Cottage Pie with Root Vegetable Mash
One dish that really takes me back to childhood and having dinner cooked for me by my mum is cottage pie. Whenever I eat it, it brings back memories of the whole family sat together eating dinner. It would be one of her dishes that she would typically make when there were extra mouths to feed at the table as it could be bulked out and made to go further if needed.
She made it far more traditionally than this recipe I’m sharing. She used plain mashed potato, making it with plenty of butter and milk so it was lovely and creamy. She would top it with a thick layer of cheese, which had been left in the oven for ages so had crisped up deliciously. Diced carrots and or mushrooms would often go in to the mince mixture and and there would be extra vegetables on the side, often tinned tomatoes, spaghetti or beans.
This version isn’t quite so rich or comforting unfortunately, but it is healthy and satisfying. I try to incorporate all my vegetables in to the dish so that i don’t have to do anything extra or create more washing up. My mash is made with a mixture of potato, sweet potato, carrot and parsnip, which gives it a lovely hint of sweetness and adds extra vegetables to the dish. I don’t make my mash with milk or butter as it doesn’t need it but I do have to add cheese. It really wouldn’t be the same without it. I do use the lower fat cheddar version however, to keep the fat within reason, but you don’t quite get the same crisp topping from it than full fat cheese. I add lentils to my mince mixture to add a little more protein and fibre and to absorb some of the moisture from the stock, which allows it to thicken up more.
If you are craving some home comfort food that takes you back to your childhood but you don’t want the extra calories, then try my version of cottage pie and let me know what you think. The recipe is incredibly flexible and you can swap vegetables in and out if you wish. Sometimes I make the mince with added vegetables such as mushrooms and carrots, sometimes I add swede or turnip to the root mash. It does take a little longer to make than my usual recipes so make sure you plan ahead with this one. It also means there are a few extra steps than normal so I find it’s one I only make when I have an extra pair of hands near by to help if I need it. Warning though, its very filling!