Freda Shafi is a Leeds based passionate foodie, mum of two, blogger, food stylist and editor of thefeedfeed.com. Freda’s specialism is South Asian cuisine, creating dishes with an exciting variety of beautifully rich and exotic flavours.
“It’s cooling down a lot here in Yorkshire, as well as reaching for that extra blanket I’m feeling some hearty comforting soul food beckoning. With some fabulous seasonal vegetables hitting the local greengrocers, I’m stocking up on my seasonal bounty which include sweet potatoes, pumpkin and butternut squash.
Being a Yorkshire lass at heart, I love my stews, pies and hotpots! Following a traditional recipe but adding a little magic, in the way of warming spices; which is my thing; I created this spicy winter beef hotpot with a topping of crisped sweet potato and English maris pipers. It’s a fabulous winter warmer and the kids really enjoy it too – you’ll have them at the word “crisps!”
2 sweet potatoes sliced as thinly as possible to create the crispness
2 maris piper potatoes sliced thinly as the sweet potato
800g cubed beef (or lamb) If you’re a non-meat eater, substitute with any other vegetables of your choice
1 large onion diced
2 tomatoes coarsely chopped
3 carrots sliced
1/2 cup of mixed lentils and pearl barley* (you can buy this ready prepared in most supermarkets (stew mix) otherwise create your own using red split lentils, green lentils and pearl barley.
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
5 cloves garlic smashed
1 tbsp ginger grated
1 tsp tomato purée
400ml beef or vegetable stock
Salt to taste
100ml oil / ghee
Small bunch parsley to garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Take a baking tray and spray / sprinkle with oil. Line the sliced sweet and regular potatoes across the tray. Add more oil to coat the top side. Bake until the potatoes become crisp and firm at the edges. Place to one side.
Heat some oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Sauté until soft and translucent then add the garlic and ginger. Stir fry for a minute then add the beef and continue to stir fry for another minute. Add the leeks, chopped tomatoes, salt, spices, tomato purée and combine. Add the vegetables, lentils and stock and leave to simmer for 1.5 hours until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste it at this point to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Take a deep casserole dish and fill with the cooked beef and vegetables, leaving enough space to add the crispy potato over the top. Arrange the cooked potato as per image. Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins at 160C fan forced, until the sauce starts to bubble out from the edges.
Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately with crusty bread and any leftover crispy potatoes on the side. Enjoy!
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