Today marks a very special occasion.
It’s the day I put to bed a question that has gone unanswered for my whole life.
I had to admit defeat though, when it came to titling this post.
For the record, a Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb mince, and a Cottage Pie with beef. Sorry Mum. We had it wrong. Anyway, it’s this technicality that permits me to call this the Ultimate Cottage Pie. Obviously my Mum’s is actually the best, but since she calls it the wrong name… I think I’ll get away with it. Don’t you?What makes this Cottage Pie super special is the mash. Sweet potato and butternut squash are a match made in heaven, and this stuff is so very easy-peasy to throw together, particularly if you happen to have a blender handy.
Not only is it up there with the very best of comfort foods, but you can make it ahead so that you have some decent grub on hand for those busy evenings when you’re too busy late-night Christmas shopping or at festive get-togethers to cook.
And if you’re hosting said get-together, this’ll knock their socks off, and you won’t have to abandon your guests to babysit dinner. It’ll just be doin’ it’s thing in the oven whilst you polish your domestic god / goddess crown.
The Ultimate Cottage Pie
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 400 g musclefood extra lean beef mince
- 60 ml red wine (1/4 cup)
- 200 ml beef stock
- 1 Tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1 tsp agave nectar (sub. for honey)
- 400 g chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tbsp cornflour, mixed with water
- 800 g sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 300 g butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp agave nectar
- 5 Tbsp 0% fat Greek yogurt
Set a large lidded saucepan over a low heat.
Once warmed, add cooking spray and the onions. Place on the lid and allow to sweat until softened, 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and saute for a further minute.
Add the mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon / rubber spatula.
Season generously with salt & pepper, before pouring in the red wine, beef stock, Worcester sauce and agave nectar.
Add your chopped vegetables.
Sprinkle in your oregano and thyme, then stir in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.
Pop in the bay leaf before replacing the lid and simmering over a low heat for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil your sweet potato and butternut squash until soft enough to push a knife through (but not mushy!)
Drain and season generously with salt and pepper, before adding the yogurt and agave nectar.
Mash by hand or in a blender / free-standing mixer.
To assemble, spoon the mince mixture into a large casserole dish and gently spread the mash over the top, using a fork to distribute it evenly. (See notes).
When you're ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the mince is bubbling around the edges of the mash.
Top Tip: You might find it easier to leave the mince to cool a little in the casserole dish before spreading the mash over. The mince mixture will set so the mash is less likely to sink! If you do this, bake for around 45 minutes or until it's bubbling to warm it through.
You can freeze once assembled for a fully-prepped dinner! Simply defrost and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the mince mixture is bubbling around the edges.
Top with cheese to make it a little more special!
Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 286 / Protein: 19g / Carbohydrate: 45g / Fat: 4g
If you would like this recipe or any of our other recipes incorporated into your diet then make sure you check out our personalised meal plans.