Lentil cottage pie
This recipe uses a small amount of meat, which is partnered with lentils. Lentils are a good alternative source of protein and are cheaper and lower in saturated fat than meat.
The 4 portions can be divided into individual dishes and extra portions can be frozen to save cooking time and fuel costs on other days.
With the meat/lentils for protein, potatoes for energy release and carrots and tomatoes for vitamins and minerals all in one dish, there is no need to add anything else to have a completely balanced meal.
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Cooking time: 65 minutes
- Serves: 4
- 110g/4oz lean minced beef
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 2 grated carrots
- 1 large tin of tomatoes
- 50g/2oz red lentils (if they need pre-soaking, follow instructions for soaking before starting the recipe)
- 1 cup of water
- Splash of milk
- 1 vegetable or beef stock cube or 1 tsp yeast extract dissolved in a cup of boiling water
- 900g/2lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
- Black pepper to taste
- Place the minced beef in a saucepan and add a little water or oil. Cook until brown, then pour off the fat.
- Add the onion, carrots, tomatoes, pepper and lentils.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and mash them with a splash of milk.
- Transfer the mince mixture to a large, ovenproof dish or individual ones if you're going to freeze portions.
- Spread the potato on top.
- Bake in the oven at gas mark 4/200°C/400°F for 30 minutes, or until the potato is light brown in colour.
- For frozen portions, defrost thoroughly first and then reheat for 30 minutes in the oven.