There is nothing better than a warming meal at the end of a long day playing with the kids – even in Summer we love a hot meal. But..and it’s a big but..I really don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen, especially when the food is wolfed down in 5 seconds flat. So the dilemma, when we had children, was how to produce good food which would fill them up, be super tasty but would take next to no time at all. This dilemma was further enhanced when I discovered that my go to meals, which nearly all included a stir in sauce, were full of sugar! That was a real eye opener and made me have to rethink my whole repertoire of meals. So when I discovered that I could make tasty meals in less time through taking some short cuts (mostly of the frozen variety) I was delighted. I’ve managed to amend most of my meals to make them of the ‘cheat’s variety’ still making sure they are full of goodness and guaranteed to put a smile on the whole family’s faces! So here is my recipe for a Cheat’s Cottage Pie.
500g frozen mince (preferably less than 10% fat)
2 big handfuls of frozen mixed vegetables
1 large packet of frozen mashed potato
several handfuls of grated cheese
1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 6 (200C).
2. Boil a pan of water and when boiled, add the frozen mixed vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, fry the frozen mince in a large frying pan (you don’t need to add any extra oil!) until it is cooked through.
4. Once the vegetables are cooked, drain them and add them to the frying pan of cooked mince. Combine the mince and the vegetables.
5. In a large oven proof dish, add the mince and vegetable mix.
6. Cover the top of the meat with a layer of frozen mashed potato. I tend to use more than needed to make sure that there is a thick layer of potato.
7. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top to your own taste. I add about 3 handfuls to make it extra cheesy.
8. Pop in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the cheese is crispy and bubbling.
That’s it! I serve it alongside a lovely fresh green salad and there is more than enough for 2 adults, 2 kids and some left over. Absolutely delicious, takes next to no time to prepare and costs less than buying fresh.
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