Magpie's got a case of the Man Flu, which means that he's mostly lying on the couch whimpering and watching QI. When I asked him what he wanted for dinner today, he said, 'Lots and lots of food,' with roughly the coherence of your average hungry baby bird. I figured I'd better fix him a calorie bomb to give him some energy.
So I went to the shop, had a look around and came up with a cunning plan.
I'm very fond of Shepherd's Pie and its cousin, Cottage Pie (which is made with beef instead of lamb or mutton). I took my inspiration in part from these, and in part from a Scandinavian dish that my mum used to make when I was a kid.
It turned out very tasty, so I thought I'd share with you this recipe for an as of yet unnamed pie.
400g minced pork
300g smoked bacon
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
500g mashed potato
1. Turn your oven to 200C (390F).
2. Chop your onion and garlic as finely as you can be bothered. Divide the cauliflower into smaller trees. Chop your bacon into bits.
3. Heat a frying pan to high medium. If your bacon is nice and streaky and you have a non-stick pan you don't need any extra fat to fry in. Start with the bacon. When the fat is starting to melt and sizzle, add the onion and garlic. Add the minced pork when the onion starts to look shiny. When all the meat is brown, add the cauliflower and let it all cook together for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the cream. I used double cream because it thickens more easily, but if you want slightly less fat (not that it matters at this point) single cream will do just as well. Let it cook until the gravy is nice and thick. Season with black pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste.
5. Pour everything into a deep oven pan and cover in mash potato (just like you'd do with shepherd's pie or cottage pie). I was lazy and used instant mash today, but I'll post a recipe for mashed potato later. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the mash is starting to look nice and golden.
Serve with pickled beets, gherkins, or do what we did and add lingonberry jam (available for purchase at an IKEA near you if you happen to live in a country that's never seen a lingonberry). This is about as healthy as your average carbonara, but it's very tasty!
Serves 3 or 4 if you're normal people, or just two if you're me and Magpie.