Cottage pie


This is a recipe for cottage pie with rather more vegetables and less meat. I bought 400g of mince beef and used half to make this pie, with the other half used for chilli con carne. This quantity will feed 2 or 3 people.

  • Oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 celery stick (chopped)
  • 200g beef mince
  • 2 large mushrooms (roughly chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • A little fresh chopped parsley, thyme and marjoram (or dried mixed herbs, or oregano)
  • 150g tinned chopped tomatoes (or 2 fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped, together with 1 tbsp tomato purée)
  • ½ a beef stock cube
  • Hot water
  • 2 largish potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • A knob of butter
  • 40g grated cheddar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Stir, and gently fry for 5 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the mince and stir until it browns. Turn down the heat and add the mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the stock cube (crumbled) and enough hot water to cover the meat and vegetables. Stir and bring to the boil and simmer for 45 mins.

Meanwhile, make the mashed potato topping. Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain, and return to the pan over a low heat to allow the potato to dry out. Mash with the butter and grated cheese, and season with pepper (and salt if required).

Pour the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish. Carefully spoon on the mash. Cook in the oven (200C/Gas Mark 6) for about 25 minutes or until the topping is golden. 

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