A hearty and delicious bake perfect for even the most particular diner. Serves six. This dish is pretty much the taste of my childhood. It was my favourite dish as a kid and the first thing I learnt from my Dad to cook myself.
1: Fill a big pan with 700ml/3 cups of water and put on a high heat.
2: Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and add 300g/10.5oz of well washed red lentils.
3: Cook the red lentils until the liquid is fully absorbed, this will take between ten and fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, chop three large red onions.
4: Place a frying pan onto medium heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and put in the onions.
5: Fry the onions until they are soft and sweet, which should also take between ten and fifteen minutes, then add the onions to the lentils.
6: Grate 300g/10.5oz of mature cheddar, add most of it (saving about 20%) to the lentils. Stir the pan.
7: Once the cheddar has melted into the lentils, transfer into a baking dish.
8: Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top, and place the baking dish into a pre-heated 190c/370f/Gas Mark 4-5 oven for one hour, or until the top is crispy and browned.
9: Once it’s served onto a plate it’s important that, before eating, you crack over a very generous amount of black pepper and a little salt.
While my palette my have gotten a bit more refined since I was a little highlander, this is still one of my favourite comfort foods. I hope you enjoy it.