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!

14 comments:

  1. We call this power-walking here in the States ... it gets the heart going, the arms pumping and yup, you look like a fool, but it does burn the calories pretty effectively! Sorry you felt the need to push it further, dearie! Hope you're able to stretch that muscle out and get back to the routine soon! In the meantime, these little pies look delectable! Good for portion control too!

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  2. These look delicious! I completely agree with you on want to switch it up a bit or needing to do smaller batches. Another way to do these using short crust pastry as the cup like they do in this recipe. Either way, Its a great idea!

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  3. Awww.....so sorry to hear that Dom, shame, but those little shepherd's pies look divine though! I have tried to leave comments on your other blog posts but to no avail.....hoping this one gets through! Karen xx

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  4. Replies
    1. thank the lord... don't know what that was all about? I have checked my settings but all seems OK?... probably some kind of glitch in the Matrix! xx

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  5. Oh no, what a pain. Hope it heals quickly so you can carry on looking like a total prat. I've been trying to incorporate a quick sprint into our evening walk for the same reason, but as I'm not much good at sprinting and especially up hill, it hasn't been terribly successful.

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  6. Don't be so hard on yourself Dom. I think any kind of exercise is good for you and walking at a fast pace is really good for you, The pot pies look homey and delicious. The kind of unpretentious meal that everybody loves and craves. I have on occasion bought the gourmet mashed at the market too. Sometimes the thought of peeling a couple of pounds of potatoes after working all day is more than I can stand.

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  7. I know that feeling all too well - I hope you recover soon! Love the idea of these little pots; so adorable and so perfect for a party.

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  8. Yummy yum but with 35C I probably won't be serving it up soon. Perfect child size portions. Uk supermarkets never fail to surprise me, you can't get pre-mashed potatoes here - at least I don't think so. An injury when things were going so well. Hope you are back on the track soon.

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  9. Oh yes, I have been in that situation more times than I care to admit... at 40 things just seem to stop working for you like they used to... and I still haven't come to terms with that yet!! lol
    Love this idea for the individual pots... and as Magnolia pointed out.. perfect child size.. which I will have to start thinking about very soon :)

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  10. I always find it difficult to decide on food for large groups - these look like a fine choice to me. Speaking as a fully certified old man I just wanted to point out that it doesn't get any easier as you get older. Sorry to hear that you're feeling like an old man. Funnily enough, I sometimes feel like a younger woman, but my wife stops me going out and finding one.

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  11. These look good, they're Ted sized, I can imagine having a supply in the freezer for him. I couldn't stick to 5:2 either although mercifully without the drama you endured. I like to sandwich a short post-school-run stint in the gym with a high speed walk each way, it's the equivalent of an extra 20 minutes on the treadmill!

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  12. I was debating (arguing) with the physio the other day that exercise is bad for you, and you have proved it, in a very sore way! Hope you feel better soon! Walking is great and used to love it but the knee's have packed up so will be a while before can get out again, I am consoling myself with lots of cake in the mean time!

    Anyway back to food - anything in smaller dishes always looks infinitely more appealing, love shepherds pie but seem to rarely make it as I only seem to like lamb mince from very expensive places :(

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