Cottage Pie

Who doesn’t like cheesy mash sitting over a bed of thick meat and veggie sauce? Raise your hands high! No? Noone? Thank you.

I honestly have never met anyone who dislikes cottage pie. Or shepherd’s pie. I’ve however met health conscious people who agonise over the amount of cheese or butter or carbs… I’m pretty sure they would scarf down a plateful of this if they weren’t so worried over things the amount of butter.

And for those people, I’ve attempted to up the nutritious content in this dish. But I draw the line on cutting the cheese. Sorry. Cottage pie, to me at least, means a good cheesy layer over the mash. I know not everyone does that. It’s probably not even traditional. But for me, I want the cheese. I mean, I don’t have cheese every day. It’s too expensive here. So when I want to have cheese, I really mean I WANT TO HAVE CHEESE. (excuse me for getting a little excited there)

Served alongside a simple salad, this can be a great filling meal. You’ve got the lean meats in the sauce, plenty of vegetables in, a little bit of carbs from the mash. Stop fretting and celebrate the goodness that this is!

This does take a bit of time but with some planning, elements like the meat sauce and mash can easily be made ahead of time. And when you’re ready, just assemble and bake. Not too shabby aye?

To start off, we need Beef & Pork Mince, Russet Potatoes, Beef Stock Cube, Carrots, Onion, Garlic, Peas, Tomato Puree, Worcestershire Sauce, Dried Rosemary, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Butter, Milk, Salt & Pepper.Cottage Pie 1

To start off, prepare some stock by bringing a pot of water and a stock cube to a boil. You can sue fresh stock if you have but I never do so the cubes work in a pinch. Then plop in peeled and cubed potatoes to simmer until nice and tender. This takes about 15 minutes and it’s always nice to get things going before working on other stuff. The beef stock will give the potatoes good flavour. When you save some of this stock for your meat sauce later, the starch that leached out from the potatoes will help to thicken the sauce. Just a wonderful way to use up everything!Cottage Pie 3

Meanwhile get everything peeled, chopped & sliced. Because I’m using loads of carrots in this, I chose to grate them rather than chop. I want them to breakdown anyway so this makes it way faster and it’s good workout for my arms. Before gorging on this.Cottage Pie 4

If you timed everything well, the potatoes would be done freeing the pan up to sauce the veggies. First up is the onions.Cottage Pie 5

Then a whole lot of carrots.Cottage Pie 6

In with the meat.Cottage Pie 7

For flavouring, I went with dried rosemary. You can use whatever herb mix you like.Cottage Pie 8

Worcestershire sauce is a MUST. I love the complex flavour. Slightly sour, earthy, savoury. Cottage Pie 9

Because all I had was tomato purée at home, I used more of it in place of the more traditional tomato paste.Cottage Pie 10

Remember the reserved potato boiling broth? It’s time is now! let this simmer away while you begin to preheat the oven and prep the mash.Cottage Pie 11

So for the potatoes, I got inspired by A Cozy Kitchen’s Carrot Cheese Mash but wanted the carrots to stand out in flecks. As such, I didn’t parboil the carrots. A good palmful of Parmesan, splash of milk, a pat of butter and a touch of salt & pepper transforms this ordinary mash into something else.Cottage Pie 13

I could just eat this for dinner and be happy!
Cottage Pie 14

After a little simmering and thickening, the peas go in for a quick warm through. I always love the colour peas bring to dishes. Also, I did add a little cornstarch slurry as I felt it needed more thickening. Cottage Pie 15

Layering process begins. Meat Sauce first.Cottage Pie 16

Carrot Mash over!Cottage Pie 17

And the best part of all, a good dose of grated Mozarella. I know, they look like wormy noodles. Cottage Pie 18

Let the oven do it’s magic and really, it took my breath away!Cottage Pie 19

Look at the layers!Cottage Pie 20

I’ll say it now. I like my mash layer to be really thick. We love mash around here. No place for wimpy thin excuse for a potato topping.Cottage Pie 22

Served with a simple chopped salad, this was a good and fulfilling meal.Cottage Pie 21

We ate too much. Cottage Pie 23

And so after a million pictures, we’re done! What’s left to do than eat?

xoxoxo, Jayne

“Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is His name; Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

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Cottage Pie
serves 5-6

500 gms (1.2 lbs) mixed minced Beef & Pork
3 large Russet Potatoes, peeled & cubed
1 Beef Stock Cube
3-4 cups Water
3 Carrots, coarsely grated
1 yellow Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled & minced
1 tbsp dried Rosemary
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
5 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Mozarella
1/4 cup Milk
1 tbsp Butter
1/2 cup Frozen Peas

Salt & Pepper

  1.  In a deep pot, pour in water and drop stock cube in. Turn it on HIGH heat. As it comes to a boil, add in potato cubes and leave to cook while preparing other ingredients,
  2. Once potatoes are tender, drain them but reserve at least 2 cups of the stock behind for your sauce later.
  3. In the same pot, sauté the onions and a sprinkling of salt in a little oil on MED HIGH. Add 3/4 of the grated carrots in with the minced garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until onions have become translucent.
  4. Add in mince and let it brown, about 4 minutes. Break it up as best you can.
  5. Toss in rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and 1 cup of reserved stock. Add more stock along the way if you feel it needs it. Cook uncovered for at least 25 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the potatoes by mashing it together with butter with a potato masher. Keep it as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. Mix in the remaining 1/4 of grated carrot, Parmesan, & milk until well combined.
  7. Now, preheat your oven to 400F or 200C. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.
  8. If you feel the meat sauce needs thickening, feel free to add some corn starch slurry (1/2 tbsp corn starch in 1/2 tbsp water). Stir in the peas.
  9. Spoon your meat sauce into the prepared baking dish. Top with the carrot mash. Finally scatter on the grated Mozarella.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
  11. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes. Serve with a good chopped salad!

Comments

  1. One of my favorite comfort food of all time! And your right, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Shepherd’s Pie. This looks delicious! Love that brown crispy topping. YUM!

    • Thanks Anne. It’s truly one of those foods that cannot be disliked no matter how hard you tried to. One mouthful is enough to change one’s mind. I’ve been thinking about your Nutella brownie cups too. Don’t think I can rest until I’ve tried making them.

  2. Hi Jayne! I’ve never had cottage pie before… I know, I’ve seen many times on food blogs but I haven’t had a chance to give it a try. I love potatoes so this will be my favorite food for sure! Looks comforting and delicious!

    • They are super comforting. And quite economical as well. With the potatoes, mince and loads of veggies, you can feel tons of people with this portion. I don’t make this as often as I want to but I really should.

  3. Love cottage pie and shepherd’s pie! One of my favorite comfort meals. I like that you added shredded carrots to the mashed potatoes. What a great idea! I will sure do that next time. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Very comforting and filling meal! Yes, the carrots add a certain sweetness and lightness to the mash. Makes it pretty too. Haha! Have a great weekend yourself.

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