Bengali-spiced cottage pie with parsnip mash topping
- November 2012
- Serves 4-6
- Takes 25 min to make, 1 hour 10 min to cook
Make this Indian-inspired beef dish to impress your friends, or as something different for the whole family. Just add hot buttered greens to serve.
- 33.2g (14.6g saturated)
- 36.2g (11.4g sugars)
For 6 servings
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp each ground cloves, ground turmeric, chilli powder
- 50g finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1kg good quality beef mince
- 5cm cinnamon stick
- 200g chopped tomatoes, fresh or tinned
- 200ml beef stock, homemade or fresh 1 tbsp mango chutney
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
For the parsnip mash
- 800g parsnips, cut into chunks
- 500g floury potatoes, such as king edwards, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 50g butter
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Heat the oil in a large pan, stir in the onion and garlic, cover and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until soft and lightly browned. Meanwhile, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the 3 tsp cumin seeds with the coriander and fennel seeds and toss them around briefly until they darken slightly. Tip into a spice grinder (I use a coffee grinder, reserved just for spices) or pestle and mortar, add the cloves, turmeric and chilli powder, then grind to a powder.
- Add the ginger and red chilli to the onion and fry for 2 minutes more. Stir in the ground spice mixture, fry for 1 minute, then add the minced beef. Increase the heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it browns.
- Add the cinnamon stick, tomatoes, stock and mango chutney, then simmer for 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened but is still moist.
- Meanwhile, put the parsnips and potatoes into separate pans of cold salted water, bring to the boil, and simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes and the parsnips for 20 minutes until tender. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6.
- Toast the 1 tsp cumin seeds in a dry pan, then crush in a pestle and mortar. Drain the potatoes and parsnips, return to one pan and mash until smooth. Melt the butter in a small pan, then add the crushed cumin seeds and ¼ tsp turmeric. Stir this in with some seasoning to taste and enough milk to soften the mash. Remove the cinnamon stick from the mince, stir in the lemon juice, coriander and some seasoning to taste, then put into a 2.25 litre ovenproof dish. Spoon the parsnip mash over the mince, then bake for 30-35 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown.
You can cook some peas in the mince mixture and serve it with rice as a keema curry.
The spicy parsnip mash topping also makes a great side dish. Always try to use a mince made from neck and shoulder steak that contains about 10 per cent fat (the fat provides a lot of the flavour).
Make up to the end of step 5 but don’t put in the oven. Leave to cool, wrap well, then store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen for about 1½ hours.
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