1 tablespoon sunflower oil
500 g (1 lb) lean minced beef
1 onion, chopped
4 tablespoons korma curry paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons plain flour
100 g (3½ oz) dried red lentils. rinsed and drained
50 g (2 oz) sultanas
1 tablespoon tomato purée
900 ml (12 pints) beef stock
salt and pepper
875 g (14 lb) potatoes, cut into chunks
50 g (2 oz) butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
bunch of spring onions, chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the mince and onion and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is evenly browned.
2.Stir in the curry paste and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and flour, then add the lentils, sultanas, tomato purée, stock and salt and pepper.
3.Bring to the boil, stirring, then pour into the slow cooker pot. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until the lentils are soft and the beef is tender.
4.When almost ready to serve, put the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.
5.Drain and mash with half the butter, the milk and salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the spring onions and fry for 2-3 minutes or until softened.
6.Add the turmeric and cook for 1 minute, then mix into the mash. Stir the beef mixture and lift the pot out of the housing using oven gloves.
7.Transfer to a serving dish, if liked. Spoon the mash on top, dot with remaining butter, then place under a preheated medium grill until golden.
8.Serve with cooked peas, if liked.
9.FOR TRADITIONAL COTTAGE PIE, fry the beef and onion as above. Omit the curry paste and turmeric.
10.Add the carrots and flour, then replace the lentils and sultanas with a 410 g (13½ oz) can baked beans, 1 tablespoon each tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce, 300 ml (2 pint) beef stock and 1 teaspoon dried mixed herb
11.Transfer to the slow cooker pot and continue as above.
12.Top with the mash, omitting the spring onions and turmeric. Sprinkle with 50 g (2 oz) grated Cheddar cheese and place under a preheated hot grill until browned.

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