What’s the difference between Shepherds’ and Cottage pies? The former is lamb and potato; the latter beef and veg.
A simply delicious Cottage Pie (makes 8 at least)
- 1kg good minced beef (lean as you can afford)
- 2 onions finely chopped
- A couple of carrots finely chopped
- Peas or petit poise (frozen is simply fine)
- Some chicken or beef stock
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and halved.
- A good knob of butter
- A splash of milk
- Salt and pepper
- A teaspoon of thyme, and good splsh of Worcester sauce and a tea spoon of cinnamon are optional
Simply put a glug of olive oil in a large pan and gently stew the onions ‘til they’re soft but not brown. Then add the mince and stir gently on a medium heat allowing the meet to brown all over; break up any lumps that you find. Then add the carrots and peas and stir a bit. If you have any left over veg (cooked carrots, old peppers, etc.) shove them in now. The thing to watch is balance – not too dominant an item. Put in 500ml of stock and gently simmer with a lid half on. Don’t let anything dry out. Turn off after 15 minutes, checking for flavours at this point. If you want to add thyme, Worcester sauce and cinnamon – do it now. Don’t be afraid of the cinnamon – it works a treat.
Meanwhile put the potatoes on to cook in some salted water. When the potatoes are cooked, simply drain them and either put them through a potato ricer or mash with some milk and butter. You want a good thick and creamy mash you can fork over the meat and veg which have now put in an oven proof dish. If you want you can add some grated cheese left overs to the top of the mash.
Heat the oven to 180C and cook until bubbling and brown (about 20 minutes give or take).
Serve with fresh cabbage, more peas, any green veg you fancy.