Cheshire Lamb and Lentil Crumble

Warming and comforting, this easy crumble is perfect for the colder months.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

500g (1lb 2oz) lean minced lambCheshire lamb and lentil crumble

1 onion, chopped

1 leek, trimmed and sliced

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 swede or 1 turnip (about 175g / 6oz), chopped

1 parsnip, chopped

300ml (1/2 pint) lamb or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

25g (1oz) red lentils

1 tablespoon cornflour, blended with a little cold water

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Topping:

25g (1oz) butter

50g (2oz) fresh breadcrumbs

25g (1oz) rolled oats

75g (3oz) Cheshire cheese, crumbled or grated

Method:

1. Heat a large saucepan and add the minced lamb a handful at a time, so that it seals and browns. Add the onion, leek, carrot, swede or turnip and parsnip and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

2. Pour in the stock and add the dried herbs and lentils. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Stir the blended cornflour into the mince mixture, cook for about 1 minute until thickened, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking dish.

4. For the topping, melt the butter and stir in the breadcrumbs and rolled oats. Mix in the cheese, then spread evenly over the mince mixture. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until the topping is brown.

Cook's tip:
Serve the crumble with fresh green vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans - and if you're very hungry, make some mashed potato too.

Caerphilly or Lancashire cheese make good alternatives to Cheshire. If you like, add a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint to the crumble topping for a delicious flavour.