Now, let's get this straight first off. Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, not beef! Secondly, the topping on this pie is spoonful after spoonful of mashy delight. The parsnips give a sweetness that is offset by the cumin seeds; couple that with the savoury denseness of the meat and there is no need for anything else. This particular recipe comes from one of my culinary heroes - Nigel Slater - who describes himself as a cook that writes. The thing about Nigel's recipes is that they almost read like a novel. Not for him a bland list of ingredient, but a whole story to accompany it; the who, what, where and why, and for me that's what makes the food special.
Toad-in-the-hole (with roasted onion gravy!)
This is a fusion of golden crisp batter, soft meaty sausages, and smooth onion gravy. What's not to love. The secret here is to buy the best sausages you can afford, whisk up the batter and put into a very hot oven.
If you've got time, a pile of creamy mash is the perfect accompaniament to mop up the gravy, but if you're just too sad to wait, then just tuck in straight from the pan.
My final offering today is the humble egg. I love eggs. They're always quick to eat, versatile and can be combined in a huge variety of ways with other ingredients, but when it comes to comfort, for me it has to be a simple boiled egg with marmite soldiers. This could be the quickest comfort food recipe around. Four minutes to boil your egg. Done. I like my egg cooked for slightly longer as I can't bear the runny white of egg when it's not quite done. My toast has to be well-done, almost burnt and then buttered whilst hot. A final scraping of Marmite is all I need to make this comfort perfection.
What's your go-to comfort recipe?
All images: Google