Cottage pie on a cold winter’s evening is the epitome of comfort food. A flavoursome mix of butter and fat and eatable with a spoon!
There are many heinous crimes committed in the name of cottage pie - so please, leave off the cheese! And, never, never, ever substitute anything for potato! Even worse -using left over meat from Sunday's roast for the filling - don't do it or you'll get a visit from the food police!
Here's my simple recipe for knocking up a Monday night treat.
- 1kg minced beef
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 400ml beef stock or a 400ml tin of beef consommé
- A splash or two of Tabasco (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- Sunflower oil
- Salt and pepper
FOR THE MASH
- 8 large Maris Piper potatoes
- A large knob of butter
- A splash of milk
- Soften the onions in a tablespoon of oil for about 10 minutes.
- Add the meat and brown, then add tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and stock. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer gently for about 25 minutes.
- To make the mash put peeled potatoes cut into quarters in a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for up to 10 minutes, until a knife goes through them easily.
- Add butter and warm milk to the potatoes and attack them with a masher.
- Take a pie dish and pile in the meat using a slotted spoon so that some of the liquid is reserved for gravy (it also makes sure the mash doesn't sink into a watery grave!). Top with mash. Fork the top of the mash to give it texture and dot with butter.
- Put in an oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes, until the top is golden and the meaty contents are bubbling.
- Serve in a bowl with peas, carrots and gravy made from the reserved juices, and scoff with a spoon.