Cottage pie is one of the classics of a British classic kitchen. It is known for being a hearty, filling, and warming food and although often thought of as a winter dish, it is perfect any time of year.
Don't be put off by the number of ingredients in this recipe—making this pie is well worth the effort.
For a really tasty pie, use freshly ground beef, or if you want to be ultra thrifty, use up leftover beef from the Sunday roast to make your pie authentic.
- 2 pounds/900 grams potatoes (baking potatoes, peeled and quartered)
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 4 ounces/110 grams butter (cubed)
- Salt (to taste)
- Ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1/2 tablespoon lard (or drippings)
- 1 cup/115 grams onion (chopped)
- 1 cup/115 grams carrot (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 2 cups/450 grams ground beef
- 2 cups/600 milliliters beef stock
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- Optional: 1 cup/115 grams white mushrooms (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C/Gas Mark 5.
- Place the potatoes into a pan and cover with boiling water.
- Boil gently until soft (about 15 minutes) and then drain.
- Add the milk and butter to the pan and heat through until the butter melts.
- Add the potatoes and mash.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Melt the lard or drippings in a large, deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute making sure you do not burn the garlic.
- Add the ground beef and roughly 1/4 of the beef stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all the meat is browned.
- Add the remaining stock, parsley, optional mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for 15 minutes.
- Mash the flour into 1 tablespoon butter to form a paste.
- Add small pieces of the paste to the ground meat sauce, stirring until all the flour has dissolved, then repeat until all the paste is used up.
- The sauce should have thickened slightly.
- Cover with the reserved mashed potatoes.
- Fluff up the potatoes and then sprinkle with the grated cheese.
- Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the surface is crisp and browned.
- Serve immediately with fresh seasonal vegetables.
- If you have beef left from a Sunday roast, simply chop it in a food processor and omit the step for cooking the ground beef in this recipe. Add the beef and stock to the carrot and onion mixture and continue with step 4 above. Technically, this would be called a shepherd's pie.
- Use sausages instead of ground beef or lamb.
- Use sweet potatoes to make a vegetarian cottage pie.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|