Mince and dumplings was one of my all time favorite meals as a child. My Gran used to take me to this greasy spoon style cafe on a Saturday on the way to visit my Great Grandmother. And every saturday without fail I had the mince and dumplings. The lady serving used to see me coming and have it waiting for me at the counter. Guess I’ve always been a creature of habit. We used to sit at sticky tables as I devioured these dumplings that felt like they were the size if my head. I loved it. And for afters we always had a bakewell tart too. I really need to figure out how to recreate a plant based version of that too thinking about it… anyway. I digress sorry..
This recipe makes me happy. It’s simple satisfaction. And as the weather turns I just cannot think of a better meal to cosy up with a bowl of and maybe get a little nostalgic. It reminds me of home. It reminds me fancy isn’t always necessary. And it reminds me that you can never beat a classic. This is British comfort food at its finest.
This recipe serves two. Or me when I’m really hungry… You can easily multiply it though.
Tip :If you can get your hands on ready cooked lentils – be it frozen, packaged or tinned it would cut the cooking time down considerably too. I always recommend soaking lentils you’re cooking too. But it’s upto you.
For the “Mince”.
1 Cup of lentils.
1 Mushroom stock cube
Oil of choice
2 Cloves of garlic
1/2 Cup Pearl Onions
2/3 Cup Diced Mushrooms
1 1/2 Tbs corn flour
1 -2 tsp herb de Provence
Splash of red wine (optional)
Cook the lentils according to packet instructions. I always have mine soaked then cook them. But if your using another style that’s fine just add them when you’re ready. Keep them to one side for now.
Heat a medium sautee pan with a splash of oil. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms, once they’re softened dice the garlic and add that too. Stir in lentils. Make the stock up cold and stir in the corn flour. Wisk to combine. And add slowly to the lentil mix bit by bit untily get the consistency you like. (Then add a few splashes more as some will get soaked up when we bake the dumplings on top). Stir in herb de provence and wine if using and a good pinch of salt.
Pop this into a nice deep roasting tray to cool for a little while.
Preheat the oven to 350°
To make the dumpings:
1 Cup plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking Powder.
1/2 Tsp salt.
Wisk everything together.
2/3 Cup milk if choice. I used almond.
1tbs earth balance or olive oil.
Combine with dry ingredients and spread over your lentil mix. Bake in your preheated oven for appx 20 minutes. Or until the dumplings are a little golden and cooked through.