Hello everyone! It seems that the situation has eased up a bit in our shops, as more basic ingredients are available again. However, the current lockdown may not end any time soon, and more of us are staying at home now, which means we all need to cook more and also more often. And that’s why I’m here today with my version of a recipe for a good, comforting British classic, cottage pie.
The first time I’ve tried cottage pie was in a lovely pub near a canal in Hemel Hempstead (town north-west of London). It was during a family occasion and I can remember that funny look my boyfriend gave me, when I told him that I haven’t properly tried any British food, apart from fish and chips (yes, I know!).
He was the one who fully introduced me to British cuisine. And I’m still learning and exploring it. If we happen to go to a pub, I’m always keen to try something new, but to be honest with you, there are plenty of dishes that I haven’t tried yet! That hopefully gives you an idea. There just too many meals to choose from. Pies like the one I’m about to tell you about are just the top of an iceberg!
British food is about comfort, rich taste and good ingredients. And that’s exactly what this pie is about.
It also is a fantastic store cupboard meal. The original recipe goes with beef, but feel free to use minced pork (or combination of both), depending on what is available. If you’ll be swapping any of the vegetables, adding lentils or so, make sure that there is enough moisture in the meat sauce – you don’t want the pie to go dry.
Note: Shepherd’s pie is very similar, just using lamb mince.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 500g minced beef (or pork)
- 2 onions, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1x400g tinned tomatoes with juices (or 6 salad tomatoes)
- 150g frozen peas
- 250ml beef stock (or pork stock if using pork mince)
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- For the topping:
- 1kg potatoes, peeled, washed and diced
- 50g unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup warmed milk
- Prepare all your vegetables.
- Add the oil into a large frying pan and turn on a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and garlic and toss it all together. Cook for a few minutes until the onion gets soft and glossy.
- Add the minced meat, stir and cook until brown whilst breaking it a part with a spoon. Season it with thyme, rosemary and Worcester sauce.
- Add the carrots, peas and tomatoes and stir thoroughly. Cook for about 5 mins and then add the stock. Cook for another 10 mins until the carrots are soft, stirring occasionally.
- Place the potatoes into a pot with water, add a pinch of salt, cover with a lid and bring to boil on a high heat. When the water starts bubbling, lower the heat to medium-high and remove the lid. Cook the potatoes until soft (timing depends on how big the potato dices are, usually about 10-15 mins) and drain.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Add the butter and the warmed milk to the pot with drained potatoes, and mash it all up with a potato masher. Toss the mash and keep mashing until you get a completely smooth consistency (mashing is easier when the potatoes are slightly overcooked).
- Prepare a deep baking tray or a casserole dish and place the meat sauce on the bottom, spreading it evenly.
- Start adding the potato mash on top. Carefully cover the meat sauce with spoonfuls of the mash. Make sure the meat and veg mixture is all covered and put the tray in the oven for about 30 mins or until the top is slightly golden.
- Serve with some seasonal greens and enjoy!
Prep time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 1 hr 15 mins || Total cooking time: 1hr 30 mins
Let me know how you liked it and feel free to share your favourite British dish with me in the comments below!