My regular Monday family meal used to be spaghetti bolognaise but as I have become more successful at weaning the children off the grains I have introduced Shepherd's Pie as the Monday meal.
It's great as I make a huge big batch of it and it serves not only as the Monday night meal but I also have a son who trains in Olympic lifting about 5 times a week and the leftovers become the pre-training meal.
I use the pressure cooker which helps in being able to control the final consistency and make it more into a 'pie' rather than runny mince with mashed kumara floating on top
What I like about it is:
Preparation time is simply cutting up the vegetables and takes about 10 minutes.
I use the pressure cooker to pre-cook the filling which breaks the cooking up into a couple of stages but I think adds a better result. The advantage with the pressure cooker is you can just set the timer and go off and do other things.
You have some standard ingredients but you can put together a number of variations by combining different vegetables and spices.
For this version I used:
Shepherd's Pie filling:
Shepherd's Pie topping:
First step is the Shepherd's Pie filling. I do this on the run:
While the filling is cooking cut up the kumara and steam. Should only take about 12 minutes.
Once the kumara is about 80% cooked:
When the filling is cooked the pressure cooking will have forced quite a lot o f moisture out of the raw meat and vegetables.
To get it to a consistency that is going to make it stand up as a pie I use about 3 tablespoons of Coconut Culinary Flour (high fat). Because coconut flour is hydroscopic (absorbs large amounts of liquid) a small meausre can thicken a large amount of liquid.
In fact it is so effective all you need to do is pour into the mixture and it spreads out and absorbs the water without any beating or preparation. Whisking around with a fork a few times is all that is required to distribute throughout the filling.
It also amplifies the taste and adds a delicious sweetness that enhances this dish.
The final step is putting the filling and topping together. I use a large pyrex baking dish. Simply:
Add some garnish and an accompanyment of steamed vegetables and you have a fantastic, delicious meal!
That hangs around for a few days and provides the answer to that perennial question, 'I'm hungry, what is there to eat?'
Below are some products that appear in this recipe