It’s cold outside... easy comfort food

Jim's lemon cake

Jim's lemon cake

It’s January, the weather is still cold and everyone is busy when they get home in the evenings. With this in mind, I think Shepherd’s Pie is a great recipe to use for this time of year when people are trying to get into a routine again.

It’s one of my favourite recipes, not least because it’s all about using very simple ingredients to create a wholesome and delicious meal. The key is to use the very best quality mince, ask your butcher to mince it freshly for you. Combined with lovely fresh herbs and vegetables, everybody will be happy when this finished dish is served up to them. The Lemon Cake is an all in one mix which is very easily made. It’s a lovely moist cake and is delicious topped with cream cheese frosting.

Shepherd’s Pie

1 Large Onion, peeled and chopped

2lb Minced Beef

2tbsp Olive Oil

½pt Beef Stock, made from a stock cube

3tbsp Worchester Sauce

1tbsp Tomato Puree

1tbsp Freshly Chopped Sage, Thyme & Parsley

3 Carrots, peeled and diced

1oz Flour

Salt & Pepper


8 Potatoes, peeled

2oz Butter

1 Egg Yolk

6fl oz. Milk

Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven 180°. In a large pan gently cook the onion in the olive oil until soft, add the mince and cook until browned. Add the carrots, tomato puree, fresh herbs, Worchester sauce and salt & pepper and cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Stir in the flour and beef stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Cook your potatoes and strain, then add the milk, butter, egg yolk and salt & pepper and mash. Transfer the meat to a large pie dish and cover with the mashed potato and place in oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the potato is nicely browned. Fresh herbs are very important in this dish as they are the key to the flavour.

Jim’s Lemon Cake

4oz Butter

6oz Castor Sugar

2 Eggs

Rind of 1 Lemon

6oz Self Raising Flour

4tbsp Milk

1tsp Baking Powder

Cream Cheese Frosting

4oz Butter

8oz Full-Fat Cream Cheese

9oz Icing Sugar, sifted

Rind of 1 Lemon

Cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy, add the eggs and lemon rind then fold in the flour and baking powder with a metal spoon and then add the milk. Spoon into a pre-lined cake tin (7”/18cm round or 1lb/450g loaf tin), place in a pre-heated oven 170° until cooked and risen in the centre.

While the cake is cooking you can make the lemon syrup by placing 4oz Icing Sugar and Juice of 1 Lemon in a saucepan and heating until the sugar has dissolved.

When the cake comes out of the oven make some holes in the top of it with a skewer and pour the lemon syrup all over it, leave the cake in the tin until it is completely cooled.

To make the frosting beat together the butter and cream cheese really well until soft and creamy. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and the lemon rind.

When the cake is cool spread the cream cheesefrosting on top.




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