Tag Archives: potatoes

RSC Main: Lentil Cottage Pie

My Ready Steady Cook Challenge begins!

As my list is vegetarian, the main meal was going to be my tamaletjie. What’s the best way to tackle a problem? Start with what you know. Cottage Pie is my go-to dish.

It’s a winter staple in our house. A rich, gravy flavour matched with buttery potato goodness is the perfect way to forget about stuffy offices, frozen fingers pawing away at keyboards and those ever intellectually challenged colleagues.

Le Ingredients

Le Ingredients


2 cups dry lentils
6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, chopped finely
1 can tinned tomatoes
handful of chopped fresh basil
1 tbs chopped garlic
1 tbs olive oil
1 egg
2 tsp paprika
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Cook lentils in double the volume of water until soft and almost mushy. Cook it slowly otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pot. This one I’ve tried ‘n tested.

In another pot, cook your finely cubed potatoes in water until really soft ‘n mushy.

In a heavy based pan, fry onion in oil until soft. Add garlic. Add lentils and 1 tsp paprika.  Turn down the heat of the pan. Add tomatoes and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Once the lentil mixture has stiffened a bit and lost some of its liquid, pour it into a casserole dish.

Crack the raw egg into the lentil mixture and mix. Add basil and mix again.

Once your potatoes are cooked, mash them with butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Spoon the mash on top of the lentil mixture and flatten. Decorate with paprika, herbs or simply make pretty patterns with your fork.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Lentil Cottage Pie

Lentil Cottage Pie

It passed the taste test once fed to Guinea Pig Danny.

Lovely Little Lentils

Lentil Love


Filed under Dinner

Bangers ‘n Mash

No prize for guessing which team we supported in Saturday night’s World Cup match in Rustenburg.

Posh Porkies

Posh Porkies

I first had bangers ‘n mash at a dingy seafood restaurant called Dockside Debbie’s at the PE Harbour. It later became a brothel I hear. But at that time, Debbie was more known for her grills than her girls. The mash was rough and rustic with lots of black pepper and the bangers were just fried porkies. Just like I liked it then. At the time I also had no idea of the dish’s British origins, besides for the odd name ‘Bangers’. It’s pork sausages between us, and I still maintain that Bangers is a stupid name. But then again, they call blood sausage black pudding. Bless them and their euphemisms…

Not having any British roots, Danny and I had to improvise. He took care of the meat while I handled the mash. If it looks and sounds British, chuck it in!

Bangers ‘n Mash for the English Soccer Team

The meat:

1 tbs canola oil
8 pork bangers
1 onion, sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbs chutney
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce (token British ingredient)
salt and pepper to taste

Brown the bangers in heated oil in a pan. Add the onions until translucent and browned. Add Worcestershire sauce. Add tomatoes. Add chutney and a little water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on a low heat, making sure the bangers don’t burn.

The mash:

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups of water
1 tbs of butter
1 tbs Colman’s English mustard (token British ingredient)
1/2 cup of milk

Cook potatoes in salted water until soft. Remove from the stove, add mustard, butter and a bit of salt. Mash until soft. Add milk gradually until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Serve with bangers. Before digging in, say a prayer for your team.

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Filed under Dinner