Harvest Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie

Sneak extra veggies into your family’s diet with this Veggie Loaded Easy Cottage Pie. It's simple to prepare and tastes great as leftovers the next day.

Prep Time--30 minutes

Cook Time--60 minutes

Total Time--90 minutes

Servings 8-10

For the Filling

·     1 large onion

·     1 large leek

·     2 large carrots

·     3 stocks celery

·     12-15 cremini mushrooms-cut if half or in quarters depending on size

·     2 tablespoon olive oil

·     1 pound lean ground GRASS FED beef

·     2 tablespoons tomato paste (half the small can)

·     2 tablespoons beef base

·     1 can 15oz chopped tomatoes

·     ½ cup tablespoon balsamic vinegar

·     1 cup frozen peas

·    1 can lentils

·    1 tablespoon onion powder

·     Salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping

·     1.5 pounds (about 4 medium) Yukon or Russet potatoes

·    ½ large yam or sweet potato

·     1 pound cauliflower florets

·     ¾ cup whole milk or half n’ half

·     3-5 tablespoons butter

 

Instructions

1.    For the topping:

Peel and dice the potatoes, sweet potato or yam and the cauliflower. Add to a large pot and cover with salted water. Boil and cook the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain well and mash with the warm milk and butter.

2.    For the filling:

Start by chopping the onions, carrots, celery & leek into bite-sized cubes. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the vegetables.  Cook on medium-high heat until starting to soften. Add the tomato paste & beef base and continue cooking until they are dissolved and the bottom of the pan has caramelized.  Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan.  Add the chopped tomatoes, onion powder, salt & pepper and some of the water from the potato pot and use it to deglaze.  Add meat and break up.  Cook until it is browned and the vegetables are cooked, about 5-10 minutes.  Add can of drained lentils.  Continue adding potato water to help soften veggies and make a gravy. Add peas at end and stir into mixture.

Transfer meat mixture into a casserole dish and spoon the potato topping over the filling, smoothing with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 20-30 or until golden and bubbling.  Allow to sit 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy with a hearty salad and crusty bread.