Saturday, 6 October 2012

Largeing it

With a large (but forgiving) audience for lunch today, I decided to cook a big cottage pie and an apple traybake.

half eaten cottage pie in a dish
No shepherds were harmed in the making of this meal

Cottage pie

At about 7 this morning I put 2 chopped onions, a kilo of lean steak mince, 4 chopped carrots, 3
tablespoons ketchup, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, an Oxo cube and one glass of water in the slow cooker on 'high'. I gave it a stir about an hour in to break up the mince a bit, but left it alone after that. At 11.30 I ladled most of it out into a big dish. The mince was a bit clumpy, but so well cooked by this time that a pat with the back of the ladle broke it up nicely. I added 10 mashed (small-medium) potatoes and a handful of grated cheese, before putting it into the oven for 40 minutes, until the top was light brown and the mince was bubbling up from under the potatoes. Served with easy-frozen-peas-y.

Bonus: There was enough mince left over to use as the base for another meal next week.

Apple Traybake

3 large cooking apples
juice of half a lemon
8oz butter, softened
10oz caster sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
12oz self-raising flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

Pre-heat oven to 180/gas 4. Grease and line a baking tin measuring approx 27 x 20cm. Peel and slice the apples finely and pour the lemon juice over them. Meanwhile, place the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix until smooth. Spread half the mixture in the tin, top with half of the apples, and repeat. You could add handful of blackberries if you have them. Either way, sprinkle over some demerara sugar, and bake for about 45 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Serve hot or warm, with something cold and creamy.

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