Welcome to the first recipe of the Food Fox blog post! Considering the fact that winter has just jumped right onto our laps so suddenly (frankly a little too early for my liking), I thought I’d map out a dish that has that warm wintery feel and is sure to kick-start the season. It’s also bound to be amazing and simple because it had already been tried and tested, not only by me and my very lucky husband (who also doubles as the “taste chef”), but also by a girlfriend of mine who I will tell you about in a bit.
A few days ago, as the cold weather suddenly arrived at our doorstep, I was in the mood for a true classic: good old Shepherd’s Pie. It’s easy enough to make and then great to have as left-overs for the next day – something I consider most of the time for my meals. My friends don’t always like to hear this and definitely wouldn’t want their men to hear it either, but my husband gets packed lunch to work every day, preferably low carb, so left-overs help a lot.
It had not been more than 10 minutes after I had made the pie and posted it on social media that a friend messaged me, begging for the recipe. I thought “Yay, let’s see if this is something she could do”, so I typed it out and sent it to her, asking her to send me a picture once she was done. Needless to say – she nailed it!
I’m really not one for complicated and drawn-out recipes. I like things that are quick and easy and best of all work with what I have in the fridge at the time; that is what I did with this recipe. You are welcome to substitute ingredients you don’t like and of course to add things that you have available or prefer. I have suggested a few additions at the end of the recipe – enjoy.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED
- 1kg Beef mince
- 2tsp Mixed herbs
- 1tsp Crushed garlic (fresh or powder)
- 2tsp Paprika
- 1/4tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tin Whole tomato
- 1tbsp Tomato paste
- 5cm Chorizo sausage (this keeps well and can be used in many other dishes, worth the buy)
- Season with Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cup of grated hard cheese (Gouda, Pecorino or Parmigiano)
FOR THE TOPPING
- 3-4 Orange sweet potato (in season now and fun for the colour)
- 2tsp Ghee (butter if you aren’t cooking dairy free)
- A pinch of salt & pepper.
THINGS YOU COULD ADD
- Frozen pees.
- That last lone carrot in the veg drawer, grated.
- Onion – but not too much and finely chopped.
Start with the sweet potato mash. Peel and chop into chuncks, then boil until soft enough to mash. While mashing, add the ghee or butter and seasoning.
While the sweet potato is on the boil get the pan hot and fry the herbs and garlic in some oil. Then add the mince. Once the mince is browned, add the tin tomatoes, the paste and seasoning. Let that simmer with the lid open a bit so that the liquid evaporates. If you have that chorizo, now would be a good time to chop it into small pieces and add it. After about 30min, the juices should have reduced. What we don’t want is that “sloppy-joe” consistency, there needs to be some sauce but not too much.
Now put your mince into your dish of choice, plop the sweet potato mash on and spread evenly and to finish it off, sprinkle your cheese over the top. Pop into your 180C pre-heated oven for 30-40min or until the cheese is melted and crunchy.
*If you wanted to make this for future meals as well, you could make it in your cupcake baking tins as portioned meals.Remember to only put in the freezer once it has cooled down completely*