A couple of weeks back we had “an incident”. The remote control for our Blu-ray player has gone missing, which meant we couldn’t watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on 1st December. This is A.Tradition. And therefore became A. Disaster (not with me, I might add).
Because the husband took it so well (snort), I tried to placate him with Scrooged purchased from Virgin. He was having none of it.
Determined not to waste the £2.99 I’d paid for a two day rental, I declared that we bloody well would watch Scrooged the following evening, and I would make something Christmassy to eat.
And so my “Taste of Christmas” pie was born. This is all from my own little head, because I like Christmas and I like food, and I could just imagine it all working together.
The concept is based on cottage pie, but includes all the lovely Christmassy flavours instead of the traditional beef and mashed potato. It’s super quick and easy to make, but mega tasty and festive.
Start with chopped onions and mushrooms (chestnut work well for extra depth of flavour) in a pan.
Add turkey mince and dried thyme, and cook til browned (onions) / not pink (meat)
Then add some tomato puree and a small amount of thick gravy to bind it (you could use onion gravy granules for extra flavour).
This is your first layer – spread it out on the bottom of an ovenproof dish.
On top of that spread a layer of cranberry sauce. If you’re a domestic goddess, make your own. If you’re normal, use a jar.
Next layer is mash. You can be as creative as you like here. Personally I use carrot and swede mash as it’s sweet and also healthier than potato mash. But standard mash would also work, or add in mustard or cheese. Or use sweet potatoes. Your pie – your choice. Spread this over the cranberry and turkey mince.
Next make up some stuffing mix. Again you can use your choice of flavour. I use sausage meat flavour because it’s delish. Spread over the other three layers.
Pop the dish onto a baking tray in case of spillage and stick it in a pre-heated oven at about 180-200 degrees (I’m not a very precise cook). Keep an eye on it until the stuffing starts to bake and go crispy; probably about 20-30 minutes.
It will be all gooey and sweet and layered and yum!
I served it with sprouts and roast parsnips but you could go with your choice of veg – creamed leeks would be good, or roast potatoes for a carb fest, or a cauliflower cheese.
It was declared an absolute success, and we watched Scrooged.