Originally uploaded by wjharrison77.
I have had an assortment of tradesmen in my house over the last few days as I’m giving my bathroom a face lift. As they are plumbing and rewiring bits and bobs I’ve been pottering around trying not to look lazy. It’s an odd thing. I feel terribly guilty watching them work. So guilty that, though my total and utter lack of plumbing and electrical knowledge tells me I shouldn’t, I am feeling an overwhelming need to offer some help!
The word lazy has always been the biggest criticism possible in our family. If either of my parents ever uttered the word in my direction I was wracked with guilt. Still am, in fact! This might explain why I often attempt to cram a hundred tasks into a day.
My parents are here with me at the moment actually. 🙂 I’d say they were on holiday but, in true family style, my Dad is armed with his toolkit and various bits of wood, and my mother started hoovering before she’d even taken her shoes off.
With all this activity going on I’m wishing I had prepared the next dish a few days ago, ready to be baked. This recipe was introduced to me last weekend by Genna. It’s a kind of cottage pie but uses venison mince rather than beef.
Those of you in warmer climates may wonder at a baked and bubbling dish in June but it’s really not that warm in Inverness yet. I do have hopes of warmth though.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 big onion, roughly chopped
3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
500g venison mince
Glass of red wine
Tin of chopped tomatoes
150ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp tomato purée
750g floury potatoes, peeled & cut into golfball sized chunks
225g parsnips, peeled & chopped
1 tsp horseradish
2 dollops of crème fraiche
A small egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a medium pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook until just soft.
- Add the venison and stir until brown.
- Add the wine and bubble for a minute.
- Add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and tomato puree.
- Simmer for 45 mins covered and 15 mins uncovered (to thicken sauce).
- Meanwhile, boil the potatoes and parsnips (in separate pans). Drain.
- Mash the parsnips and potatoes together with the crème fraiche, milk and horse radish.
- Season to taste.
- Ladle the meat sauce into the bottom of a medium ovenproof dish. Top with mashed potatoes. Even off with a fork. Then brush with the beaten egg.
- Bake in a preheated oven (190oC) until golden brown – approximately 45 mins.