H and I were faced with a dilemma last week – deciding what to do with some beef mince we had frozen a few weeks ago. Initially we had decided on nachos, but after realising I had some potatoes in the pantry, I searched around for a shepherd’s pie recipe. Now I realise traditional shepherd’s pie calls for lamb mince, but I didn’t think beef would hurt much.
I found a recipe by Donna Hay and adapted it a little to suit the beef modification. Plus I added some truffle to it. Who can resist truffle? This is a great recipe for preparing in advance on a weekend, and cooking in a snap on a school night during the week for a quick dinner. I used my piping bag to get pretty little florets on top, but in the end it melted together and didn’t resemble anything like what it used to be. Still pretty tasty despite its appearance.
SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH CHEDDAR MASH
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
500g beef mince
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary/basil/thyme
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1kg dutch cream potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ cup milk
1 cup grated vintage cheddar cheese/mozzarella/parmesan
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the mince and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
- Add the tomato, vinegar, paprika, herbs, salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Place the potato in a saucepan of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain and squeeze through a potato ricer to ensure a smooth consistency.
- Add the milk and butter, then mash. Add the cheese and salt and mix to combine.
- Divide the beef between 4 x 1½-cup capacity ovenproof dishes (or one large dish).
- Top with the mash and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. I used a piping bag to get some pretty shapes on it and make it extra crunchy.
- Drizzle with truffle oil before serving.
What do you cook in advance for dinner during the week?