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Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Shepherds Pie with Chunks of Cheese


Current Weight:

15 stone 1lbs

Weight Loss since March 2010:

1 stone 3lbs

Todays Syn Count:

4.5 on Extra Easy

The family headed west last week for a holiday, which included a diet-holiday for me. This is my first weigh in since I've been back on track and fabulously I lost 4lbs, which is a pound more than I put on during the break. So my world is happy happy joy joy today.

In other big news, Tesco delivered the ingredients for "Shepherds Pie with Chunks of Cheese" today.

My favourite part of getting Tesco to deliver my weekly food shop is discovering which comedy substitutions they have included.

My top three Tesco substitutions:

  1. We didn't have bananas, we have substituted with raisins
  2. We didn't have meatballs, we have substituted with a packet of Paxo stuffing.
  3. We didn't have disposable barbecues, we have substituted with instant fire-lighters (would that be to light the barbecues you didn't send?)

For two people you'll need:

Mince base:

  • Lean mince
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (I use lazy garlic mostly)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tsp tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 175ml red wine (3 SYNS)
  • 200ml beef bovril stock
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Seasoning
Champ topping:

  • Potatoes
  • Frozen peas
  • Spring onions
  • 4 tsbp semi skimmed milk (0.5 SYNS)
  • 112g Cheddar Cheese (HEALTHY A AND B CHOICES)
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika

Essentially this is a basil shepherds pie like we all make, but I followed some great tips I saw on Sophie Dahl's latest series. Thank you Sophie for these tips! You can find other glorious Sophie Dahl recipes here. I boil the potatoes whilst I fry the onion, carrot and garlic until soft. When soft I add the remaining mince base ingredients (bar the actual mince) and bring to the boil. Whilst both the potatoes and mince sauce continue to boil I fry the mince with a little fry light until it crackles. The crackle is important. Sophie Dahl recommended this and it makes the mince crispy and more flavoursome.

When the mince is cooked I add it to the sauce and leave on a low heat whilst I finished off the potatoes.

I add a handful of peas to the boiling potatoes and fry the sliced spring onions in Fry Light. When brown I add the semi-skimmed milk slowly and leave on low heat whilst I drain the potatoes and peas. I then mash the potatoes, peas, spring onions and milk together with seasoning. I hadn't thought to add peas and spring onions until Sophie D suggested it.

I remove the bay leaves and rosemary stalks and split the mince into separate oven proof dishes, and top with the mashed potato. Now this is the best bit. I break the cheese into chunks and stuff it into the potato in random places. This was on Sophie Dahls programme too and is my new favourite way to finish a Shepherds Pie. I bake the pie in the oven for 30 mins on about gas mark 6.

When it comes out the cheese has melted in blobs amongst the champ. Mmmmmm, melted cheese lumps.


BREAKFAST: THREE FRIED EGGS USING FRY LIGHT, A LEFT OVER JOE'S SAUSAGE AND SPAGHETTI HOOPS; LUNCH: PASTA WITH CHERRY TOMATOES ROASTED IN GARLIC, QUORN COCKTAIL SAUSAGES, 8 OLIVES (1 SYN) AND BASIL; DINNER: "SHEPHERDS PIE WITH CHUNKS OF CHEESE"; SNACKS: MELON SLICES, BANANA, FROZEN MANGO CUBES AND 3 CHERRY MULLER LITES.

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