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Shepherd’s Pie amazingness!

Yes the title totally sounds like a year 6 project, but I don’t care because I am super proud of the tasty, tasty meal I made the other night!!!

Shepherd's Pie

I started out wanting to make a healthy Shepherd’s Pie for my family, originally the plan was to make cauliflower mash for the top, but Dad kind of 86’d that idea in a heartbeat. So on the way home I went to the fruit and produce market and bought a bunch of ingredients setting myself to make an amazing hot dinner to combat the cold nights we have been having.

Ingredients Shepherd’s pie:

  • 1 kilo lean beef mince
  • 1 jar of tomato based pasta sauce (I got a chunky one for extra veg)
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • TBSN mixed herbs
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • TBSN BBQ Sauce
  • TBSN Tomato Sauce
  • Charisma Potatoes – these are low GI potatoes
  • butter and milk for mash

Ingredients bread:

  • sliced loaf of Pane di casa bread
  • margarine or butter
  • mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • grated parmesan cheese

What I did:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Peel potatoes, place in a saucepan, add water until just over the potatoes then place on heat to begin boiling. Once the water is boiling turn down to half heat.
  • Dice the capsicum, onion and carrot and place in a hot pan with the lean beef mince, dice/break up the mince as it is cooking. Continue until meat is cooked.
  • Add pasta sauce, tomatoes, BBQ sauce, Tomato sauce and mixed herbs. Mince the garlic and add this to the mix too. Allow the mixture to simmer on a low heat.
  • Check potatoes, when they are done drain the water. Add about 2 teaspoons of butter and a dash of milk and start mashing. Add more milk as required to get a creamy consistency, try not to make it runny. I use New Milk which is lighter, but still creamy.
  • Grab a baking dish (it will need to be a biggish one) spoon your entire meat mixture into it and pat it down a bit so the surface is even.
  • Grab your mash and a spoon and spoon the mash on top of the meat mixture. Use the back of the spoon to smooth it to ensure distribution is even across the pie. I then like to texture the top with a fork and sprinkle some low fat grated tasty cheese on top.
  • Place in the oven for approximately 10 minutes (or until top is golden brown and cheese melted – do NOT burn the cheese 🙂 )
  • Grab a small bowl and mix up approx 2 TBSN margarine with 1 TBSN herbs and 2 cloves of minced garlic. To be honest I did not measure these amounts I just kind of felt it out and added what I felt it needed from the look of it. (Sorry – it’s how my Nan and Aunt cook and I kind of adopted the idea).
  • Spread the mixture on one side of the pane di casa bread and place under the grill on medium heat. Keep a close eye on this as different grills cook at different speeds and everyone has a different idea of “perfectly” toasted 🙂 So… toast it until you are happy then remove from the grill and place on a plate lined with all foil, sprinkle a small amount of grated parmesan over the top the wrap the foil over the top of the bread to keep the heat and moisture in as well as melt the cheese.
  • When you pie is cooked serve immediately with the bread.

Dessert Experiments

So I decided (much to my Mothers chagrin) to make my own birthday cake this year, because I wanted to experiment. I found out later that my Mum must not have had very much faith in my cooking ability because they had bought Vienettas as back ups in case my experiment failed. 

The inspiration from this cake came from seeing a picture of an insane multi-layered chocolate, ice-cream and Violet Crumble cake. I decided that it was crazy and just too much, also I bet I could make something like that. So I began planning. 

I wanted the top layer to be ice-cream, my fear of having a chocolate cake bottom layer was that the ice-cream would be too heavy for it… my solution… 

Triple choc fudge brownie base!!!

Triple choc fudge brownie base!!!

Omm nom NOM!!

So then I took 2 litres of Peters Vanilla Ice Cream (No I did not make my own – ain’t nobody got time for that!) and smashed Tim Tams and crunchies all through it. Crunchies I left in BIG chunks so that the honeycomb didn’t get too hard. 

I used the same tin as the brownies and put the ice-cream into the tin and into the freezer overnight to set. 

Then the ice-cream gets laid straight on top of the brownie, you can used whipped cream to “frost” and decorate the top as you like. 

Finished product

Finished product

This cake was such a roaring success that I have already had a request to make one for someone else’s birthday next weekend! 

Side on glory! So many NOMS!!

Side on glory! So many NOMS!!

Seriously you guys, this was my best. Experiment. Ever!