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 favorite meal because I can put it together and pop it in the refrigerator for baking off just before dinner.
Today it’s dinner for just John and me. He’s busily finishing up the last few tweaks to his WordPress index plugin and I’ve finally been asked to help. I took each of his standard index templates and made changes to each one. I put a drop shadow on the category names, put double line boxes around sections, added margins and padding and changed the size of the thumbnails, then changed them from square to portrait and then to landscape. I don’t think there was an option on his live formatting that I didn’t play with.
If I can figure it out on my own, he’s done a good job. I’m not afraid of technology and that’s not always a good thing. Thankfully there’s someone close by to put things back together for me.
Otherwise 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.
Poor Charlie is back to swimming by himself. He’s pretty fond of cottage pie too.
I love comfort food Maureen and this look really delicious!
I too love Cottage Pie, Maureen. I never knew that when it was made with beef it was called Cottage Pie and when made with Lamb, Shepherd’s Pie. Silly me, I thought they were interchangeable.
I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy visiting the Aussie Food Bloggers Top Blogs and the American Link too. I have them both in my favorites bar. What a pleasure to see all those delcious links in one place. Thank you to John and to you of course. I think you should mention it to your visitors again:)
You are fortunate to have someone near by to patch things up should they go array. As much as I love that techi stuff, I always worry I won’t be able to fix it.
Thank you so much for sharing, Maureen…I’d love me a piece of that pie right now:)
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
I do always try, unsuccessfully, to keep up with what I’d be doing without guests. I’m never sure what to let slide…
Cool that your husband is working on another plugin. Since Easy Recipe Plugin is the quintessential food blogger plugin, IMHO, I’m a big fan of yours and your husbands work!
Love this Cottage Pie too. I grew up eating (and loving) Shepherd’s Pie, but haven’t had it in twenty or more years!! I need to try this recipe of yours.
Oh, I LOVE this type of recipe… particularly love the mix of carrots in the topping, pretty nice twist!
Charlie’s photo is just another beauty! I am not a swimmer, more of a drowner, but would gladly jump in a pool with Charlie… he probably would have to rescue me, though…
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
I love this but I’ll be honest. I cheat. I might not use lamb either and I still call it Shepherd’s pie. Oops. Still; one of my all time favorite comfort foods and now you have me craving it for dinner!
When I moved to Australia and called it shepherd’s pie John said, “Maureen, shepherds have sheep. Shepherd is short for sheep-herd(er).” I rolled my eyes and said something very profound and clever like, “know-it-all!” That’s just a step up from, “Your mother wears army boots!”
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
can’t wait to hear more about the WordPress index plugin!! and this pie?!!! love it. . comfort food to the max!!!
Shashi at Runninsrilankan says
My dad used to love Shepherd’s pie and my mom always used to make it with beef – Maureen – I am loving those carrot “coins” in the mashed potatoes!
It looks delicious! I really like cottage pie, and Charlie also!
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
This does look like a good dinner that would make me feel at home.! Wow John has been busy. I want to try that plugin i
I live alone and I have problems keeping up with my house cleaning. HA! Wish I could go swimming with Charlie. 🙂
The best Cottage Pie I have ever had was in Oxford, England. This looks so delicious too. Like the easy part best of all.
I love seeing pictures of Charlie, looks like he has his eyes on something!! Love shepherds pie, looks very delicious!
You can’t fuss around TOO much when you have company so other than the essentials, a lot of things pile up. This meal seems like a great one to enjoy on a cold winter’s day like today. I’ve never put carrots in the mashed potato topping though but I bet it’s tasty. I’ve only made real shepherd’s pie once. Usually it’s cottage pie. 🙂
Charlie’s a lucky guy to have his own personal swimming hole and I’m sure he can tough it out swimming on his own a few times.
He doesn’t mind swimming on his own. So why won’t he go to pee by himself?? 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
Poor Charlie; I’m sure he’d like it if you’d take on more visitors! I do love Shepherd’s pie and it is excellent comfort food. How lovely for you to have a night for just the two of you. Your technology skills amaze me. I have a big fear of technology as there’s no one around to fix the damage I could do. We’re very lacking in science/maths/IT-type brains in these parts (but I’m sure you know that!) xx
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I’m in the mood for comfort food and that golden potato topping looks so good!
Veronica (Roni) says
omg! you sound like a tech whizz…..it all sounds like double dutch to me :))
We are so lucky to have you, your pictures & your doggy…
Just beautiful again Maureen, thanks xx
No. The statement most said around here is, “Maureen can’t be trusted with technology.” I push every button, turn every switch and play with it until sometimes I break it. It’s the only way to learn. 🙂
Mary Frances says
This pie look so great Maureen, really stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. I love the presentation on the plate too!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
There are so many wonderful dishes can be made from mince and a few other simple ingredients. Love this one. Hope John is feeling better now?
Serena |Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch says
This looks amazing and I agree it’s hard to stay on top of chores just with out kids let alone if we have guests! It’s never ending!
I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂
That is the ultimate comfort food. I would like an extra large scoop please, perfect for a January dinner here!!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Always glad to see a picture of Charlie! When we had a pool, one of our cats would occasionally fall in (he loved to drink out of it, and when the water level in the pool got too low, he sometimes slipped in). He wasn’t a happy swimmer though! Anyway, I love cottage pie, and probably make it much more often with ground beef than lamb. Good either way, just a bit different. Yours looks great — thanks.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
I’m very excited about the new Plugin. I was thinking about it the other day but given John’s health scare I didn’t like to ask! This looks like the perfect dinner to have tonight in the rain. It’s so miserable here today. Just checked and I have all the ingredients too!
Caroline @ Shrinking Single says
What a gorgeous photo of Charlie. He looks like such a sweet thing. I love cottage pie – one of my favourite comfort foods. And I am hanging out for that plugin – I really want to change my theme but my current one at least allows me to do a dodgy recipe page where as I have struggled with setting one up on others.. So bring on the new plugin! What is there not to love in this post.
Dear Maureen , I am not tech savvy, so I really don’t know what you were talking about. lol
Though I am sure you did a fine job at whatever that was you did.
Back to what I do know, the cottage pie looks great!!! xo Catherine
Sugar et al. says
This is perfect comfort food and versatile too! I love looking at pictures of Charlie..he is so photogenic:-) Technology and me are not the best of friends..I can be really bad when it comes to plug-ins. It’s supposed to be simple, right? The last time I performed an upgrade, the site went down for 4 hours.
I never knew about the difference between Shepherd and Cottage pie…many restaurants here serve shepherd’s pie with beef…thanks for sharing this piece of information.
Your cottage pie looks delicious…indeed a comfort dish…chores sure never end…that is way I can never really “rest” at home…
I too love to explore what is available on WordPress…fun!
Enjoy the rest of your week Maureen 🙂
Lauren @ Living the Savory Life says
I just made one last week as well! Though, I used chicken mince instead because it’s what I had on hand. It was so good. I was really disappointed when my better half chose it for his lunch the next day, because I secretly wanted him to leave it for me!
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
You’ve reminded me how much I love Cottage Pie too – and it’s perfect weather for it here too. I bet I’ll be the first one to break the new plugin – don’t tell John!!! Glad he’s feeling better now.
Its been ages since I made a cottage pie and your recipe beckons me to do that.
I agree this is such a comfort meal, mmmmm!
Bill would go nuts for this—terrific comfort food! You and John are quite a team—wish I had a pinky’s worth of your techy talent 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Mmm I’d love a double serve of this! And you definitely embrace technology and are curious about it. An assett!
I was actually searching for an easy recipe to make ahead.. this sounds wonderful. I think I will be making it this weekend.
Karen and Mac says
Yum this looks so good! By the way, I enjoy the easy use of Easy Recipe plugin, and am looking forward to getting the index plugin you two are completing!
And your Charlie is blessed to have two people who love and enjoy him so much. What a cutie he is!
Eva Taylor says
That does look very tasty Maureen. Lamb wouldn’t be my first choice so the beef swap-in sounds perfect for me. I love the look of the carrot in the topping.
I do a lot (A LOT) of planning and prep work before guests arrive; making some parts of the meals ahead, definitely making meal plans and making sure I have ALL the groceries done to make ALL the meals so I don’t have to run out at the last minute. Desserts are usually done in advance and frozen or put aside until needed. I also always plan for some meals to be eaten out to give me a break. When people leave, it’s really just the laundry to be done and a light cleaning.
I need to take a page out of your playbook, Eva!!
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
This pie is great and is lovely comfort food.
Carol at Wild Goose Tea says
One of my all time favorite dishes. I been running for the last couple of weeks—not literally—-so I have been tired. Perfect comfort food. And I would have no problem having a glass of wine with it.
Charlie is WET. But he looks pretty pleased with himself. Lol
InTolerant Chef says
Sadly I’m a bit of a technophobe, I don’t really know what I’m doing 🙁 Your courage pie looks yummy, lots of great veggies in there as well xo
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
Wow cottage pie definitely takes me back to my childhood! This looks so incredibly hearty, comforting and moorish Maureen. Delicious!
Choc Chip Uru says
I see comfort food written all over this cottage pie, it looks so homely and perfectly golden 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
This is almost the same as the way I make it when we have no left-over lamb. The peas are a must, but I doubt I would get away with corn. My kids are sticklers for tradition!
Bam's Kitchen says
Delicious looking crust of potatoes and beef. Actually this is a great ideas for my boys dinner this week. Thanks for this inspiration. I think I am tired just listening to your honey do list. Life is busy, but that is a good thing.
Helene D'Souza says
yay for the plugin, can’t wait to see it. =)
That’s a smart idea, I should prepare a cottage pie and keep it in the fridge just so that I can bake it before dinner. I don’t know why I never think of preparing in advance. great tip!
Getting hungry and it’s soon dinner time.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
A very delicious and upmarket take on this favourite dish – Maureen.
The Ninja Baker says
Yes, I can relate very much, Maureen….Multi-tasking seems to be the requirement for breathing on planet earth these days! So seriously grateful to bloggers like you who keep it real and remind me I’m not alone…And grateful to ladies like you Maureen too who point to what is truly the essence of fine living: family, friends and laughter <3
Thank you for the cottage pie recipe…Do believe it's perfect fare to whip up when I'm care taking my 91 year old father in Florida. (My step-mother will be on a well deserved break to Europe.)
Sherry from sherryspickings says
Oh yes Maureen this looks delish. A very comforting meal indeed. I find it hard to do normal chores and have guests too. It takes a lot of work.
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
I love comfort food, and this looks delicious!
I agree, the chores never..end.. =)
We have all a confort food ! They are simple and reconforting ! Yours is just look so yummy ! I will love it for my dinner !
Charlie is so cute 🙂
Roz @ La Bella Vita Cucina says
Oh yes, that cottage pie is comfort indeed, Maureen! Beautiful shot of your pup!
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Perfect tukka for the cooler weather we are having this week, I actually turned the heater on last night. I heart cottage pie so much, it is one of those meals that remind me of my childhood. Such fun! 🙂
Charlie is such a sweet little puppy, wish I could give him a cuddle.
It’s Saturday morning here and I should be doing at least one of the many things on today’s TO DO list, but here I sit looking at your yummy Cottage Pie!!! 🙂
This looks really delicious! The first photo of your cottage pie is already making me drool.
Hi Eunice and thanks so much for coming by!
I just have to say that this recipe is speaking to me today… I’m a comfort food addict!! I can’t wait to make this, gorgeous pics too, they pop right out!