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Cottage Pie Recipe

A traditional dish, which should be made with beef (unlike Shepherd's Pie -which should be made with lamb). This is our basic version, but if you look at the bottom of the recipe, there is a 'Cheats' version and a rather smart version, suitable for a dinner party.

Ingredients

For 4 greedy people:

2 oz/60gr Butter
1 large or 2 medium Onions, peeled and finely-chopped
1 large Carrot, peeled and diced
1 large or 2 medium clove of Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped (optional, but recommended)
1 teaspoon (5ml) dried Mixed Herbs or less authentically, but producing excellent results, Herbes de Provence (those from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk containing both green anise & lavender are the best)
2 lbs/ 1 kilo of minced Beef
2 tablespoons (30ml) Tomato Purée
1 tablespoon (15ml) Worcestershire Sauce (leave this out if using the red wine mentioned below
1 x 400gr tin of Tomato Soup, or ½ pint/300ml of Lamb Stock
1 teaspoon (5ml) Salt
A few grinds of freshly-ground Pepper
1 helping of our Mashed Potato (q.v)
30g Dried Chanterelles (optional)

Equipment needed: A shallow ovenproof dish

Method

- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat and sweat the chopped onions and carrots for 5 minutes - the onions should look translucent but not brown.

- Add the chopped garlic (if using) and the mixed herbs, then sweat for a further minute.

- Increase the heat to moderate, then add the minced beef and constantly turning it over and breaking it up (so it doesn't stick together in clumps) fry it until it's sealed and brown.

- Add the tomato soup or stock, purée and Worcestershire sauce, then the salt and pepper.

- Lower the heat, and cook for a further 30 minutes (or longer in a slow cooker, if you prefer) - stirring occasionally to make sure you have a smooth blend.

- While the meat mixture is simmering, heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6.

- Transfer this mixture to a shallow ovenproof dish and cover with the prepared mashed potato. Use a fork to 'flip-up' the potato (if you wish some of the potato bits to catch some brown colour.

- Cut the remaining 1 oz/30mg of butter into little pieces and scatter them over.

- Bake the pie in the oven for 45 minutes - or until the potatoes are a little brown.

Serve.

Cheats version: The mashed potatoes can be replaced with an 'Instant mixture' - in our experience 'Mr. Mash' - a French brand (but widely available) is the best we've tasted. If you follow their instructions, using milk (rather than their water option) and then add a little grated nutmeg - your guests won't know unless you tell them.

Extra smart version: Replace the tomato soup with 400ml of Red Wine and a small packet (30g) of dried Chanterelle mushrooms (soaked in warm water for 30 minutes) then adding the mushrooms and water at stage 4. Then continue as described. Delicious.

Reviews / Comments

( 4 out of 5 average rating)

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Sun 16th November 2014 by Graham Davison

Rating:


What did you like about the Recipe?

It was very straightforward and quick, I used half the lamb, from a roast shoulder, real potatoes and dehydrated cepes (no expense spared) and enjoyed the meal enormously - it was enough for 6 meals. I like a pinch of nutmeg in the potatoes and even a sprinkling of cinnamon in with the meat.

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a dinner part dish if made with red wine & chanterelles
a dinner part dish if made with red wine & chanterelles