Thursday, 25 September 2014

Shepherdess pie and chilly evenings...

Despite the glorious sunshine we have had, I have finally conceded that autum is upon us.  Athough during the day I have all the windows open and the washing drying on the line,  it is a little chilly in the mornings and by the evening the temperature drops.  I have changed all the duvets to winter ones, the summer duvets have been washed and put away, I have swapped my clothes around, tshirts and thin dresses have gone away and jumpers and thicker dresses and skirts have come out.  I have put my summer dressing gown away and my fluffy hooded one is now hung up.

We haven't put the heating on yet, not cold enough for that, but by October I'm sure it will be on for an hour or two to take the chill off. I'm also starting to rethink my menu towards more autumnal food; chillies, pies, soups, stews......

I made a Shepherdess Pie last night - this is something we are more likely to eat during the autum and winter.  It is comfort food, slightly warming and very nourishing.  My DD loves it, in fact we all love it and think it's probably the nicest way to eat lentils (lentil and bacon soup is lovely too).  I'm sure you all know how to make it but I thought I would share my recipe...well I say 'recipe', I basically chuck whatever I have to hand in and hope for the best.

250 g of red lentils (rinsed)
1 Onion
2 Carrots (diced)
1 pepper/capsicum (Of any colour you fancy.  Can be replaced with anything to hand)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil (or any herbs you have in your cupboard)
1 pint of stock (I used chicken stock)
1 tin tomatoes
a squirt of tomato puree

Mash potato and cheddar to top

It all gets chucked into the slow cooker and cooked for 4-6 hours.  I keep checking this as lentils soon cook - I don't want them turning to mush, just nice and tender.  When it's cooked it should thicken to resemble bolognese sauce. Obviously if you haven't a slow cooker you can make this quickly on a hob, just keep checking that the lentils don't over cook. 

I place it in a casserole dish and top with mashed potato and cheese, then grill. If I have a tomato spare I will slice that on top too.  I serve with any veggies that are cheap and in season.

Lentils are so healthy,  full of fibre, count as part of your five a day, low fat and are incredibly cheap. 

What is your favourite autum dish?


  1. I had my favourite tonight, basically use what ever veg is to hand, and some red lentils, Dice veg and sweat in a slug of oil, stir in lentils and enough home made tomato sauce to cover, simmer till cooked. Serve in a deep dish with a thick wedge of sough dough bread and a spoon. I do make shepherdess pie but use green lentils and mushrooms.

  2. Lentils are one of the quiet stalwarts of the kitchen. You sort of forget about them but when you do use them you wonder why you don't use them more! I'm just chuckling as I read Pam's recipe above as, 'Sweat a slug in oil.' I am a bit tired I think I need my bed! Sweaty slug soup-high in protein and the yuk factor!

    1. You may have hit on something there, Wales has a lot of rain and I do a nightly slug hunt, I usually find 10 or so, mmmmmmmmm. I put them in a pot and throw them into the chicken run a few houses down from me. They love them.

  3. I am doing shepards pie today, ready for tommorow, I will have to try the meat free version, it sounds and looks lovely.

  4. I made shepherdess pie last night too. Best of all, there's another serving ready for tonight.

    Enjoyed seeing your version!