Apr 08 2005

Cottage Pie


Traditionally Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie were made from the leftovers of the Sunday roast. The cold meat was chopped up, mixed with the leftover gravy, put in a pie dish and topped with mashed potato and reheated in the oven. It was OK, but a bit dull!

But made with fresh minced beef or lamb it is quite delicious and so simple to make too. Chop a large onion and three cloves of garlic. Soften over a low heat in a little oil. Raise the heat; add 500gm of minced beef or lamb and stir till nicely browned. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour, stir and add 300 ml stock, homemade or made from a cube, plus 150ml wine, and a large tablespoon of tomato puree. Stir again.  Add salt and pepper, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile boil 1kg of potatoes in their skin, drain, cool and peel. Return to the pan and add 75gms of butter and a about 200-300ml hot milk. Mash lightly. Cold milk and overworking will produce wallpaper paste!

Spoon the meat into a pie dish and cover carefully with the with mashed potato.  Fork the potato up and sprinkle with grated hard cheese and bake in a hot oven 400/reg 6 for 40 minutes until potato is crisp and golden. Serve with a green vegetable or salad.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Cottage Pie”

  1. Tanya Perryon 05 May 2005 at 2:16 am

    Dearest Sal and Paul, I have just finished reading your latest entry and I so clearly remember those early days into the foray of farming, the driving to London finally stopped. I coaxed babies and dogs along behind you, and I remember all of those eggs!

    Strangely enough I cooked a cottage pie only a few days ago, something I haven’t made for a very long time, and I agree the mandatory garlic and wine vastly improve it from the cottage pies of my Irish childhood.

    As we are offered so many fabulous choices when buying and preparing food today (the central market where I shop is nothing short of a joy to experience) I do love to hang on to some of the old, comforting offerings I enjoyed as a child, with a little assistance from some exciting ingredients. I particularly loved your comments on rhubarb!

    Keep up the good work! I can still sit on the top gate and smell the grass when I am reading your delightful column.

    Love as always, T x

  2. Deepak Rikhyeon 13 Apr 2007 at 12:53 pm

    Dear Sally,
    I live in India (Delhi) but worked on a Tea Plantation for two decades. Your articles on farm life in Devon is most interesting . I will be cooking the Shepherds Pie on Sunday.I am sure it will taste heavenly.Look forward to your updates.

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