Friday, October 2, 2009

Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie)

Tonight's dinner was meant to be chicken... but someone forgot to get the chicken fillets out of the freezer... hhhmmmm I wonder who that was?? LOL it was me. Obviously the next thing I had to do was think of something else for dinner of course and when I broached the subject with hubby, his reply was "something yummy!!" Where do I buy that? Anyway, having a think about something that was sure to be in the "yummy" category I started to remember foods I considered yummy whilst I was growing up.

One of my favourite meals, if not the best comfort meal, was always my mam's Shepherd's Pie. Her's was of the fancy variety with sauteed onions rings and slice tomato on the top and it was brought excitement when we found out we were having it for dinner. Funnily enough, when my kids find out that's what we are having their faces light up! My version is minus the onions and tomatoes (purely due to the kids) instead the layer of fluffy mashed potato is topped with cheese. I add quite a few vegetables into the thick mince and gravy mix, instead of serving them to the side. This is not my mam's original recipe it's an adaption from Symply To Good to Be True #2 so I cannot take all the credit.

As with most recipes there are many variations to be found. Apparantly this dish "Cottage Pie" dates back as far as 1791 when the humble potato, introduced as an edible crop, was affordable by the poor. Earlier versions of the recipe used leftover roast meats. Developed in the the late 1800's the name "Sheperd's Pie" was used reflecting the use of mutton or lamb as shepherds watched over sheep not cattle. Either name are used today as is the type of meat used, whether it's leftovers or it's some type of mince.

Whatever you call it or however you make it, it's a wonderful comfort food - any time of the year!!!

Shepherd's Pie
(recipe adapted from Symply To Good To Be True #2)
Serves: 8
Points per serve: 6.5
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, grated
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh
1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen or canned
1 green capsicum, finely diced
600 grams very lean beef mince
cooking spray
2 teaspoons beef stock powder
1/2 cup gravy powder
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup or sauce
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
4 cups water
2 kilograms potatoes
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup reduced fat tasty cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Microwave all the vegetables in a large dish with a little water for 10 minutes.

While vegetables are cooking spray a large frying pan or saucepan with cooking spray and cook mince until cooked through. Add stock powder, tomato sauce, worchestershire sauce, oyster sauce and combined water and gravy powder. Stir, mixing well and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, peel and dice potatoes. Fill a large saucepan with water, add potatoes. Bring the boil and cook for 10 - 12 minutes. Drain and mash together with skim milk.

Pour mince into a large lasagne or casserole dish. Using a spoon and fork (or piping bag if you want to be fancy) put small dobs of mashed potato over the top of the meat mixture. Smooth top and sprinkle with grated cheese. Cook for 30 minutes or until heated through and cheese golden.

(click here for a printable version of this recipe)

No comments: