Swede and Bacon Pies

*Swede and Bacon Pies*
Serves 4

I just love Swede, or rutabaga, as it is often called. It has such a natural earthy sweetness to it and goes with just about anything.  In face Swede and Bacon are perfect partners!

8 slices of back bacon, trimmed of all fat and cut into small bits
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large swede, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
400 ml of chicken stock
1 tsp of summer savoury or mixed herbs
a small handful of chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
For the topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 TBS butter
a little warm milk
salt and black pepper to taste
2 TBS melted butter
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

Put the bacon into a non-stick pan along with the olive oil.  Brown on all sides and then remove from the pan.  Add the onions and saute them in the same oil until soft and berinning to brown slightly.  Return the bacon to the pan along with the swede and carrot.  Season with some black pepper and the summer savoury and some salt if need be.  Add the chicken stock, cover and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes or so.  Stir in the parsley and then divide the mixture evenly amongst 4 individual pie dishes.   Set aside and keep warm whilst you make the topping.

To make the topping put the potatoes into some boiling salted water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain well and then mash along with the first lot of the butter, and a little warm milk.  Add the cheese and stir it in until melted.  Season to taste with some salt and pepper.  Loosely spoon this mash onto the swede mixture in the pie dishes, dividing it equally amongst them and piling it up a bit in the middle.  Don't smooth it out too much, you want a bit of rough texture. 

Pre-heat the oven to 205*C.425*F.  Melt the second lot of butter and then stir in the bread crumbs, mixing together well.  Sprinkle the buttered crumbs over top of each dish.  Place the dishes on a baking tray and bake in the heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned in places and the filling is bubbling away.  Eat and enjoy!!
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