Cottage Pie Topped with Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash

Aside from the significantly better flavour and superior nutritional value, this mash knocks the socks of regular white potato mash from a colour perspective.

We are really lucky here in Alberta with the quality of beef that is readily available and at sensible prices. So all in all, this variation of a nursery food classic is a real tasty treat for all the family.

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Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato and Parsnip Mash
Serves 5

Glug of olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 sticks of celery
1/2 red pepper, cubed
Black pepper and salt
2 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
3 heaped tbsp tomato purée
1 beef stock pot
2 cups of water
A good slosh of Worcestershire sauce
1 family pack of minced lean beef
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
2 white potatoes, peeled and cubed

Firstly, soften the onions, celery, carrots and red pepper in a little olive oil together with the garlic on a medium heat. Season with black pepper. When the veg is starting to brown, stir in the flour and let it cook out for a few minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook out again for another couple of minutes. Add the stock pot and half the water, stir so that there are no floury lumps. Add the remaining water and the Worcestershire sauce and reduce heat to a simmer.

To a hot frying pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, then spread the minced beef over the base of the pan to cover the surface. Allow the beef to brown properly before turning so that you get little caramel used golden nuggets. Season with black pepper and a little salt whilst it is browning.

When completely cooked through, add the beef to the veg and then stir in the parsley. You should have a dense spoonable consistency. Spoon into an oven proof dish and set aside.

Cut the potatoes and parsnips to similar sized cubes and then boil in water until soft. When cooked, drain and mash with a potato masher. Season with black pepper only and then spoon it over the minced beef evenly.

Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180c or 350f for 40 mins until the edges are bubbling. I sometimes turn the grill on for the last few minutes just to make it a little crispy.

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Why not double up this recipe and chuck one in the freezer for another day. You will be pleased you did on a day when you are not in the mood for any kitchen prep.

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