Happy New Year!!

1 Jan

Happy New Year Everyone! We had a delightful snowy New Year’s Eve!  I love snow; we made a snowman whilst sipping champagne  and ringing in 2010 last night. It’s a chilly, icey day outside, the shepard’s pie is in the oven and the blueberry muffins are just out. I recently bought a book of muffin recipes as I am trying to find the ultimate muffin recipe. It can be so hard to get that lovely moist texture. I’m hoping this batch turn out, I can promise that they smell amazing and I am dying to try one!


The Shepard’s pie (another gem from the Avoca Cookbook) turned out heavenly, the perfect dinner to tuck into on a chilly January night. Since I first made this pie a few years ago I haven’t strayed from this recipe. It’s simply too good to even contemplate making a different one. I guarantee you will fall head over heals in love with it, just as I did!

In a large pan, heat some vegetable oil and gently saute one diced onion until soft and lightly coloured. Add the mince (1lb) a little at a time and cook until browned. Dilute a dessert spoon of bovril in some hot water and add to the mince mixture and stir well. Then add 3 tablespoons of worchester sauce, 1 teaspoon of tomato puree, 3 diced carrots, s sprigs of thyme and 400ml of chicken stock (I use the knorr stockpots as I find those cubes too salty). Season with salt and pepper. Simmer on a low heat for 50 minutes.

When this has been cooking for approx. 30 minutes put your peeled, chopped potatoes (5 or 6 depending on size) on to boil. Drain well and mash with. I always mash with salt, pepper, butter and milk, though you can use cream or an egg yolk if you wish.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Place the meat mixture into a casserole dish and top with the mashed potato. I’m quite pedantic about this part, I hate to see the meat and potato mix – I use a dessert spoon and add the potato one spoon at a time starting at one side of the dish and work my way round until it is full. You can then run a fork over the top for decoration or smooth it out. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the mash is nicely browned. I generally serve this with peas.

Be warned, this is seriously tasty, so good that we nearly scoffed the entire dish between the two of us!!


3 Responses to “Happy New Year!!”

  1. American in Paris January 5, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Happy New Year!!! As always your pictures and food look AMAZING…I so want one of those yummy-lookin-muffins right now! Great blog…must turn it into a book one day 🙂 xx

  2. Rouba January 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    This recipe is very similar to a French recipe called “hachis parmentier”. “Hachis” means “minced” and Parmentier was the name of the guy who introduced potato to France. Great for winter time!

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