When I invited my Swedish friends over for lunch I wanted to have an English theme, because it worked so well the year before when I had afternoon tea.
When the guests arrived I introduced them to mulled cider, dry English cider served warm with spices. Whole cloves, whole cinnamon, star anise, vanilla pod (or vanilla sugar) and a pinch of sugar makes the cider taste fantastic. I saw this on Jamie Oliver’s Christmas program last year and love it. We had some ginger biscuits and cheese twists with it.
For the actual lunch I chose to serve Shepherd’s pie which I hadn’t cooked before. I didn’t want to fail and trusted Delia, and her recipe was amazing. You find her recipe for four people here. As usual I guessed and didn’t follow the recipe completely. :) I used 2 kg lamb mince which was enough for 13 people who nearly all had a second helping. I made a fresh simple salad to go with it with endives, stilton and walnuts. Really nice.
Delia’s Shepherd’s pie, serves 14-16
2 kg lamb mince
3 onions, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
1/3 swede, diced
1 l beef stock
4 tbsp tomato paste
3,5 kg potatoes
a lot of butter
1 large leek, sliced
Fry the onions until soft on medium heat, approx 5 mins. Then add the vegetables (not the leek) and fry for another 5 mins. Remove from pan. Fry the mince in the same frying pans (you need 2-3) in some more oil until it is brown. Add salt and pepper. Spread the cooked vegetables between the pans and add some flour, cinnamon, thyme, parsley and tomato paste. Add the stock and cover with lid for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Season to taste.
Peel the potatoes and cut into small pieces. Cook until really soft, about 25 mins. Drain and wait a few minutes before you mash them. Add salt, pepper and lots of butter (no milk this time) and mash them with an electric whisk.
Divide the mince between 2 large dishes and flatten. Spread the mash on top. Scatter the leeks and grated cheese on top. Bake for about 25 mins in 200C until they’re nice and golden on top.
Endive salad with stilton and walnuts, serves 16
a stilton wedge
2 large handfuls chopped walnuts
extra virgin olive oil
Wash the endives and remove the outer leaves. Cut off the base and scatter the leaves on a big platter. Crumble the cheese on top and scatter the walnut pieces. Drizzle olive oil on top.