With busy schedules, and running around after kids and husband, finding time to make a wholesome dinner for the family can be challenging. I’m finding that freeze-ahead meals and freezing leftovers is one of my life savers. At a weekend, I will often cook up a batch of some of our favourites that can easily be brought out of the freezer, defrosted and heated up for dinner that night. One of our family favourites is a freeze ahead Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie. We use meals like this so much that we have a spare freezer that we keep in the garage that contains most of our homemade “ready meals” to bring out.
Having the extra freezer is a godsend what with minimum space in our own kitchen, and as technology has improved with things like Beko’s Freezer Guard technology keeping them in garages where temperatures can drop below freezing easily means that they will work whatever the temperature. All we do is in the morning take out the meal, leave it to defrost on the counter in the winter or in the fridge in the summer, and by the evening we have a meal that’s ready to cook.
When I make the Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie I make up a batch for the freezer at the same time as I’m making our own for the day, and I label them well, put them in the freezer once cooled, and then we’re ready to go when we need it in our busy life.
Ingredients for Freeze ahead Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie
Potatoes – good for mashing
Mediterranean Vegetables – we use frozen in the winter and fresh in the summer (things like peppers, courgettes)
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Vegetable Stock Cube to crumble in
Knob of butter
Freeze ahead Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie
Peel potatoes and chop, place into water and bring to the boil. Cook them until they are soft and suitable for mashing. Whilst they are cooking make the base of the Shepherd’s Pie
Start of by chopping the onion and mushrooms. Tailor how many and the thickness to your taste, we prepare for our children to eat so I make sure that the pieces aren’t too big. If you are using fresh Mediterranean Vegetables then chop these as well.
Heat up some oil in a large pan and add in the onion, mushrooms and any Mediterranean vegetables and brown for around 5 minutes. Add the lamb mince to the mix and stir as it cooks.
Once the lamb has browned, crumble in the stock cube, add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix well and let simmer.
With the potatoes cooked, drain and add a knob of butter and mash. Depending on the potatoes you may need to add some milk or cream to make the mashing easier.
With the base and mash made you can now place the Lamb Mince Mix into one freezable container and the mash into another allow to cool and then place in the freezer.
When you want to eat the Mediterranean Shepherd’s Pie, take both containers out of the freezer, and defrost thoroughly. Into an oven proof dish put the Lamb Mince at the bottom and then spread the Mash over-top.
If you want, you can add some cheese to the top and place in the oven to cook at 200C for 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and it’s cooked all the way through.
With a packet of Lamb Mince from the Supermarket we usually have enough for 3 pies for the family (would serve 6 people as the kids don’t eat a lot).
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Beko Freezer Guard Technology.