Mince, bacon and red lentil Cumberland pie

Laura Hermann

Mince, bacon and red lentil Cumberland pie

A quintessentially British classic with a twist! Cumberland pie is one of those traditional dishes that really warms you up on a cold day and gives a wonderfully homely feeling to the whole family. Adding our smoked bacon lifts this classic to an entirely different flavour level. Red lentils are a great way of bulking out the dish and making it go further, whilst being super low in calories and providing plenty of extra protein, iron and folate.

The amount of pie filling in this recipe is enough for two adult portions, two very hungry children’s portions plus extra for the freezer! If that seems a bit too much for you, just reduce the ingredients accordingly.


  • 500 g beef mince
  • 200 g smoked bacon, chopped and fat separated
  • 200 g dried red lentils
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp beef gravy granules
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • a liberal splash of Worcester sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic granules
  • Paprika powder
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of chili
  • Your favourite potato mash
  • Cheese, grated


  1. In a large frying pan, render down your bacon fat, then add mince and fry off until browned.
  2. Add in chopped onions and fry until soft.
  3. Add gravy granules, tomato puree and water (use enough water to make a medium thickness gravy) and give everything a very good stir.
  4. Season well with Worcester sauce, a little bit of salt, plenty of pepper, some garlic granules and paprika powder and, if you like a kick, with cayenne and chili.
  5. Stir through your chopped bacon and dried red lentils until well combined, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. The lentils will absorb a lot of liquid while they start to cook so keep adding water if the mixture gets a little dry.
  6. Pour into an oven-proof dish and top with your favourite mash (we like butter, cream and garlic). Bake in the oven at 200°C for about 45 minutes. You can spoon your mash evenly, be fancy and pipe or do as we do: rough it up so you get loads of crispy bits of potato on the top.
  7. When the pie has a nice golden colour and you can see the filling bubbling, sprinkle with cheese and gratinate for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with vegetables, extra gravy or just on its own, and ENJOY!

Top tip: herbs and spices are your friend! Don't be afraid to season frequently and liberally. We season and taste at almost every step. This ensures that the amazing flavours and aromas are distributed throughout the entire dish, and every bite is an explosion of taste.


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