Cottage Pie

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Cottage Pie is the traditional fare of the sheep farmer, right? I envisage undulating hills, green pastures dotted with woolly sheep and a young shepherd chewing on a blade of grass. As dusk ascends beneath the dewy hills, the shepherd heads home, tempted by the mouthwatering aroma of a juicy cottage pie baking in his mother’s oven. Perhaps the first chapter of my novella ‘Fifty Shades of Sheep’? Anyway, this is a blog and I’m allowed to try some creative writing.

Nevertheless, this cottage pie is as comforting as being squished into your mother’s warm bosom. The Lima Bean Mash is beautifully creamy atop a rich and rustic meaty filling and the combination-totally moorish. Even though the recipe could feed six, I think it’ll only make it through four hungry mouths.

Cottage Pie

500 g/1 lb lima beans – soaked overnight 3 tbsp olive oil 2 onions – finely chopped 2 cloves garlic – minced 2 carrots – peeled and chopped 1 kg/ 2 lb beef mince 2 tbsp coconut flour 1 ½ cups beef stock 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp fish sauce 1 tsp fresh thyme – stem removed 1 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped ¼ tsp ground cinnamon 1 bay leaf 400 g/14 oz cauliflower 75 g/2 ½ oz butter/olive oil 1 tbsp coconut cream salt & pepper to taste

Drain the lima beans, rinse and place into a heavy bottomed pot filling it with water to cover the beans.

Cook for 1 ½ - 2 hours until the beans have softened. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime, place the oil into a large saucepan with the onions, garlic and carrots and cook over medium heat for around 10 minutes until the carrots have softened. Set aside.

Place a little more oil into the pan and add the mince and cook, separating any clumps, until the meat has changed color. Sprinkle in the coconut flour, stir and cook for a minute.

Then add the stock, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, fish sauce, the herbs and spices and bring to boil. Turn down the heat to simmer and add the onion/carrot mixture and the bay leaf and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the cauliflower by removing the hard stems and retaining the florets. In a saucepan cook the cauliflower with 1 cup of water and the lid on for around 15 minutes until it has softened. Drain and place into a food processor with the lima beans. Process until smooth.

Add the butter/olive oil, coconut cream and salt & pepper. The mash should be firm, so add the butter and coconut cream gradually to make sure it doesn’t get to soft.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly grease a 2.5 ltr/10 cup ovenproof dish. Spoon the meat filling into the dish and spread the mash over the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top has become golden brown and the filling begins to bubble.