With our long weekend finishing yesterday - sadly it was back to work for me. Noel on the other hand had another day off with him taking one of his RDO's (Rostered Day Off). I have to officially say that I hate, absolutely HATE, going to work when he is lying in bed and I have to leave, a quick kiss goodbye then it's out the door.
As most of you know, I am an avid menu planner - avid I say - control freak Noel would say. But working full time (both of us) it's been a necessity for the past 20 odd year especially with having the two kids. I sit down normally on a Thursday evening and plan both the menu for the next week along with the shopping list. I write the cookbook and page number next to the meal so realistically I remember where the recipe to follow is so we are super organised when it comes to cooking dinners nightly.
Needless to say, today Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Parmesan Mash was on the menu along with a committee meeting for the local Junior Football Club that we are involved in - meaning a HUGE evening of kitchen work and then the meeting.
Thankfully, Mr Murray stepped up to the mark and made the Cottage Pie for tonight's dinner. OMG the relief and the appreciation.....
This cottage pie was a quite different to my normal gravy based minced and vegetable combination. The meat mixture was of a tomato base but still jam packed with vegetables which I love - "sneaky vegies" are my favourite vegetables. Now the topping.... where do I start. I thought it was brilliant - not stodgy and heavy like a normal full potato mash. The cauliflower made it so light and the was no overpowering cauliflower flavour.
Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Parmesan Mash
(Recipe sourced from Weight Watchers Double-Up Dinners)
Serves: 8 (4 if freezing half)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 kilogram lean pork and veal mince
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
600 grams potatoes, chopped
1/2 large cauliflower, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus extra to garnish
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion, carrot and celery, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and paprika. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add mince and cook, stirring to break up lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add paste, stock, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until thickened.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Boil, steam or microwave potatoes and cauliflower until just tender. Drain. Mash in a large bowl with chives until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Lightly spray two 1.25 litre capacity ovenproof dishes with oil. Divide mince mixture between prepared dishes.
Top with mash and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Serve sprinkled with extra chives.
If freezing do not bake. Cool and wrap dish in a double layer of plastic wrap. Wrap in foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in fridge overnight and bake as per recipe above.