Friday 27 September 2013

Bisto Midweek Meal Challenge recipe #5 : Cottage Pie with Butternut Thatch

When Bisto sent me through their recipe cards for Midweek meals with a twist, I wasn't planning on making them all, but they've all been so well received that I'm working my way through the whole lot now ! I love the way most of them take recipes that I already use and just add a little tweak that makes it simpler or tastier or healthier. Yesterday's dinner was a prime example. The cottage pie was very similar to what I usually make, except for the addition of butternut squash to the mash topping.

If you've never used butternut squash before, here's what it looks line inside. It has quite a sweet flavour, slightly reminiscent of pumpkin.

Cottage Pie with Butternut Thatch


900g (2lb) potatoes, cut into chunks
500g (1lb 2oz) prepared butternut squash, or one small butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
500g (1lb 2oz) extra lean minced beef
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Put the potatoes and butternut squash into a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water and add a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan and add the mince a handful at a time, to sear and brown it (this is important to get a good flavour). Add the onion, carrot and parsley, then add 300ml (1/2 pint) boiling
water. Simmer without a lid for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 200 C /fan oven 180 C / Gas Mark 6.

4. Sprinkle the Bisto Gravy Granules into the mince mixture, stirring until thickened. Transfer to a baking dish. Drain the potatoes and butternut squash, then mash them with the milk and season with black pepper. Spoon on top of the mince, using a fork to roughen the surface.

5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Cooking tip : If you’re short of time, spoon the piping hot mince mixture into a warmed baking dish, pile
the hot mash on top, then cook under the grill for 5-6 minutes to brown the surface.

Clean plates all round ! They always like my cottage pie anyway but I love the fact that this version sneaked in some extra veg. Sophie said she preferred the mash because it was sweeter and had more flavour. Juliette and Pierre didn't notice any difference at all !

This is also a great dish for preparing the day before if you know you're going to be in a mad rush and just want something quick to reheat for dinner !

for more information :

Disclosure : I received some Bisto gravy granules and recipe cards, as well as a shopping voucher to buy some of the extra ingredients.

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  1. I always think cottage pie tastes better the next day, same as lasagne and stovies.


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