Its back to work week, which means that some of us are meal prepping and looking for easy things to make and dishes that can be frozen for the busy coming weeks. Presenting our made with McCain cottage pie, frozen vegetables provide a nutritional boost and cut down the cooking time required. In this dish we used both the McCain corn and pumpkin chunks to increase the number of vegetables in the dish.
You can make this dish and freeze half for a busy day, where you can simply defrost and bake it from frozen in the oven.
Serves: 4 people
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
4 strips bacon
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 rib of celery, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 stalks of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
2 Tbsp of tomato paste
125ml good red wine
250ml beef stock
1/2 cup of McCain sweet corn
Salt and pepper
500g McCain pumpkin chunks
4-5 medium potatoes
1 Tbsp salted butter
Salt and pepper
Start by slicing your bacon in small chunks and place in a cold pot. Set the heat to medium and allow the fat to render from the bacon. Once the bacon is lovely and golden remove from the pot and set aside.
Place your mince into the pot and do not touch it for 3-5 minutes. You want it to form a nice brown crust before you flip it and let it cook from another 3-5 minutes. Once you have some colour of both sides, use a masher to breakup the mince into smaller pieces. At this point all the water from the meat should have evaporated and the mince should be frying taking on more colour.
Once the mince is a nice dark brown, season with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and add the bacon, onion, carrots and celery to the pot. Allow to cook until the vegetables have softened. A good indicator of this is when the onion is completely translucent. Next add in the thinly sliced garlic, rosemary and dried herbs and let cook for about 5 minutes or until the garlic starts to soften.
Add the tomato paste and stir until the entire mixture is coated and red in colour. Next add the wine to deglaze the pot. This happens very quickly, and you might need some water to help with the deglazing. Finely, add the beef stock to your mixture, close the pot and let cook for 30 - 45 minutes (stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom).
Once cooked taste and season according to you preference. If there is too much liquid, let the mixture reduce with the pot lid open until 80% of liquid is gone.
Lastly, turn the pot off and add the McCain sweet corn. Stir it into the mixture so that residual heat from the pot defrosts and heats the corn.
Fill a pot with water and bring it to the boil. Add in your McCain pumpkin chunks and let cook until soft - this takes anywhere from 3 - 6 minutes. Remove from the pot and place in a colander to drain.
Peel and quarter your potatoes, then add salt to the remaining water you used for the pumpkin and add your potato chunks. Let cook for 8-10 minutes of until the potatoes are completely soft and break when pierced with a fork. Drain and put them back in the same pot they cooked in.
Add the pumpkin chunks to the pot and mash.
In a separate pot, gently melt the butter and heat the milk. Once warm, add this mixture to your mash and continue to mash until smooth. Add in parmesan and then season with salt and pepper.
Add the mince mixture to an oven safe dish and top with your mash. Top the mash with gruyere (or a strong cheddar) and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on the top.
Serve with a green salad.