Author: Colleen
‘Tis not my intention to convert our blog into a recipe book.  However, I figure if my purpose here is to not only spread awareness of our services to those considering a London move, but to also inform readers on London itself, why not further enhance your cultural assimilation with a taste of English culinary delights?  Last week I Googled and prepared the following recipe for Cottage Pie, compliments of Channel 4:

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300ml beef stock, hot
  • 11/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Few fresh thyme leaves
  • For the Cheddar and parsnip mash
  • 350g floury potatoes
  • 350g parsnips
  • 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g extra-mature Cheddar, roughly grated

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the mince, turn up the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring until browned. Add the tomato purée, cook for 1 minute, then pour in the stock, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook for 5-10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Season, then spoon into a 2-2.5-litre ovenproof dish.

2. For the mash, cut the potatoes and parsnips into medium-size chunks and put into a large pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return to the pan to heat for 30 seconds to drive off the excess moisture. Mash with the milk and nutmeg. Season and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C/gas 4.

3. Spoon the mash onto the mince. Rough up with a fork and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the mash is golden and crisp in places.

© delicious. magazine

To make this even easier, you can buy ready-made mashed potatoes at the fabulous London store Marks & Spencer–that’s what I did.  What I also did was not read the measurement for tomato puree closely enough.  I accidentally substituted an entire can of chopped tomatoes instead, which I must say was a most delicious mistake–I plan to always make it that way going forward, as the extra tomato made it so juicy and flavourful (you may want to drain some of the excess liquid before putting everything in the oven, however, so that the finished product isn’t too runny).  My other substitutions?  Fresh chives instead of thyme (I mixed them in the potatoes as well) and Red Leicester cheese instead of cheddar, simply because that’s what I already had in my fridge.

With the winter chill setting in, it’s time for some comfort food that you can prepare within the comfort of your home!  And the recipe for finding that London flat in the first place is simple:  1)  Lift phone receiver; 2) Dial 1.877.778.3487 (toll-free) to schedule your appointment with London Relocation Ltd.  3)  Serve hot!