By Talitha Fraser
We live in times where the focus is on those things that divide rather than connect us but as Chappo (Peter Chapman) says “You should share communion together, it has a unique power to unite beyond words.”
I’ve heard someone in the community is sick. It’s cancer. It’s advanced. Chemo starts immediately and all their plans, all their future seems a question mark. This is something the community does well, responding when someone is sick, when someone has died, when someone has had a baby… There is a sense of helplessness when people we know are struggling but we want to do what we can. I add more vegies, I add more garlic, I pay for the leanest/highest grade mince and take care cutting everything nicely because I want to somehow imbue the food with wholesomeness and nurture, I want it to be restorative and healing. I pray as I cut and wash and I pray as I drain and brown and stir… I wish that Shepherd’s Pie were a cure for cancer but it isn’t. For some people, church is most meaningful at the high holidays of Christmas and Easter or as a venue for life celebrations like weddings and baptisms but for me often its most profound acts are in moments like these – when you’re scared, tired, sick… you actually can’t make it to church and your family come around and feed you the daily bread that nourishes, the water that quenches every thirst. the casserole that fits in the freezer.
Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 24 (fills three large tin foil casserole trays)
Extra virgin olive oil
3 onions diced
2kg mince/ground lamb or beef
4 cloves garlic crushed
4 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
140g tomato paste
6 carrots (grated or chopped)
½ bunch chard chopped
250g frozen spinach (or fresh)
420g can corn kernels (drained) or 1.5 cups corn
Cauliflower Mash Topping
3 large cauliflower cut into florets (use potato if you want!)
150 g butter
Salt/pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add mince and stir until it is all cooked and browned.
[here I transferred to the slow cooker but you can cook at the stove]
- Add the beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chopped tomatoes and vegetables. Mix.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered while making the cauliflower topping. Let liquid evaporate so the mince thickens.
- Boil/steam the cauliflower until soft, this takes 8-10 minutes.
- Drain and allow ALL the steam to escape. Too much water left in the saucepan will make a ‘sloppy’ mash.
- Add the butter, salt, pepper. Using a stick blender puree until smooth.
- Place the shepherd’s pie mince/ground meat mix in the bottom of casserole dishes. Top with the cauliflower mash then sprinkle on the cheese.
Wrap for delivery/freezer storage OR
- Bake at 180C/350F for 20 mins and until the cheese is browned.