Middle Eastern Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower mash.

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Egyptian caulis.

Egyptian caulis.

Serves 4.

For the filling:

  • 500g/ 1 lb lamb mince
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed if time
  • 2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves (optional), crushed with the side of a blade of a big knife.  Even better bash away at it in a pestle and mortar with a bit of salt.
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tsp sumac if in the cupboard, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • Celtic sea salt or similar, black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat the olive oil in a reasonable sized saucepan.  Add all the spices and stir around for a minute.  Then add the lamb and garlic.
  2. Stir extremely well and leave to cook, covered, for about 30 mins.

For the topping:

  • 1 organic cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt and pepper.
  1. Bring a steamer to the boil.
  2. Chop the leaves off the cauliflower and divide into medium sized florets.
  3. Steam until tender – 15 – 20 mins.
  4. Strain off the steaming water, put the olive oil in the saucepan, then add the cauliflower, coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Whizz this up to a completely and utterly smooth paste with a hand held blender.  Check the seasoning.  Don’t scoff it all!

To complete:

  1. Put the lamb mince into a baking dish and smooth it out.
  2. Dollop the cauliflower mash on the top and spread it about.
  3. Bake in an oven 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 25 mins, or until golden brown on the top.
  4. Instead, you could put the dish under the grill until golden on the top, but baking it will meld the flavours more.

Garlic is extremely good for you, provided you can tolerate it.   So this recipe is definitely better with the garlic.  If we are going to eat the stuff, then we might as well know we are eating it, since the taste is wonderful.  So the garlic could even be added just at the end of the preliminary cooking time.  But some of us can’t tolerate it, so we can leave it out.  However, the dish is still extremely tasty garlic free, and the tummy is much happier as a result.




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