Wednesday, 5 February 2014

mini shepherds pie pots

... I feel like an old man...

... you know those moments when you realise that certain things in life are conspiring against you and you should simply stop doing whatever it is that keeps going wrong, no matter how hard you try... well I pulled my hamstring the other day attempting to work the High Intensity Training option into my exercise routine.  HIT has been around for ages but it has recently come into focus as part of the huge diet craze that is the 5:2 Diet brought to us by Dr Michael Mosely... you'll remember that the last and only time I attempted to 5:2 I ended up in hospital with an acute case of diverticulitis so I had to chuckle when adding a short burst of sprinting into my daily speed-walking routine ended with me rolling around in pain on the running track in our local park at 6am in the morning... I have found that walking at high-speed for a minimum of 25 minutes every day has dramatically helped me lose weight and keep it off... you have to walk at an average of 220bpm which is fast enough to make you look like a total prat, so you have to be able to swallow your pride but it really does work so i'm wearing a disguise and sticking with it...

mini shepherds pie pots
sometimes I like to have a little play with different ways to serve food as I often think that it's good to have options, particularly when dining alone or if you're serving to a crowd at home when there are too many bums to fit on seats and most people are standing but you want to serve something filling.  These little pots are ideal for these options.  They can be frozen once cooked and two pots make an easy meal for one person whilst one pot is perfect served alongside other party food... i'm not ashamed to say I cheated with the mash and bought a couple of pots of ready-made luxury mash from the supermarket, it was simply me being lazy, plus i'm not going to teach you how to mash potatoes...

to make 6 mini pots you will need 6 ramekin pots or similar
1 onion - finely chopped
1 carrot - finely diced
1 stick of celery - finely diced
5 medium mushrooms - finely diced
a handful of frozen peas
a handful of baby vine tomatoes - halved
250g minced steak
1 small glass of white wine
1/2 pint good quality vegetable stock
mashed potato
seasoning and fresh herbs of your choice

in a large pan melt a little butter with some olive oil and on a medium heat saute the onions, carrots and celery for about 5-8 minutes until beginning to soften, add the mushrooms and some fresh chopped herbs - I used rosemary and my current favourite, lemon thyme and let the mushrooms saute for about 5 minutes

add the meat and stir around until it browns and begins to darken, then throw in the cherry tomatoes followed by the wine and stock and let it simmer for about 20 mins until the liquid reduces by at least half

spoon the mince filling into your ramekins until they are roughly 1/3 full, then top with mashed potato and a chunk of butter, bake in a hot oven until the potato is golden and crispy

eat and of course, enjoy!



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