Cottage Pie

I’ve been making this dish for years, it’s such a satisfying and hearty meal and especially great for winter.

Ingredients: Serves 4

500g beef mince (I use extra lean beef mince for a healthier option)

3 tsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, diced

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp plain flour

400ml beef stock

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the mash:

1 kg or 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

50ml milk

25g/1oz butter or margarine

50g cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

Step 1. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned. Set the mince aside once browned. Add the remaining oil and all the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 15 to 20 mins.

Step 2. Add the garlic, flour and tomato puree, increase the heat and return the beef to the pan. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. If a lot of liquid still remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaf.

Step 3. Meanwhile, make the mash. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with salted cold water and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain well, then mash with the milk and butter, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 4. Spoon meat into an ovenproof dish then spoon over the mash to cover the mince. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 30mins, or until topping is crisp and golden.

Serve hot with some red cabbage… delicious!!

Tip: This recipe also works well with some sliced mushrooms or a few chopped cherry tomatoes added to the pan at the same time as the rest of the vegetables.

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