Is there anything better on a cold winter's night that a steaming hot bowl of comfort food?
Monday night's are always a dilemma for me - the M.O.T.H. has tennis so I have to get dinner ready early - make something that is not too heavy (although saying that he has been known to have seconds on some occasions), and perhaps even have leftovers so that he can warm them up again when he gets home at 10:30.
Well is there any better comfort food than a bowl of "Hide the Vegetable Pie" A.K.A. Shepherd's Pie!!! I think not!!
"The Darlings" knew there were veggies in there, and veggies a plenty there were too - but they still ate it all!!!! You see if you make the pieces small enough that they just spend too much time picking it all out it is not worth it - Mum yells too much - they don't get much to eat. It's a win/win situation if you ask me.
So armed with my trusty food processor (yes I know Jan - it would have been easier with a Thermomix!!!) I set about making Shepherd's Pie.
1kg minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves crushed garlic
3 rashers bacon, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
100g mushrooms, finely chopped
1 x 30g pkt Spring Vegetable Soup Mix
3 cups water
1tbs tomato paste
1tbs worcestershire sauce
1tbs beef stock powder
1.5-2kg potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 tbs cornflour
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Into the trusty food processor I put the onion - blitzed it to smithereens! Into a large saucepan heat 1tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and bacon and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until the onion is soft.
Meanwhile blitz all the other veggies!
Add the mince to the pan, and quickly brown the meat. After the meat is browned I like to remove the excess oil and water with paper towels (Handee Ultra of course!!)
Next add all the vegetables, along with the soup mix and the water.
Bring to the boil, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced a little and the vegetables are cooked.
In the meantime put your potatoes onto boil. I am sure I don't need to tell you how to mash potatoes do I? Just make sure you don't make them too "wet".
After the meat has been simmering for 15 minutes, and the potatoes are just about cooked, add the worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and the beef stock powder to the meat mixture - adjust to suit your taste. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Once you have the seasoning to your liking, the mixture may need thickening. Place the tablespoon of cornflour into a cup and mix with a small amount of water. Stir the cornflour mixture into the meat until it has thickened.
Place the meat mixture into a greased large, 3L flat casserole dish. Top with your mashed potatoes. Now I like to at this point spray the top of the potatoes with a little garlic olive oil spray. (You know Woolworths won't stock this anymore - say they don't sell enough of it!!! If you all use it as much as me, perhaps they better rethink!!!) Anyway back to the "pie" after you have sprayed the top, sprinkle it with grated cheddar cheese (I used vintage last night and it was really good).
Your dish should look a little like this!!
Place in the oven for around 25-30 minutes, or until the "pie" is bubbling around the edges, and the potato is golden. A little like this......
And there you have it.... "Hide a Vegetable Pie" or as it's commonly known Shepherd's Pie!!!
So how many veggies did we have tonight??? Four at least!!! Hah and they thought there was only carrot in there!!! Everyone went to bed happy!!
So Dear Readers do you have a favourite "hide a veggie" dish you would like to share?