Monday, February 6, 2012

Sorry for the silence.  We've been away on a little adventure and it has taken a few days to regroup, recover and shuffle the kids off to school.  We did a bit of this...
and a bit of this:

We were not alone. Australians were there en masse, taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate.

It is always good to be home, it must have been so hot while we were away. It seems unbelievable that it is so dry here and yet in other parts of the country it just will not stop raining.  I had some fairies watering the garden which meant that what was left in the veggie garden was kept alive.
Beautiful basil...
and tomatoes on the way..
sweetcorn and zucchinis.

I have been busy making tuck to send back to school, bits and pieces for the school lunch box, pesto  and of all things, beef broth because I had the bones in the freezer, and who would have thought it was sooo good for you? (and here

I also made a Shepherd's Pie.  This really is family cooking at its most sincere.  I used the lamb leftover from a roast (teenager removed from the house = halved food consumption) and some potatoes from the garden.  It is very easy,  if I have enough meat I make two and freeze one.

Shepherd's Pie

The quantities are not really specific, as it depends on how much meat you have leftover.  

Olive oil
1 onion, peeled
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 clove garlic, peeled
About 300g cooked lamb
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tblsp tomato paste or homemade tomato sauce (or both, taste and see what you think)
1 tblsp worcester sauce
1 teasp Vegemite

In the food processor whizz the onion, carrot, celery and garlic till it's finely chopped.  By all means do this by hand if you prefer.  
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pan and gently saute the vegetables for about 10 minutes until  they are soft, don't let them brown.

While they are cooking chop the meat into big chunks and whizz in the food processor (you could use a mincer).  Add to the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients and cook on for about 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper (it needs plenty).

Place in a suitable dish and top with mashed potato.  

Bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes till golden and bubbling.  Look the other way when your children add lashings of tomato sauce.
Doesn't the flowering gum look pretty next to the golden elm..

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