Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Yesterday was St. Patrick’s day and my son begged me to make him Cottage Pie. I love Cottage Pie,  it is the ultimate Irish comfort food and one of my favorites. Here in the United States it is always called Shepherd’s Pie but Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb and Cottage pie is made with beef. This recipe does take some time but it is so worth it and as a bonus for your hard work you can finish off the rest of the bottle of wine while you wait… In the end you are left with an aromatic and delicious meal.

Filling Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds of ground beef

Olive oil

2 onions diced

3 carrots chopped

3 stalks of celery

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tbsp.. tomato paste

3 tbsps.. flour

Very large glass of red wine

3 tbsps.. Worcestershire sauce

3 cups of beef broth

2 bay leaves

Few sprinkles of dried thyme

Salt & pepper to taste

Mash Ingredients:

Potatoes

Milk

Butter

Strong cheddar, grated

For the mash I do not have set amounts of ingredients. I buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes and use about 3/4 of the bag.

Add butter and milk to your liking until the desired consistency is reached. Then mix in  strong cheddar, I add a lot but everyone is different.

You can also add a few gratings of fresh nutmeg if you like, some people prefer without. I think the nutmeg adds to this dish. You can always test a small amount with the nutmeg to see if you like it.

 

Note – My son likes me to add peas. I like them also but it is up to you. These would be added during the last minutes of cooking.

 

Directions:

  1. Brown ground meat in pan with some olive oil and then remove from pan.
  2. Add more olive oil along with onions, celery and carrots, cook on a low heat until soft about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, garlic and flour and cook for a few minutes. Return the beef to the pan.
  4. Pour in the wine and let it boil and  for a few minutes. Now add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and Thyme.
  5. Let this simmer and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes. The gravy should become thick if there is still a lot of liquid increase heat so the liquid boils down. This should not be dry but the gravy should coat the meat.
  6. Once done,  season the meat to your  liking with the salt and pepper. 
  7. In the meantime while all is cooking you can make the mashed potatoes.
  8. Once everything is ready spoon the meat into 1 0r 2 dishes depending on their size.
  9. Pipe or spoon the mash on top to cover the meat mixture. Sprinkle some remaining cheddar over the top and put into oven at 425 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until the topping is golden.

 

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