The Londoner » Low Carb Cottage Pies

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This isn’t a deliberate diet recipe, the low carb thing is really just a happy coincidence.

I just happen to think that cauliflower mash (done properly) is far more delicious than regular mash, and it’s half the work! The fact you’re getting an extra sneaky helping of vegetables out of the bargain? Well that’s just gravy.

Cottage Pie (beef) and Shepherd’s Pie (lamb) are great British staples, largely because we seem to have a grey winter that lasts from September until March, and we need something cosy to cheer us up in the middle! 

It’s a layer of mince mixture, covered in mash – which in this case is so deliciously smooth, it’s like eaten velvet.

And yes, I covered it in cheese.

I make mine as individual pies, they’re great to put together and leave in the fridge ’til you need them.

Here’s what I use to make 4 small pies-

Splash of olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 red onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 stick of celery, chopped

400g organic beef mince

1tbsp Worcester sauce

1tbsp soy sauce

1tbsp English mustard

1tsp paprika

1 large glass of red wine (or any you have open)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 cauliflowers

Knob of butter

Splash of double cream

Salt + pepper

In a big pan heat your olive oil before tossing in your garlic, followed by the veg. Fry on a medium heat until soft.

Add your mince, keep moving around until fully broken up and nicely browned.

Splash in your Worcester sauce, soy sauce, (these will give it a lovely seasoning and rich colour), paprika, mustard, stir.

Add your wine and bubble away until reduced by about half. Add your tomatoes, pop a lid on and leave cooking away on a low heat.

After about an hour, take the lid off and let the sauce thicken up a little.

Give it a taste, see what you think.

If it doesn’t need any tweaking, let it bubble gently while you make the top of your pie.

Add about an inch of water to a big saucepan, throw in your cauliflower florets, a big pinch of salt and cover. Cook on a high heat for 5-10mins, until the florets are soft but take them off before they get soggy.

Drain with a colander, get rid of as much moisture as possible. Then blend with a generous knob of butter (there’s no such thing as too much – somewhere between the size of your thumb and your fist is about right!), a splash of cream and a really good grinding of black pepper.

Once smooth, you’re ready to assemble your pies.

Fill half the dish with meat, then top with mash.

Plough the field.

Top with grated cheddar cheese, if you like.

Either way, pop them under the grill on a high heat until bronzed.

And that’s it!

Ready for a cosy evening in for one, two or as many as you like.

Creamy, light, fluffy, buttery mash (that you can eat lots of without feeling like a slowly inflating lead balloon), rich meaty sauce and a delicious crunchy top.

Proper.

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