Yesterday I was planning on making a Cottage Pie for our dinner with some mince from the freezer but with a cauliflower mash topping for a change (using frozen cauliflower)
I wandered into my local supermarket and there were some nice looking small fresh cauliflowers on the reduced shelf for 55p so I decided to get one and use it for the topping for our dinner later.
I was hungry as I had not yet had any lunch and decided to buy a single roll and go to the Deli counter and buy a slice of chicken/ham or cheese, or whatever was a good price,
As I got to the counter, the assistant was marking down some packs of offcuts to 49p, so I asked her what they were and she explained that they were just a random mix of all the little bits that were left after slicing so it was “pot luck” what was in there.
As it was only 49p for 260g of meat I decided to risk it and have some in my roll and then hubby could have some in his wraps for his lunch the next day.
On opening the pack there was a good selection of Ham, bacon, Chicken, Turkey, peppered beef.
During my walk home I wondered if I could use this to make the “Pie” instead and so the “Offcuts Pie” was created.
So here’s what I did;
I had about 200g of meat left after my sandwich so I chopped this up into smaller pieces and popped them into a frying pan – no need to add any oil or fat as there was a little on some of the ham and heated this up.
I added some water and made a gravy using my usual gravy granules. I add a little bit of hoisin sauce left in a bottle so I put this into the gravy for some extra flavour and poured all this into my baking dish.
To make the topping I chopped up the cauliflower and boiled in some seasoned water for a few minutes until it started to soften.
I then drained the water off (realising that I should have done this first and used the water for the gravy to keep all the nutrients in the dish).
I then mashed the cauliflower up with a little mustard, butter and a small amount of cheese (I had some cheddar but you can use whatever you have – a cream cheese would be nice) and then spread the mix on the top of the meat & gravy.
This went into the oven at 180degrees for about 30 minutes until the cauliflower had browned an the gravy was bubbling.
I served this with some carrots.
We really enjoyed this and it was also fun to eat as you were never sure what the next mouthful would contain.
You can of course vary this in many ways by making a more traditional base using onions and tomatoes to make a rich gravy and add extra vegetables.
The topping of course can be made with potatoes, swede, any vegetable you choose really. On of the advantages of using the cauliflower is that the calorie content is greatly reduced (as long as you only use a tiny amount of butter and cheese – just enough to help give a bit of colour and hold it together) and also good if you want to watch your carbohydrates.
Try it – its fun and very tasty and cheap!!