Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Southwestern Cottage Pie

This recipe combines southwestern flavors, ground beef and spaghetti squash in a lovely cottage pie. Beef is used in making cottage pie, whereas, shepherd's pie is made using ground lamb. Last year I shared my recipe for a North African shepherd's pie and told of my interest in making these pie variations. This Southwestern version is a favorite as well. While you are baking the spaghetti squash, prepare all the other ingredients for the recipe.
1 spaghetti squash, quartered
Sea salt, to taste
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 zucchini, diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped + 1 teaspoon sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup hot salsa
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Mexican 2% cheese blend
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, for brushing
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut the squash into quarters (or fifths). Remove seeds and connective strands. Spread in single layer, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Grind sea salt over tops. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and use a fork to scrape the squash flesh into spaghetti-like strands. Set aside.

In a large pot brown the beef over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion, garlic, chipotle and sauce. Cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the corn, salsa, flour and seasonings. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add cheese. Stir to combine. Evenly spread the meat mixture in a pie dish. Layer the squash pulp over the top of the meat mixture.

Melt the butter in a small cup; about 15-20 seconds in the microwave. Gently brush the butter over the strands covering the pie. Grind salt and pepper over top. Bake on a rimmed sheet pan for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting to get a cleaner slice or dive in with a large spoon to serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.

Serves 4

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