1/2oz) salmon, cut into chunks​

  • 150g (5oz) raw king prawns​

  • 100g frozen peas​

  • 2 Desiree potatoes, each about 100g (3 1/2oz) peeled​

  • 2 tbsp light olive oil​

  • 25g (1oz) vintage Cheddar, coarsely grated​

  • steamed broccoli, to serve

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Pour the milk into a large saucepan, add the bay leaves and spring onion and bring to a simmer. Mix the cornflour and 3 tablespoons cold water to form a paste, then stir into the milk and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until thickened slightly. Season well, add the mustard and dill and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Stir in the fish mix, prawns and peas and pour into a 1.5-litre (2 1/2 pint) ovenproof dish.

  • Place the whole peeled potatoes into a large pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove from the pan, cool slightly, grate into a large clean tea towel and squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Tip the potato into a bowl, add the olive oil and Cheddar cheese and season well. Then scatter over the fish.

  • Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden on top. Serve with steamed green vegetables.

Did you know?

 

You can serve your fish pie with salad or a variety of veggies. broccoli. corn. peas. carrots. cauliflower. sautéed spinach.

Chicken Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion , finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed

  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tsp caster sugar

  • 6 tbsp mascarpone

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips

  • 300g penne

  • 70g mature cheddar , grated

  • 50g grated mozzarella

  • ½ small bunch of parsley , finely chopped

 

Method:

 

  • STEP 1

    Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion gently for 10-12 mins. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 1 min. Tip in the tomatoes and sugar and season to taste. Simmer uncovered for 20 mins or until thickened, then stir through the mascarpone. 

  • STEP 2

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan. Season the chicken and fry for 5-7 mins or until the chicken is cooked through. 

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Cook the penne following pack instructions. Drain and toss with the remaining oil. Tip the pasta into a medium sized ovenproof dish. Stir in the chicken and pour over the sauce. Top with the cheddar, mozzarella and parsley. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown and bubbling. 

 

Leek and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 50g butter

  • 450g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm pieces

  • 1 small onion, cut the same size as the potatoes

  • 450g white parts of leeks, sliced (save the green tops for another soup or stock)

  • 850ml-1.2litres/1.5-2pts light chicken or vegetable stock

  • 142ml carton whipping cream

  • 125ml full-fat milk

  • the white part of 1 leek

  • a small knob of butter

  • finely chopped chives

Method:

 

 

  • STEP 1

    Melt 50g butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add 450g potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes, 1 small onion, cut the same as the potatoes, and 450g white parts of leeks, sliced and toss them in the butter until they are well coated.

  • STEP 2

    Season well with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss again. Put a disc of greaseproof paper (called a cartouche by chefs) on top of the vegetables to keep in the steam), then cover the pan with its lid.

  • STEP 3

    Cook over a gentle heat for 10 mins, or until the vegetables are soft but not coloured.

  • STEP 4

    Uncover the pan and discard the paper. Pour in 850ml of the light chicken or vegetable stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked – about 5 minutes. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh flavour.

  • STEP 5

    Purée in a blender until silky smooth, in batches if necessary, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Return the soup to a clean pan and stir in three quarters of a 142ml carton of whipping cream and 125ml full-fat milk.

  • STEP 6

    To finish the soup, finely shred the white part of 1 leek and gently cook it in a small knob of hot butter for a few mins until it is softened but not coloured.

  • STEP 7

    Reheat the soup to a gentle simmer (add some extra stock at this point if the soup is too thick for your liking), then pour into warmed bowls.

  • STEP 8

    Drizzle the remaining cream over each serving, top with a little pile of buttered leeks and a scattering of chives and black pepper and serve at once.

Did you know?

Leeks are rich in flavonoids, especially one called kaempferol. Flavonoids are antioxidants and may have anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anticancer properties, as well as other health benefits.

 

Carrot Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 150g margarine

  • 250g carrots

  • 200g sugar

  • 200g flour

  • 1.5tsp cinnamon

  • 2tsp baking powder

  • 2 large eggs

  • 125g sultanas

  • 50g nuts

Method:

  • STEP 1

    Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6/fan 180C. Melt the margarine in the microwave.

  • STEP 2

    Top and tail, then peel and grate the carrots.

  • STEP 3

    Combine the carrots, sugar and margarine in a bowl.

  • STEP 4

    Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.

  • STEP 5

    Beat the eggs in a small bowl and then add to the mixture. Also mix in the nuts and sultanas.

  • STEP 6

    Line a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases and divide the mixture equally between them. Bake for 20 minutes.

Did you know?

 

You can  freeze these muffins - make sure to let them cool completely. Then wrap each muffin tightly in plastic wrap, one by one, and place in freezer bags. They freeze well up to 3 months.


 

 
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