MARGARET KIBBLE of Dyfed, Wales, offers this recipe for wet days.

Shepherd's Pie

Serves 6

Ingredients: 1lb (450g)

minced beef

2 rashers smoked streaky

bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/4 lb (115g) mushrooms, sliced

1tbs olive oil

3-4tbs tomato puree

1 bay leaf

strip of lemon peel

16fl oz (450ml) vegetable


2 large potatoes, cooked and

hand-mashed with butter,

salt, pepper and nutmeg

Preparation: Lightly fry bacon in olive oil. Add onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms. Cook gently for another 5 minutes. Add garlic and meat, cooking to lightly brown meat. Add celery, lemon zest, tomato puree, bay leaf and stock. Simmer until meat is tender and stock is well reduced. Place in deep pie dish, cover with mash and bake in oven preheated to 350F/180C/gas 4 for 30 minutes, or until top is golden and sides bubbling.

Next week: curries. Send new entries, stating source, to Emily Green, Reader Recipe, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize will be two bottles of Pinot Grigio 1992 from Borgo Molino supplied by Reid Wines near Bristol.