Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cheat Shepherd’s Pie

Brought to you by FairPrice

A Healthier Alternative

FairPrice Mixed Vegetables are a nifty and nutritious staple to have in your freezer


Weekend afternoons are days I reserve for playing in the kitchen. By that, I mean experimenting and taking my time with more complex dishes that require more work than I can afford on a weekday.

On those working days, fuss-free ingredients are my best friends. The less peeling and chopping I do, the better. Yet I want my food to be as fresh and of optimum quality as possible. So, a little shrewd planning is often called for.

Dishes such as shepherd's pie are great because I can make the components separately and ahead of time, with help from healthful ready-to-use products such as FairPrice Mixed Vegetables and good pasta sauce.

FairPrice Mixed Vegetables are a product of Hungary and feature a healthy mix of peas, carrots and corn that can help the whole family meet our fibre requirements. It is also cholesterol-free and comes with a good eating stamp of approval in the form of the Healthier Choice symbol.

Available in 400g or 1kg packs, they are a good staple to have in the freezer. Toss them into soups, salads and pastas, or fry them up in an omelette. The possibilities are endless and your family will be healthier for it.

FairPrice Mixed Vegetables ($2.20, 400g / $3.80, 1kg) is available at all FairPrice supermarkets.

Cheat's Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4

  • 3 potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 15g butter plus another 10g for topping (softened)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp FairPrice Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup FairPrice Mixed Vegetables
  • 1 cup bottled tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. To make the mashed potato topping, place the potatoes and salt in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. After about 12 minutes (or when the potatoes are tender right through when poked with a fork), remove from heat and drain.
  2. In a bowl, mash the hot potatoes and 15 grams of butter with two forks or a potato masher.
  3. Add milk, salt and pepper, and mix well. Do not overwork the potatoes or your mash will turn gummy. Set aside. (You can do this a day or two in advance and keep in the fridge.)
  4. To make the filling, heat olive oil in a saucepan and add garlic. Fry till fragrant but not browned.
  5. Add the minced beef and fry for about 8 minutes, or until the beef has released its moisture and the moisture has evaporated.
  6. Add Worcestershire sauce and fry for another 2 minutes.
  7. Add FairPrice Mixed Vegetables and fry for another minute or so.
  8. Add pasta sauce and stir to mix. Cook till the sauce has thickened slightly, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  9. Add sugar and stir. Taste, and add salt and pepper accordingly. Set aside to cool. You can do this up to two days in advance and refrigerate.
  10. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  11. To assemble, spread the beef mixture in a pie dish and level with a spoon. Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef to form an even layer on top.
  12. Dot the surface of the mashed potatoes with the other 10 grams of butter and then use a fork to blend it into the surface, making a pattern as you do. This will give the pie a nice "crust".
  13. Bake in the oven, on the centre rack, for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

From TODAY, Food – Thursday, 13-Aug-2009

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