I love shepherd’s pie made with leftover slow-roasted lamb, but what to do when there’s no lamb? I make cottage pie with minced beef instead. This dish is full of flavor, and it’s a favourite meal because I can put it together and pop it in the refrigerator for baking just before dinner.
Some days we need a bit of comfort food, and for me, cottage pie is it. It’s full of flavour and topped with buttery, crunchy bits on top of the potatoes. I’m not going to lie, it does take a while to make this but I promise it’s worth it. It takes time to chop the carrots and onion and then you have to simmer the meat mixture. The first time I made this, my husband said, “I don’t like this. My mother used to make it, and I hated it.” I asked him to take a bite and if he still hated it, I wouldn’t have my feelings hurt. It *wasn’t* like his mothers.
I’ve been cleaning up the mess that I always seem to make when guests visit. Does anyone else struggle to do everything they did before AND entertain and cook and play tourist? I still have a mountain of laundry to do, the patio needs sweeping, and I never made it to the pooper scooping today. Step lightly on the dog lawn.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 500 grams / 1 lb beef mince / ground beef
- 2 tablespoons plain - all purpose flour
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 500 grams / 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into coins
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup milk (depends upon how dry your potatoes are but enough to make creamy potatoes)
- 2 teaspoons butter (or olive oil) to put on top before baking.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to a large pot of cold salted water and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes until both potatoes and carrots are soft.
- Heat the milk and add the butter to the milk and then add that to the potatoes.
- Mash the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil and then the onion, chopped carrots and garlic. Season with a small amount of salt to sweat the onions and stir for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add the beef mince and stir to brown well.
- Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir it in.
- Add the beef stock and mix well.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and the tomatoes and stir well. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat until the sauce is thick and the carrots are cooked.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F
- Place meat filling in the bottom of a casserole dish and sprinkle the frozen peas on top and then sprinkle the corn kernels.
- Top with mashed potato and carrot mixture.
- Dot with the two teaspoons butter and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
Little Molly would LOVE some cottage pie but she’s on dry dog food to keep her figure. I know, I know, Molly won’t win any prizes for looks but we love her to bits.