Unilever sent me through a fabulous hamper of ingredients and challenged me to come up with a recipe (or several) for their Halloween challenge. I love the gory oozing blood detail on the box !
Inside the box were some fresh ingredients and also some store cupboard staples to get inventive with. I was very excited to spot a little Le Creuset dish too.
I decided to use some of them to create a Halloweeny twist on one of the Madhouse Family's fave meals, cottage pie. Maybe it should be renamed haunted house pie to mark the occasion ?!
Cottage Pie with a Pumpkin & Potato Thatch
1 pack beef mince (about 500g)
4 large mushrooms
1 Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot
1 Knorr Garden Herbs Flavour Pot
1 sachet Colman's Shepherd's Pie Seasoning Mix
1/4 of a pumpkin
2tbsp Flora Buttery
Peel and chop the potatoes and pumpkin and put it in a large pot with some salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 20 minutes until nice and soft. Drain and smash them to bits with a masher, then add the Flora Buttery and milk to create a smooth, creamy mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set to one side.
Meanwhile, chop the onions and mushrooms. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions and mushrooms for 2 minutes, then add the mince and cook for 10-15 minutes until completely cooked through. Add the stock pot, flavour pot and sachet of seasoning, along with 200ml water. Allow to simmer until it has reduced to a rich, moist, thick texture. Add a little extra water as needed during the cooking process.
Pour the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish and top with the potato/pumpkin mash. Use a fork to flatten it and create lines. (My school dinner shepherd's pie always had this so I'm keeping the tradition alive !)
Cook in a preheated oven at 200° for 15 minutes until the top has slightly browned and the meat and mash are both piping hot. Stab with a knife to check it's hot in the middle before serving.
Disclosure : I received a hamper of ingredients to take part in the #UnileverHalloween challenge.
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