Butternut Squash-Topped Cottage Pie

by - February 16, 2015

Carb-free updated version of the traditional English classic comfort food, Cottage Pie. Adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe.

This was made for my students to represent England for an International Food Evening I was hosting at the school. Having been told on many occasions that English food has a reputation for being bad, I often tell students to forget fish and chips and to really experience good English food to go to a (good) pub and get some pub grub, with a pint, for a taste of true English culture. Also having listened to their complaints of being served potatoes with almost every meal at their host families and not being a huge potato lover either, I wanted to reshape their views on English food and show them that it doesn't have to suck.

To serve 8+ people. Half it if you need to or make a big one and freeze some.

Ingredients -a lot more than my other recipes; an extensive list but worth it :) 

2 x butternut squash
500g lean beef mince
3 carrots
2 onions
5 garlic cloves
2 sticks of celery
300ml beef stock
2 tins of tomatoes
2 bay leaves
dash of tabasco
dash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
50g butter (go mad)
flat leaf parsley

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.
Peel and de-seed your butternut squash, chop into small chunks and roast with some olive oil, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes. 

While they are roasting, chop up your onions, celery, carrots, garlic and fry in a large pot.
 Make your stock, open your tinned tomatoes and add them along with the mince, bay leaves, rosemary, tabasco and Worcestershire sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mince is brown and the liquid has reduced by half. 
Then add the parsley, stir it in and transfer to a large roasting tray.
 When your squash is nicely softened,  mash it with the butter :) taste it and try not to eat too much of it, it's difficult, it's so good!

Spread the mash over the top of the mix and bake (on 200) for about 25 minutes, until the top is browned in places. 

Then try carting it to the bus stop then on the bus for 15 minutes, fresh from the oven, boiling hot, whilst keeping it perfectly flat haha that's what I did because I love my students and they loved me too for doing so!

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