Bachelorette Cooking: Chapalang Cottage Pie Recipe

In my many years as a University student fending for herself in the midst of the big city, I have learned three things about cooking…

  1. As long as you have eggs, salt and rice, you can make fried rice out of anything.
  2. Minestrone soup can be cooked with any veggies you have lying in the house. Just chop ’em up and throw ’em all into a big pot with water, salt, crushed tomatoes and some tomato puree. Great for Winter.
  3. If all else fails, make an omelette. Great for leftover burgers (the bread becomes a French toast and the minced meat goes down a treat).

So, this weekend, I made a new discovery – mash doesn’t always have to be potatoes. With that in mind, I present to you my recipe for Chapalang[1] Cottage Pie!

Here, in all its rubbish-looking yet delicious glory!  (Made with a beef mince; a mix of peas, corn, carrots and mushrooms; and topped with a parsnip, carrot and mushroom crust)

Here it is, in all its rubbish-looking yet delicious glory! (Made with a beef mince; a mix of peas, corn, carrots and mushrooms; and topped with a parsnip, carrot and mushroom crust)

You will need…

  • Pot
  • Casserole dish
  • Oven
  • Blender/Food Processor
  • Steamer
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 500g meat mince (beef, pork, lamb, combination of all the above.  Whatever.)
  • 300ml stock (any stock will do)
  • 1 tsbp tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 tsbp Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
  • 200g random mixed veggies (peas, corn, carrot, mushrooms, frozen veggies.  Anything.  We’re not picky here.)
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 tsbp parsley
  • 1 tsbp vegetable oil
  • 500g of assorted root vegetables (Parsnip, turnip, carrot, potato etc…[2]  You can also use some mushrooms to give it a little extra lift.)
  • 30g butter

First, mince the onion, garlic and capsicum.  Fry them up with the oil in the pot until the onion is semi-translucent.  Add the meat to the pot and brown it.

Once the minced meat is lightly browned, pour in the mixed veggies, stock, tomato paste, parsley and Worcestershire sauce.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens (about 30 minutes or so).

Once the sauce is thickened, transfer the cooked meat mince mix into the casserole dish and leave to stand.

Peel and cut the root vegetables into quarters and steam them until soft, about 20 minutes should do it.  Mash together while still hot in a food processor with butter and spread over the top of the casserole dish.  If you are using mushrooms as part of the crust, do not steam them with the other veggies, but mash them in raw (they’ll cook in the oven later).  There should be less mushrooms than other veggies in the mix.

Bake in oven at 180 degrees Celsius, or until the crust becomes brown.  Remove and let cool before eating.

This recipe is pretty laid back, so feel free to experiment with different flavours, but use your “blane” to figure out what flavours don’t match.

Enjoy and, in keeping with laid back nature of this recipe, Happy Belated Australia Day!

[1]Malaysian slang for anything or whatever.  Y’know that stuff.  *Vague hand waving motion*

[2]But not beetroot because beetroot is evil and unnaturally pink.


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