Another day and it’s still white outside; it’s lovely! I must admit that whilst I despair with the disruption that the snow causes, especially in the middle of the rural Cotswolds, there is something very serene and calm about the way the snow covers all the imperfections of the outside world.
Ok, so what I really mean is – I can’t see the holes in the lawn that need filling, the borders that need weeding or the driveway whose gravel needs raking. I’m one of those people, who if there’s a set of footprints in the snow, I’ll have to step into them so as not to disturb the untouched snow, and I dislike piles of untidy snow (yes, there is such a thing) that have been cleared off the car. I also like the warm and cosy feeling of being indoors and looking out. I’m not one for venturing out in it. I’m a warm climate person, and it was with thoughts of our Maldivian honeymoon that I went off to bed last night.
I yearn for the spring and the warmer (ok, in the UK this might be pushing it) months, but until then, I’m content with snuggling under a blanket on the sofa, watching the snow fall outside.
The main benefit of the colder weather is always in the kitchen – the indulgence of simple yet hearty and homely cooking; the soups, slow-cooked casseroles and the pies! Although, I’m sure come the end of March, I’ll be hankering for a lovely, light salad.
We are still on our mission to rid the cupboards of all those lingering tins and half-open packets. So far we’re doing pretty well, and Ian created a chicken and chickpea curry this evening. Alas, it was a little on the hot side. We thought that among our Schwartz stash we had curry powder. Nope and so he substituted chilli powder….. hot, hot, hot! None-the-less, it was rather tasty and another tin was used.
After Saturday’s soup exploits, I raided the freezer for supper. Not much. It must be meat-box delivery time soon; but I did find some organic lamb mince. I really can’t think of anything better than Shepherd’s Pie for a cosy, winter’s meal.
I would have been happy with a ‘normal’ mashed potato topped pie, but I just couldn’t help but want to change it around. I know, I know you shouldn’t mess with classics. But having a little scout around the internet, I came across Shepherd’s Pie Pasties on BBC Good Food. Puff pastry and Shepherd’s Pie… bingo!
I’m not going to post the post recipe as whilst I did change things about a bit, there’s not enough of a change to call for it. I added red wine, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots and onions, left the mashed potato out as it looked far too much to fill the pasties and instead of full fat puff pastry, I used the Just-Rol Reduced Fat pastry. We always have it in the freezer as it works out pretty good on the Weight Watchers points (1PP per 1/2 sheet). As I’d made the mashed potato we had it on the side.
You can find the recipe on BBC Good Food – Shepherd’s Pie Pasties.
The recipe says that they’d be good for picnics, packed lunches etc, and they’d definitely be a better alternative to those floppy slices from that chain “bakery”.
All I can say is these do indeed, rock, and I can safely say that they’ll be made again! There’s nothing to say that it wouldn’t work with other pies fillings too, sweet or savoury.