Thursday, May 12, 2011

Individual Lamb & Pumpkin Cottage Pies

Pumpkin and spiced lamb are a perfect match in this twist on traditional cottage pies. With winter definitely in the air this this will be sure to be a hit at the dinner table.

Preparation Time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 55 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground chilli
500g lamb mince
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
125ml (1/2 cup) salt-reduced chicken stock
2 tbs tomato paste
1.5kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, coarsely chopped
80g (1 cup) coarsely grated cheddar
2 tbs pine nuts

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon and chilli and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
2. Increase heat to high. Add the mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps, for 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in the tomato, stock and tomato paste. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pumpkin in a steamer basket over a saucepan of simmering water for 8 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Use a fork to mash until smooth.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Divide the mince mixture among four 500ml (2-cup) capacity ovenproof dishes. Spoon the pumpkin evenly over the mince mixture and use the back of a spoon to spread. Sprinkle with the cheddar and pine nuts.
5. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheddar is golden and the pine nuts are toasted. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Serve.

Freezing tip At the end of step 4, cover the dishes with lids. Alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil. Label, date and freeze the pies for up to three months. To thaw, place the portions in the fridge for 6-8 hours or until thawed. Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove the lids or plastic wrap and foil. Continue from step 5.

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