I often read the Metro in the mornings on my way to work, ripping out recipes like this that I come across that look interesting or tasty. Because I don’t tend to get home most week nights till after 6pm, my partner tends to do most of the cooking during the week while I cook more on the weekends. It’s a great arrangement and practical not only for convenience, but more because by that time of day after riding home I tend to want to eat everything (and anything) in sight the minute I get into the house! Having dinner ready is a very helpful solution to minimise that problem!!
I happened to make this on a weeknight, trusting the recipe which said it was a ‘quick summer’s evening meal’. Hmmm. I don’t know whether I was just doing it all wrong or something, but I found it probably took about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to be ready. Definitely worth the wait, but I would say something to make if you do have a bit more time on your hands.
I did make a couple of alterations from the original recipe, so check out the link below for the original version which inspired this dinner. I enjoyed it so much I ended up eating it for lunch everyday the rest of the week! It freezes really well, and can be reheated in the microwave. I always taste things as I cook and noticed that there was not much change in flavour when the beef was added, so this can be made without the beef making it suitable for vegetarians.
- 250g short-crust pastry
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp chilli powder
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 400g beef mince
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large handful fresh mint, chopped
- Handful flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Roll out the pastry into an ovenproof pie dish, cover with baking paper and baking beans and blind bake for 15 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil. Cook lentils for 5 minutes until soft, drain.
- Fry cinnamon, cumin seeds and chilli powder in a deep frying pan for a couple of minutes to release the flavours.
- Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.
- Stir in lentils and tomatoes, add some cracked pepper and taste. Add extra cumin seeds or chilli as desired.
- Brown mince in a second pan and add to the lentil mixture. Stir in mint and reduce excess liquid.
- Spread and press the lentil/beef mixture down into the blind-baked pastry.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked.
- Serve with fresh steamed vegetables.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think.