Of course, lazy and easy are relative terms (No, I'm not suggesting that my relatives are either lazy or easy, thank you very much), and much of the ease of this pie came from the fact that I had cooked up a huge pot of mince the previous day. The other part of the laze/ease factor was in my just slicing and parboiling the potatoes over the top, instead of boiling and mashing as per a Shepherd's Pie.
We were very lucky in that Grandad J had come to stay and brought with him a veritable cornucopia of fruit and vege, some of which needed to be cooked up rather urgently. So on the first night of his stay we had pasta with mince and mushroom sauce done in the slow cooker, and I used what was leftover for this warming winter nosh-up.
In a bowl, blend up the following:
3 large tomatoes
15-20 cherry tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 t dried Italian herbs
Place the following in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours:
Tomato and Onion mixture
200g chopped flat mushrooms
1 T soy sauce
Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper to taste
1/4 Cup of Tomato Sauce
(Alternatively, cook up in a pot on the stove over a very low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring frequently and adding water as necessary to keep the ingredients from sticking or drying out.)
Wash 3 or 4 small new potatoes and 1 kumera. Slice into roughly 1cm pieces and boil vigorously for 5 minutes. They should be soft enough to pass a knife through easily but still firm enough to hold thier shape. Drain and put aside.
When the meat is done, layer it in the bottom of a pie dish. Place the potato and kumera slices around the top of the dish like so:
Over the potato grate some cheese and sprinkle a good handful of breadcrumbs. Season with pepper and paprika and place in the oven for 30 mins to heat through (Possibly less if you have just cooked the meat as described - remember, I was using chilled leftovers!). When the meat is bubbling and the potato is definitely cooked through, switch the oven to grill for a further 5-10 mins until the cheese and breadcrumbs are nicely browned.
Serve up with your necessary 5+ a day of fresh greens, preferably whatever is in season and locally available.
Then, if you're pretty much anywhere in NZ right now, head outside and check that A) your roof hasn't blown off, and B) that your car hasn't been washed away by floodwaters. Good Luck.