Sunday, March 28, 2010

Du Puy Lentils with Broccoli

I love lentils. Du Puy lentils are my favorite, not only do they hold up better when cooked ( due to having less starch in them) but they are so pretty to look at! I made this recipe as a main dish but you could easily use it as an accompaniment to grilled fish,roast pork, or a vegetarian dinner alongside baked butternut squash or pile of caramelized roasted root vegetables like parsnips, celery root, and carrots.

  • 1¼ cup (250 gr) French du Puy Lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few springs of fresh thyme
  • 5 leaves of kale (chopped)
  • salt
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 bulb of fennel (optional), finely diced
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of broccoli florets
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • saute the diced onion, carrot and fennel in a large pot
  • Transfer the lentils to a large saucepan then cover with a copious amount of water, which should cover the lentils by at least 3-4 inches. Add the bay leaf .
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add a bit of salt, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are just tender, adding more water if necessary. Be sure not to overcook them.
  • While the lentils are cooking, cut broccoli into florets and steam them.
  • 5mins before the lentils are done add the chopped kale and fresh thyme to the mixture and cook until the kale is tender.
  • Remove lentils from heat then taste, and season with more salt, pepper, and olive oil if desired. Remove bay leaf..
  • Place steamed broccoli on top of lentils and add a generous amount of olive oil and the juice from the lemon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steak & Guinness pie with Colcannon.

For St. Patrick's day 2010 I decided to take a stab at making some Irish food. I adore potatoes so they naturally had to be on the menu. I made Colcannon, a mix of potato, cabbage and leeks that is so good I could have eaten just that, as a main course. I also made some personal size Steak and Guinness pies, just because I thought they would be cuter in ramekins.

  • 1kg chuck steak (1 inch cubes)
  • 1 onion -diced
  • 2 carrots -diced
  • 2 leeks- diced
  • 1.5 cans of Guinness
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp of oxo or 50ml beef stock
  • 5ml worcester sauce
  • teaspoon thyme
  • pastry

  • Chop the onion, carrot and leeks into bite-sized chunks and set aside.
  • In a heavy pan add the oil and brown the steak in small batches, set aside and deglaze the pan with a small amount of the Guinness, add this to the resting beef.
  • Heat the last of the oil and soften the onion and the vegetables. Add the rested meat and juices back into the pan with the vegetables and add the bay leaf, fresh thyme and Worcester sauce.
  • Add the water until just showing under the meat and vegetables and then add the Guinness to cover.
  • Cook on a low heat on the hob or in the oven uncovered for approx 1 hour until tender and reduced slightly.
  • You can thicken the sauce by mixing a little of the leftover Guinness with flour and added to the mix for the final 20 minutes, this also adds a touch more flavour. When done leave to cool.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350degrees.
  • Roll out pastry (I used pre-packaged store bought pastry)
  • Butter your cooking dish (pie dish or ramekins) , then line with the larger pastry sheet, leaving the edges dangling over the side.
  • Fill the dish with the stew mixture.
  • Cut the other rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the pie dish and criss-cross it lightly with a sharp knife. Place it over the top of the pie and fold the overhanging pastry on to the pastry lid to make it look nice and rustic.
  • Bake the pie directly on the bottom of the oven for 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden.


  • 1lb potato
  • 1lb cabbage
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt and pepper
  • butter


  • In a large saucepan, boil cabbage until tender; remove and chop or blend well. Set aside and keep warm. Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
  • Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft.
  • Season and mash potatoes well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the kale or cabbage and heat until the whole is a pale green fluff. Make a well in the center and pour in the melted butter. Mix well.