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This is a meal I started making in the first lockdown, and quickly became a favourite in my house. It’s warm, comforting and uses lots of cupboard staples, but does require quite a long time in the oven, so works well if you are at home and can check it occasionally. The quantities will happily feed a family (or two of you for a few days). The vegetables can easily be changed for what you have in your house as it is a fairly forgiving recipe.
If you have a pan that can be used on the hob and in the oven with a lid, I recommend using it to save yourself time and washing up.
For the vegetable mix
A few garlic cloves, crushed
4 onions, roughly chopped
600g swede/squash/celeriac/sweet potato, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
small cauliflower, broken into florets
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
50g red lentils
2 tsp oregano, fresh or dried
For the cobbler
200g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
100g grated cheddar
2 tsp oregano (or fresh herbs if you have them)
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and garlic and cook over a low heat until softened (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add the rest of the veg, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes, veg stock and lentils. Mix in the oregano. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and cover. Cook for about 40 minutes to an hour, checking at 20-minute intervals. If it is drying out, add more water.
Meanwhile rub the butter into the flour and salt, then mix in most of the cheese (leave some to go on the top) and oregano. In a separate bowl beat the egg and milk together, then add enough to the flour butter mix to make a soft dough. Knead the dough then roll out onto a lightly floured surface to 1cm thick, cut into 5cm 'cobbles’.
When the vegetables are cooked and soft, remove the dish from the oven. Increase the temperature to 200C. Place the dough circles around the edge of the dish, brush with the egg-milk mix, and top with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven without a lid and cook for a final 12-15 minutes until the cobbles are golden and crisp.
To reheat, remove the cobbles and place them in a pre-heated oven while you heat the sauce in the oven or microwave.
This recipe was written by our Hackney intern Larissa Young.