MULTI-LAYERED SHEPHERD'S PIE
An attractive variation on a traditional nursery favourite. This recipe makes one family-sized dish, or you can prepare several mini portions in ramekins or other small dishes as individual portions for your child.
112 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
12 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, freshly chopped
450g/1Ib lean minced beef or lamb
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1 teaspoon Marmite
freshly ground black pepper
450g/1Ib carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons double cream
175g/6oz mixed frozen peas and sweetcorn
60ml/2fl oz milk
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion, red pepper and parsley in the oil until softened. Stir in the meat and cook until browned. Add the tomatoes, stock cube and Marmite and season with pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the carrots and the potatoes separately in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and mash the carrots together with the cream and season to taste. Drain the potatoes and mash with the butter and milk until creamy and season to taste. Cook the frozen peas and sweetcorn in a little salted water according to the packet instructions. Spoon the meat into the base of a deep, round ovenproof glass dish (18cm/7in), top with the peas and sweetcorn, cover with the mashed carrots and top with the mashed potato. Dot with a little butter and bake in an oven pre- heated to 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy.
ANNABEL'S BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING
This is the perfect impromptu pudding to make when the cupboard is pretty bare. Stale bread will do for this recipe. It is also delicious made with raisin bread, chola or sliced panettone cake.
Makes 5 portions
275ml/9fl oz milk
275ml/9fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod, split
6 thin slices white bread, crusts removed
40g/114oz unsalted butter
3 large eggs
60g/2oz castor sugar
60g/2oz sultana, soaked in water and drained
8 tablespoons apricot jam
Place the milk and cream in a pan with the vanilla pod and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Butter a large ovenproof dish (approximately 26cm x 20cm/10in x 8in). Butter the slices of bread and cut diagonally into quarters. Arrange in the dish with sultanas between the slices. Whisk the eggs with the sugar. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk/cream mixture and gradually stir into the beaten eggs until well mixed. Pour over the bread and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Bake in a pre-heated oven (160C/325F/Gas 3) for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool down a little. Gently heat the jam, thinning it with two to three teaspoons of water, strain and brush over the pudding. Dust with icing sugar.
APPLE AND BLACKBERRY PUDDING
Makes 5 portions
100g/4oz castor sugar
100g/4oz ground almonds
5ml/1 teaspoon almond essence
450g/1lb cooking apples, peeled and sliced
225g/12lb blackberries, fresh or frozen
Cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs, ground almonds and almond essence. Mix together the fruit, place in an ovenproof dish, spread over the topping and bake in a pre-heated oven (160C/325F/Gas 3) for 45 minutes.