Here’s my recipe for a family favourite, Cottage Pie. Mince covered in a rich gravy, warm comfort food for all to enjoy!
I’ve shown the recipe for a cauliflower mash top, but you could change this for celeriac mash, sweet potato, swede, or a creamy buttery normal white potato mash, but bear in mind that these alternatives are higher in carbs than a cauliflower mash top.
Depending on your level of insulin resistance and tolerance to potato will determine which is a better choice for you, remembering that although some people tolerate sweet potato or swede better than normal potato, they are still high carb vegetables that have been cooked and mashed, meaning they are digested much faster and will therefore spike blood sugar levels higher and quicker too.
This recipe can also be tweaked further to be made vegetarian by using Quorn mince or a meat free alternative mince. It can be made dairy free and vegan by using Violife cheese instead of regular cheddar.
This recipe takes longer to cook so that the flavours infuse beautifully through the dish. You could prepare the mince part of the dish in a slow cooker if you wanted.
For the Cottage Pie mince
- 500 grams beef mince (or Quorn or meat free alternative)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole clove of garlic crushed
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots sliced or diced
- 1 stick celery sliced or diced
- 1 medium courgette finely diced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 400 ml beef stock (or vegetable stock)
- 250 ml red wine (optional, if not using then increase the stock by 200ml)
- 1 small handful fresh parsley roughly chopped
For the Cauliflower Mash
- 2 whole cloves of garlic peeled
- 2 large whole cauliflower green leaves removed
- 1 tsp English Mustard (or Dijon mustard)
- 1 tbsp olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 1 good pinch salt & ground black pepper
- 100 grams cheddar grated, optional (or Violife vegan cheese)
- fresh chives finely chopped (optional)
For the Cottage Pie mince
- Brown the mince in half a tablespoon of olive oil and set aside
- In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil and fry the onion, celery, courgette, carrots, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme for 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and gently fry for a further minute
- Return the mince to the pan and stir in the tomato purée and red wine or 200 ml of stock if not using wine. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced
- Add the stock and simmer with the lid on for at least 30 minutes - 1 hour (adding more stock if needed). Stir through the fresh parsley and taste for seasoning
- While this cooking, prepare the cauliflower mash topping
For the Cauliflower Mash topping
- Preheat the oven to 200°c and roughly chop the cauliflower into equal sized pieces
- In a saucepan steam the cauliflower and whole garlic cloves with just a few tablespoons of water, lid on, for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Use a knife to check
- Remove the pan from the heat, drain any excess liquid and add the olive oil and mustard. Blend or mash until creamy and smooth. If it’s too sloppy or wet allow the mash to evaporate on a low heat. Season to taste. You can also flavour your mash with chopped spring onions or other herbs at this point if you wish
- Take a large oven dish or individual dishes and fill to two thirds of the beef mixture, then top with the cauliflower mash. Use a fork to criss cross over the top and drizzle with olive oil, or omit the oil and top with a sprinkle of cheese if adding cheese
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until golden. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped chives or some some fresh thyme leaves. Serve on its own or with lots of leafy green cabbage