It is that time of the year again. Where resolutions are set, plans are made and hopes are high. One and half week into January, I already felt my days are long and most of the times my mind is not thinking right due to the setting in of stuffy nose and chest with a lingering cough that slows down everything. Weekly snow and ice storms don't help with the miserable feeling of cabin fever and gloomy expectations of the economy surrounds everyone I see outside the house. Other than looking forward to spring, nothing seems to be uplifting the spirits these days.
Another big snow day today and I wanted to make something warm and homey for the kids. The sack of potatoes still sitting in the basement needed to be used up before it started sprouting. I got the idea of making this dish from the Good Food April 2008 issue which was originally known as Cottage Pie. A tweak here and there, my version turned out good to warm the souls and provided a light lunch for all of us who just want a lazy day on the couch with no rush to anywhere.
1/2 lb minced beef
2/3 cups frozen peas
1 onion, sliced & cut to pieces
2/3 cup water
2 tsp cornflour added to 3 tsp water
6 medium size potatoes
2 medium carrots
2 & 1/2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
salt & pepper
6 baby tomatoes, quartered
2/3 cup of grated cheese (mild tasting)
1. Peel potatoes and carrots. Immerse in cold water and bring to boil for 25 to 30 mins, till potatoes are soft. Turn off heat and drain water and add in milk and butter. Add salt and pepper. Mash till mushy consistency. Leave aside to cool.
2. Preheat oven to 375F.
3.Heat some cooking oil in frying pan. Saute the onion for 2 mins. Add in the minced beef together with the peas and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper and continue to cook for another 5 mins. Add in the water and turn down the heat and close lid and let simmer for 10 mins. Add in the cornstarch and stir to combine. Turn off heat.
4. Spoon the meat mixture into a loaf pan and spread out evenly.
5. Spoon the mashed potatoes and carrots on top of the meat mixture, spreading evenly throughout the pan . Arrange the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with crushed oregano and grated cheese.
6. Bake for 35 to 45 mins till potato top is slightly brown. Remove and serve warm.
Serves: 2 to 3 persons