Recently, I attempted to roughly work out the probability of ever seeing myself with a flat stomach. Sure, it’s fairly unlikely with my love of beer, pies and sweet treats, but I’ve recently been put onto the Paleo diet at the local Crossfit. Now, I was totally content to keep this dull diet stuff to myself - workday salads, grilled chicken thighs with whatever vegetables now dominate my fridge – but you clicked on the link, so you clearly wanted to know a bit more.
The trouble with Paleo is that you have to be super prepared and own an overwhelming amount of Tupperware boxes. Adopting Paleo is like making food choices along a very narrow line that divides food into two categories of “Acceptable” and “Nope”. I like to think this recipe sits in the middle of that line. It’s totally Paleo, but tastes like proper food should.
Paleo Pie with Sweet Potato & Fennel Mash (makes 6 portions)
1kg organic mince
20g dried Porcini mushrooms & 250ml boiling water
2 medium diced red onions
500ml beef stock
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 chopped carrots
1 sprig of rosemary
2 tablespoons tomato puree
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
125g sliced mushrooms
2 gloves of crushed garlic
1.25kg sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
First, brown off all the organic mince in small batches with the rapeseed oil and set aside. In the same pan brown the onions and once they start to caramelise add the tomato puree. Fry for a couple of minutes before pouring in a cup of cold water to deglaze the pan. Add the mince back to the pan and mix together so the ingredients get to know each other.
Add the tinned tomato, chopped rosemary, garlic, beef stock, carrots and sliced mushrooms to the pan. Soak the Porcini mushrooms in boiling water for about 5 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and liquid to the pan. Turn the heat down and simmer until it reduces to look like the photo below.
Meanwhile, peel your sweet potatoes and warm you oven up to 200°C. Mash the potatoes and stir in the ground up fennel seeds. To assemble, add the mince to a large oven dish and spoon over the mashed sweet potato. Place in your pre-heated oven for twenty five minutes and you’re done. I find its best served with steamed broccoli.