I loathe food waste, I really do. It really bothers me if we have to throw out food at the end of the week as it just feels like I’m throwing money in the bin. I do find with only 2 of us at home there are almost always leftovers with each meal. Usually I’ll take stuff in for lunch the next day but it’s also nice to try and create another meal out of something that would otherwise end up in sandwiches or in a salad.
Sunday before last we had pulled pork and on Monday I had planned to make cottage pie for tea using some mince I had bought with the shopping. I opened the fridge and spotted the leftover pulled pork sat in a Tupperware tub and honestly, if it was a cartoon you would have seen a lightbulb go off above my head. I thought – “why am I about to open a packet of mince when there is a load of pulled pork sitting here.” I knew we would have picked at it over the week but I wanted to be more creative than that.
I adapted my usual cottage pie recipe and in under an hour we were tucking into a yummy meal that gave us both a nice serving for tea and enough for lunch the next day. I felt so proud of myself that I had done something a little different and the next day in work people were very surprised – they all said they only ever put cooked meat in a sandwich/salad and would never think of creating another hot meal from it. I was so pleased that it was a success that I made it again this week, tweaking the recipe slightly so I was 100% happy with it. Originally my cottage pie recipe comes from Lorraine Pascale’s Home Baking Made Easy book and even though I’ve fiddled with it quite a bit I felt it was only right to credit her for some of the original bits.
Pulled Pork Cottage Pie
2-3 sweet potatoes
100g diced pancetta
1 large onion (diced)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 carrots (diced)
Handful of mushrooms (sliced)
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
450g leftover pulled pork
100g frozen peas
3 squidges tomato puree
2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
200ml beef stock
- Preheat the oven to 180C (fan)
- Peel and chop the sweet potato.
- Add to a pan of boiling water and cook until soft.
- While the spuds are boiling away, pour some olive oil into a frying pan, add the pancetta and onions and fry over a medium – high heat until the onions are soft and the pancetta crispy.
- Add the carrots and balsamic vinegar and fry for a few more minutes until the vinegar has evaporated.
- Chuck in the remaining ingredients, season well, give it a good stir and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are soft, drain and mash.
- Place your pie dish on a baking sheet (it will catch bubbling spills), spoon in the filling and spread over the mash.
- Bake in the oven for 20/25minutes until crispy on top.
- Serve with your choice of greens and enjoy!