Nothing says comfort food like a homemade cottage pie. Perfect when its cold and dark outside. It is one of my ‘go-to’ dishes as it is fairly quick and simple to do and can be made in advance if needed and then warmed up in the oven later on.
I topped mine with sweet potato and butternut squash mash, simply because I love the taste but you could do it with regular mashed potato or even cauliflower mash if you are looking for a low carb alternative. Supermarkets also sell a good range of ready prepared root mash if you are feeling lazy! Morrisons have a potato, carrot and swede mash which I do use from time to time, for 100g the macros are really good; 1g Protein, 10g Carbs, 2g Fat. I like to add in a laughing cow triangle to make it super creamy and also add some extra flavour! The blue cheese variety is my favourite but I went with the regular cheddar this time and it worked out great. It may look a little bit like baby food in the food processor (!) but I promise you it tastes amazing!
For the meat I used lean steak mince from Musclefood which contains very little fat but still full of flavour. Adding in chopped red pepper and mushrooms to bulks out the filling a bit more, you could add whatever veg you like at this stage. Soffritto is the base to a lot of italian cooking which ensures delicious flavour, it is basically a mix of carrots, celery, onion, olive oil and garlic. I saw this little jar in Sainsbury’s so picked it up to try for the first time and if I am honest I am not entirely sure how much flavour it did add but I will experiment with it in different recipes and see! So it isn’t an essential for this recipe, just add in some tomato puree instead, or leave out altogether.
Seasoning is key to this type of dish and make sure you test it before it goes into the oven! Smoked paprika is a favourite of mine and I tend to use it in a lot of dishes, Worcestershire sauce adds a richness to the dish, and of course plenty of black pepper and a little salt. But add as much or as little as you like.
I served it with a mix of green vegetables, broccoli, frozen peas and asparagus which I simply steamed and tossed in a little chopped garlic and lemon juice.
100g extra lean steak mince
50g Red Pepper
30g Red Onion
Salt and Pepper
100g Sweet Potato
100g Butternut Squash
1 laughing cow cheese triangle
15g Reduced Fat Cheese, grated.
50g frozen peas
Pre-heat your oven to 200degrees.
Peel and chop the butternut squash and sweet potato into small cubes and then either boil or steam until soft.
Meanwhile slice the shallots and red onion into fine pieces and then soften in a pan for about 5 minutes with a few sprays of the firelight and a pinch of salt (adding a splash of boiling water here also helps to stop the onions from frying and browning too much).
Once soft add the mince and seasonings including the chopped garlic and soffritto (if using), and stir until all the mince is browned; when this is done add in your chopped mushrooms and red pepper and combine.
Add your passata and some water and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until you get desired consistency – you don’t want it too wet or not enough sauce!
Whilst this is happening you can make the mash. I used a food processor to do mine but you can just use a regular masher. Add in the laughing cow triangle and season to your own taste preference.
Once filling is done, add to a oven proof dish and top with the mash and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Pop in the oven for about 20minutes, or until it is bubbling and the cheese is nicely melted. (If making in advance, I suggest putting in the oven for 30-35minutes, but make sure you check on it!)
Steam veg for 2-3minutes and mix with some chopped garlic, black pepper and squeeze of lemon.
Serve and enjoy!!
Total Macros: 37g Protein; 53g Carbs; 8g Fat
Total Calories: 433
Love Abi xxxx
Ps What are your favourite wintery food dishes?!