Tuesday, 4 November 2014

COOKED: Cottage Pie

Lately I've been really obsessed with Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food show; especially that bacon sarnie episode, yum yum! It's true though, NOTHING is better than comfort food. For me, cottage pie is high up there for my favourites (along with fish and chips!) so I decided that's what was on the menu for this week's Sunday lunch. As I was back home at my parents house, I had access to our humongous cookbook collection and decided to use a recipe from one I had never tried before, The Hairy Bikers Hairy Dieters cookbook. In all honesty, I have watched shows by the Hairy Bikers but never actually cooked any of their recipes and as I'm upping my health game at the moment, this cookbook seemed to fit the bill.

I would definitely recommend having a look - it's got some great recipes in!

[Adapted from The Hairy Dieters]

All you need to serve 4-6 (depending how hungry you are!):

For the filling:
500g beef mince
1 tin of chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
800ml beef stock, hot
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
4 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp cold water
1 tsp flaked sea salt
2 tsp cracked black pepper

For the topping:
3 potatoes, floury ones like Maris Pipers
3 sweet potatoes
150g crème fraiche
20g butter, I always use Lurpax
1 tsp flaked sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 egg, yolk only
A grating of Cheddar cheese, to cover (optional)
A grating of Parmesan cheese, to cover (optional)

Calorie wise, according to the Hairy Bikers, if this serves 6 people it's roughly 322 calories per portion, if it's serving 8 it's around 242 calories per portion. As I added Lurpax it may be slightly more HOWEVER I used half the amount of potatoes and used sweet potato (lower in calories) and also used low fat crème fraiche - so it probably balances out to either 322 (6 servings) or 242 (8 servings)

1. I always start by dicing/chopping all of the veggies that are going in and getting all my ingredients out so everything's ready - it speeds up the process a little, although my Mum wouldn't agree as this took me a while yesterday as I was making  grain free bread, granola, apple and rhubarb crumble AND soup all at the same time as making this cottage pie yesterday.

2. Preheat your oven to 180 (fan) and get out your casserole dish.

3. Heat a small amount of EVOO in a frying pan on a low heat and gently fry your onions for a couple of minutes before adding the carrots and celery. Cook these slowly, on a low heat, for around 10 minutes before adding your mince. Make sure you break the mince up with a wooden spoon as it cooks to avoid lumpy meat!

4. Once the mince has browned, add the tinned tomatoes, puree, beef stock, Worchestershire sauce and mixed herbs with your salt and pepper seasoning. Allow this to be brought to the boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer for around 30-40 minutes.

5. Around 15 minutes before the meat is ready, get the potatoes in your saucepan to boil for around 10 minutes, or until softened - a good tester (if you don't already know) stick a knife in one potato (after 8-10 minutes) and if it easily slides off the knife, it's ready.

6. When the potatoes are done, drain the water and pop them back into the pan, mashing them with 20g Lurpax, your egg yolk, the crème fraiche and the salt and pepper, to season.

7. Add the cornflour paste (take your 4 teaspoon cornflour and mix it with the tablespoon of water in a small bowl beforehand) to your beef mix and allow it to thicken for a minute or two, stirring regularly.

8. Transfer your beef mix into the casserole dish and top with your mashed potatoes.

9. If you are using cheese, grate on top and they bake your pie in the oven for around 30 minutes until you're left with a cheesey golden topping.

10. After 30 minutes, dish up and serve with your favourites veggies and gravy. Or if you're weird like my family, baked beans - don't knock it until you've tried it!


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