The Murder, She Cooked book is almost finished!

Publication date is Friday 30th September and I’m hosting a zoom cookalong on Sunday 2nd October at 7pm GMT – everyone is welcome, spread the word!  You can check what time this will be wherever you are in the world here – World Time Buddy

I brainstormed with myself on a couple of ideas but my first was to have an Angela Lansbury Cottage Pie-athon. This would have been a similar affair to the Columbo Bowl Chilli Cookalong I organised for the launch of Cooking With Columbo.

So I decided to make a smaller version of Angela’s Cottage Pie as a test run.  The original recipe makes a HUGE amount of pie.  When I made it back in 2019, I had to use an industrial sized pan, and this was HALF Angela’s recipe!

So I decided to make 1/4 of the recipe to see how many this would feed.  I reckon 4 hearty portions, which to me seems a much more manageable pie to make than one that would serve 16 by my reckoning.

Here’s the original recipe which states it serves 8, but every cottage pie recipe I have looked at uses a pound of beef for 4 portions, so 4 pounds of beef would serves16.

I do not blame Angela for this typo of course, this kind of thing often gets lost in translation somewhere and maybe this is a MASSIVE pie she brought to the set once, for many of the cast and crew to enjoy…

My three tips on this recipe would be as follows:

1 – if you are going to make the full amount, you are going to need a cooking vessel of enormous proportions.

2 – My test cook (my sister-in-law Madam Richardson) suggested that the baking step before adding the peas can be omitted and I agree.  Both times I made this I went straight into adding the peas and popping the potato on top.

3 – Madam Richardson and myself are of the opinion that a glug of something extra wouldn’t go amiss, red wine maybe or Worcestershire sauce?  I added a bit of both to my smaller version and that was very a good idea.

There is much disagreement online about what goes into a traditional cottage pie (some argue NO TOMATOES EVER, others argue no carrots and peas) but to me, Angela’s version is classic old fashioned fodder.  Lovely!

However, I do think this is a bit tricky for a cookalong, so I’ve decided to do Angela’s Date and Walnut Cake instead. This is sooooo easy and so delicious!  The link to the cookalong will be in my next monthly newsletter which will be sent out on publication day – 30th September.  Sign up here to join the fun! 

If you don’t want to bake, you can just have a snoop around the Silver Screen Suppers kitchen!

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