The Cottage Pie finds its origins in traditional cooking of the British Isles. It is made using ground beef, usually the leftovers from Sunday roasts.
Its close cousin the "Shepherds Pie" is made using ground lamb. The meat in both dishes is usually pan-fried with onions, garlic, various vegetables and herbs, stewed or canned tomatoes and then baked in the oven with mashed potato on top.
The trick to a perfect mashed potato topping is not to add too much milk. The mash has to be a little dryer then usual so it bakes and holds together well.
- 400 grams of lean ground beef
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large can of tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp of chopped parsely
- 5 medium - large yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup of milk
- Several baking dishes/ramekins
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Peel, cut and boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and then add 1 tsp of salt, butter and milk. Mash the potatoes then cover and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large fry-pan. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Fry for 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and fry for another 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and fry for 5 minutes making sure you break up the clumps. Add the salt, tomato paste and chopped canned tomatoes. Add about 1/4 cup of the liquid from the tomatoes ans stir. Next, add the parsley and stir well.
- Turn the heat down and let the beef simmer gently for about 10 minutes allowing for some of the liquid to reduce. Add the peas and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Spoon the beef mixture into the baking dishes then gently top with mashed potato. Grate on some parmesan cheese and then bake the pies for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.