Cottage Pie was love at first bite. I think I’ve said that sometime before, but it really remains as the absolute truth.
The first time I’ve ever tried it was in my life-changing trip to Ireland when, while searching for something to eat, I ended up in a small restaurant at Temple Bar and asked the first thing I saw in the menu.
Tried it, loved it, and ever since it became one of my favorite dishes of all time (probably sharing a #1 top spot with Gnocchi Bolognese).
This is not the ordinary post you would see here, but for St. Paddy’s I will make an exception
I’d say that probably the most important reason why I love this dish so much is because it’s simple. Simple flavors that definitely benefit the use of good ingredients. And not to mention that it can be ready in 1-2-3 (you cannot say that about most recipes here in this blog, I have to admit) and wow, it can fit a crowd. I’ve done this in the past when friends and family would visit me and it has never been a disappointment.
You can pretty much use any vegetable you wish in the sauce (peas and carrots are more traditional though) as well as the type of minced meat. I used beef here for convenience, but you can use minced lamb as well (making it a Shepherd’s pie, then).
In a small dish for individual plating or in a big bowl for a crowd, I’m pretty sure this one will be a huge hit, every time!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 500 g lean minced beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 300 ml beef broth
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 400 g potatoes, peeled and cooked until tender
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 100 ml milk
- salt, to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook them until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook them for about 5 minutes or until they start to become softer. Add the peas, cook for 1 minute or until they are no longer frozen.
- Remove the vegetables to a separate bowl, and start browning the beef. Once the beef is properly cooked (about 5-6 minutes), add the vegetables, the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and mix everything together to incorporate. Add butter and season to taste. Slowly add the beef broth. Add the flour, mix everything and let the flour cook for about 1 minute. Remove the beef filling from the pan to the dish you will serve and set aside.
- Mash the cooked potatoes with a fork and put it on a large saucepan with the milk, butter and salt. Mix everything until the butter is melted and season with salt to taste.
- Accommodate the mashed potatoes over the beef filling (you can use either a spoon or a piping bag for that -- just be careful not to burn yourself!) and let it broil in the oven at 525°F/270°C until brown on top.