Sunday, 25 November 2007

Delia's Cottage Pie

Our veg box last week had two swede in it, and what do you know, they're still malingering in my fridge. My only brush with swede is in my childhood in Edinburgh, where Burn's night is celebrated with haggis, neeps and tatties (neeps being another name for swede). They're boiled or steamed and served with lashings of butter, salt and black pepper, and maybe a little nutmeg if you're lucky. I'm not adverse to this, but I can't eat two of them like this, and getting haggis in Oxford may be a stretch. But I came across a Delia receipe for shepards pie with swede in it, so thought I'd try it out, substituting beef for lamb and hence turning it into cottage pie.

500g of minced beef
2 carrots
2 large onions
1/2 swede
a glass of red wine
a good handful of parsely
3 leeks
a handful of chedder cheese

Dice the onions, carrots and swede into small cubes. Brown the onions with the thyme and some olive oil, then add the diced carrot and swede and cook for a few minutes. Transfer to another dish and turn the heat up high. Brown the mince in batches, then turn the heat down and sprinkle in a spoonful of flour, browning it gently in the fat from the mince. Add the cooked vegetables and the glass of wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Chop the parsely and add, taste the mince and season. Meanwhile boil the potatoes until tender and mash with a few knobs of butter. Season well.

Layer the mince at the bottom of an oven dish, and spoon the mashed potato over it to cover. Slice the leeks into rounds and cover the mashed potato with them, then sprinkle over with chedder cheese. Bake in a 180oc oven for 30 minutes.

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