Lockdown Larder – Day 39 (Sunday)

Comfort Food


We had a storm blowing through, in a succession of downpours, and we didn’t see the sun all day. For whatever reason, I felt grey and gloomy to match the weather.

Comfort food was required. The kind of meal that doesn’t need accompaniment, and will still be delicious for leftovers the day after. For me, that’s Cottage Pie.

I don’t have a recipe, but it’s simple, and requires little effort to produce something delicious.

I brown 500g of good quality minced beef, add a tablespoon of flour, and around 500ml of beef stock (from powder). Then 4 finely diced carrots. Seasoning is minimal, just black pepper, as the stock is salty. I usually add a good dollop of brown (HP) sauce to enhance the depth of the gravy, and then I leave it to gloop on the stove, on a low heat, for at least at hour. When it’s rich and tasty, I make a pan of mashed potatoes, making sure to add enough milk to make them soft and creamy.

It’s then a simple task of laying the mince & carrot mixture at the bottom of a roasting tray, and topping with the mash. A little grated cheese on top is fab too.

Half an hour in a hot oven turns this from simple to sublime. The mash goes crispy around the edges, and the gravy pushes through in little craters.

Dinner. The kind that produces little sighs of delight when eaten.



New Zealand is under Lockdown for at least four weeks. This blog intends to avoid the bad news about rising numbers of victims. It focuses instead on food, and the challenges of cooking fresh meals every day – with the ingredients from my larder. A much nicer message 😊



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