On Monday's meal plan menu this week, I said we were having Thatched Cottage pie - it's like normal cottage pie only with grated root veg instead of mash, hence the "thatch". Here's how to make it. This amount would serve 3 adults or a family of 2 adults and 2 small children.
for the base:
500g minced beef
a large onion, chopped
350 ml beef stock
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
¼ tsp dried herbes de Provence
Heat the oven to 150 C (fan 130 C, gas mark 2)
Put the mince and onions in a flameproof casserole dish and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mince is browned and the onion starting to soften. Stir in the flour and then gradually blend in the stock and bring to the boil. Add the herbs and season then cook in the oven for at least an hour - good butchers mince can get away with less time than supermarket mince. If I have time, I cook cheaper mince for a couple of hours.
When cooked, transfer the mince to a greased baking dish - you may want to grease an extra, small, dish in case you have extra topping. Increase the oven temperature to 190C (fan 170C, gas mark 5)
Next prepare the topping. I find the coarse grating insert on a food processor the best for this as it works quickly so the potatoes don't get chance to go brown.
for the topping:
2 medium eggs
2 large potatoes
2 large carrots
2 medium parsnips
50 g hard cheese - Emmental is particularly good
Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl and season - I like to use a LOT of pepper. Then coarsely grate the cheese and all the peeled veg into the bowl. Mix together well and pile loosely on top of the mince. If it doesn't all fit, you may need a second dish for the extra.
Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes until the veg is brown and crispy on top and soft inside.
October and November's "No Waste Challenge" is root veg, and this is a great way to use up those last few bits and bobs from the veg box - any root veg would work in the topping.