Cottage Pie, I do love Cottage pie and have been meaning to put it onto the blog for a long time, but for some reason or another, I just never got around to making Cottage pie. I am not entirely sure why this, and I apologise for not bring you a cottage pie recipe sooner. This is very remiss of me.
However, this cottage pie recipe is well worth the wait. The mince is slow cooked on the stove for 2 hours, and then you add the sweet potato topping before popping it in the oven to crisp up. This cottage pie was something which I first made when I learnt to cook a long time ago and is something that I have tweaked over the years, you can almost imagine when I first made it, it was a very basic simple dish, there was only carrots in there (under duress I might add), the mince was slightly tough and the gravy was nowhere near dark enough. I had also put normal potato on the top and found it all a bit heavy and not that great really. I then discovered sweet potatoes and suddenly my cottage pie was starting to take shape and was more about what I envisaged it to be.
A few more tweaks, such as adding leeks and celery (something my earlier self would have shuddered at) and adding some garlic and some soy sauce, and suddenly you have a wonderful dish.
So whilst I apologise for the length in bringing this to you, I by no means apologise for the taste, this is the best cottage pie you will make in my humble opinion. I hope you enjoy it. Here is my recipe for cottage pie, let me know what you think of my take on the humble cottage pie in the comments below.
You can use Lamb mince in this dish instead of beef, it then becomes shepherds pie and is different, but still tasty. Try it with beef and then see how you go. I know you need to leave the mince to cook for a while, but seriously, stick with it, this helps the mince to break down and the gravy develop into that nice rich dark taste.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 people 1x
Filling for Cottage Pie:
- 1 medium Onion diced
- 2 sticks celery diced
- 2 leeks sliced and then halved
- 2 carrots sliced and quartered
- 4 cloves Garlic crushed
- 500 grams beef mince
- 100 grams mushrooms quartered
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 small glass red wine
- 500 ml beef stock I use bisto
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp anchovy paste optional
- 1 tsp Olive oil extra virgin
- salt & Pepper
- 3 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
- 50 grams Parmesan cheese grated
- 20 grams butter
- 20 ml milk
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot with a lid and add the onions and celery and gently fry until softened for about 10 minutes.
- Add the leeks and cook for a further 10 minutes until just soft.
- Add the mince and cook until browned all over, you need to break down any chunks and ensure you get the mince browned all the way through.
- Add the garlic, red wine and anchovy paste and cook for a two minutes stirring all the time. This will help to get any bits stuck on the bottom mixed in and help add flavour.
- Add the carrots, mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, 10 good grinds of black pepper and stock, bring to the boil, the reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours until the sauce is thick and the mince had broken down and is meltingly tender. Ensure that you give it a stir every 20 minutes or so and add more water if it gets too dry.
- Whilst the mince is simmering away, make your sweet potato mash, to do this, simply peel and dice your sweet potato, add to a pot of salted boiling water and boil for 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Once soft, drain the potatoes, then add the butter milk, salt and pepper and mash. Set aside until you are ready to use it.
- About 10 minutes before your mince is ready, turn your oven on to 180 Degrees C.
- After two hours, taste your mince and add any salt, or if you wish a teaspoon of sugar. Once you are happy with the taste, then you can assemble the cottage pie, to do this, put the mince into the bottom of a deep sided casserole dish, then carefully spoon the sweet potato mash over the top.
- Sprinkle with the parmesan, grind some salt and pepper over it and optionally, add a few blobs of butter on top. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve with a side salad and enjoy.
There you have it, my take on cottage pie, it is a wonderfully hearty and easy enough dish to make. I served this with a simple salad of cherry tomatoes and rocket leaves which made a nice contrast to the rich cottage pie.
I will see you all soon.