comforting cottage pie

comforting cottage pie

When I was younger, I used to HATE stuff like this, but now I can’t think of many things that would make me happier than preparing, cooking, and of course devouring this lovely homely cottage pie! If you are feeling a little let down by the weather, have no fear – your (temporary) cure is here. Hunker down, take the day off, and make yourself and your loved ones this delicious meal that will (hopefully) last a FEW meals!


Beefy filling:
1 leek, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic (or 2 or 3) , finely chopped
1 tsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
400g of minced beef (lean ground if you’re MADE OF MONEY)
Worcestershire sauce
1 and a half tablespoons of plain flour
Beef stock cubes (dissolved in about ¾ of a pint of boiling water)
Half a can of chopped tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Mashed potatoes: (make them to your liking… this is just how I like to do them)
3 massively large potatoes (or 6-7 regular sized ones)
1 clove of garlic
Loads of butter (I probably used 4 Tbsp)
Bit o’ milk
Bit o’ cheese
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (or pre-grated if that’s what you’ve got)
Salt and pepper
1 tsp of finely chopped fresh rosemary

check out my salt and pepper shakers!

check out my salt and pepper shakers!

To start, heat a large-ish pot on a medium-high setting, and put a few tablespoons of oil in the bottom. Sweat down the leek and onion; add a bit of pepper to them while they cook down a bit. After they’ve softened, add the beef, carrot, garlic, celery, a couple teaspoons of worcestershire sauce and some salt and more pepper. Keep stirring this mixture until the beef is all brown and cooked. At this point you’re going to want to add the flour and stir it all up, then add the beef stock, tomatoes, and a couple tablespoons of worcestershire sauce. Pop a lid on that bad boy and simmer on minimum heat for about 45 mins.


the meat in this photo is not yet cooked, obviously

Now is time to make the potatoes! Now, everyone seems to have a slightly different way of making mashed potatoes, so stick to what you like! BUT if you must know, this is how I do mine:

I had access to the world’s largest potatoes so I only needed three! (THREE ONLY! It was nuts) I peeled them, cut them to similar sized pieces and boiled them in salted water with a peeled clove of garlic. Once cooked, I drained them in a colander. I poured ¼ of milk (maybe less) into the pot I boiled the potatoes in, and added the butter. I let that heat up on the hob (at which point was now turned off but still hot) and added the potatoes back to the pot. I smashed those bad boys and added salt and pepper, nutmeg, a handful of grated cheese, stirring until it was all one and happy and tasting like heaven.

After the beefy bit is ready to go, pour it into a baking dish and make it level. Add the potatoes scoop by lovely scoop and even it out as best you can. Then score the top a bit so that you have some peaks and valleys (the potatoes crisp up nicer this way) sprinkle the rosemary on top and pop it in the oven at 220 F or 425 C for about 15 minutes!

Serve with some peas or corn on the side, or just on it’s own if you can’t be bothered.

I made this tonight for James and our friend Russell and the first word out of Russell mouth was, “Wow!”

Satisfying? YES
Delicious? VERY
Time consuming? Sure, but totally worth!


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