As far as I’m concerned cottage pie is the ultimate comfort food. Everytime I have it I’m transported back to my grandparents dinner table as a kid. Finally sharing my version – 5 veggie cottage pie!
Lockdown has had me thinking of my grandmother, a lot actually. She didn’t have convenience food. She didn’t have ready-meals, take out. They didn’t routinely “nip out” for a bite. She cooked. Every night. Not only that, but she also made pudding. Every. Single Night. Woman was a freakin’ superhero really now that I think about it…
I saw Ali from Inspiralized worked out how many plates of food she’s made her family over lockdown and was floored. In the 9 weeks we have been on lockdown we have made just shy of 200 meals (3 meals a day for 9 weeks really adds up). This 5 veggie cottage pie recipe is really having it’s time to shine in our house. It is one meal that we have had over and over – made with long-lasting vegetables, lentils and other pantry staples, mince out the freezer… lockdown cooking recipe for success if you ask me! You can also prep and assemble it early in the day when you have a gap and pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat in the evening – win.
Some of the things I’d like carry on after lockdown:
– homemade rusks – a true revelation (once I have my recipe nailed down I will share it)
– homemade pizza dough, I like Sally’s Baking Addiction homemade flatbread pizza recipe
– eating dinner earlier and at the dinningroom table (with toddler seating the table #win)
– dessert on the weekends
I love that the veggies are all bundled up into the dish, all five of them – onions, peas, carrots, potatoes and butternut! None of the juggling to get different dishes and sides cooked and warm at the same time but all of the joy of a gloriously comforting hot meal!
Onions, peas, carrots, potatoes and butternut, along with split red lentils really make 250g of mince go a long way!
The lentils both boost the fibre content and extend the meat, but more importantly if you ask me, give the dish a hearty, fullingness all whilst basically having disappeared into the sauce like magic – if I didn’t tell my husband they were there, I really don’t think he’d notice…
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 250 g lean beef mince
- 1 cup beef stock
- 100 ml (approx 80g) red split lentils
- 1 cup diced carrot (cut small so they cook quickly)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 cups water
- 1 heaped tablespoon bisto, mixed to a paste with approximately 2 tablespoons of water
- salt and pepper, to season
- 400 g mixture of butternut and potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon (15g) butter
- salt and pepper, to season
Mash: Boil butternut and potato until soft. Drain, add butter, milk, salt and pepper. Mash and set aside.
Soften onion in olive oil. Add mince and once browned add beef stock, lentils, carrots, peas, Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils have all but disappeared and carrots are soft (add more water as needed).
Add bisto paste and stir through to thicken the sauce to a gravy consistency.
Transfer mince mixture to a casserole dish, top with mash and bake in the oven at 180°C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.