Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cottage Pie

Have you ever wondered the difference between Cottage and Shepherd’s pie? Apparently it is as simply as what meat you use! Shepherd’s pie is traditionally lamb, whereas Cottage pie can be made using chicken or beef, or even mushrooms.

Whether Shepherd’s Pie or, in our case now, Cottage Pie, it is a wonderfully rustic dish that is sure to use up any leftover vegetables in the fridge, and provide maximum deliciousness for minimum effort. Obviously, it is a two-step process – the pie filling and then the mash potato, but they are neither tricky nor complicated. After all, we all know how to make mash potato, and my method (using a food processor) will make it even more effortless!

On a final note, feel free to throw in any other vegetables you have lying around, whether turnip or parsnip or mushrooms - This pie is very forgiving.

What Will I Need?

500g beef, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp plain flour
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
cracked pepper
1 tsp sage
½ tsp thyme

3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
100g butter, unsalted
¼ cup parmesan, grated
salt to taste

What Now?

1.    Preheat oven to 200C, and lightly grease a pie dish.
2.    In a large pot, heat the oil a medium heat before adding the onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Stir for about 5 minutes or until the onion has started to soften.
3.    Next, add the flour and diced beef and stir through the vegetables for 5 minutes or until the meat has started to colour.
4.    Now add the stock, worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, thyme, sage, and cracked pepper and then bring to the boil.
5.    Once boiling, reduce to a low heat and cover, allowing to simmer for 1 hour, before uncovering and allowing to simmer an additional 30 minutes.
6.    Add the diced potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Set over a high heat and allow to boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
7.    Drain the potatoes and let them cool for about five minutes before transferring them to the bowl of a food processor, along with the butter and then blitz for about 30 seconds or until the potatoes are smooth.
8.    Spoon pie mixture into the prepare tray and then carefully add a layer of the potato mash – it doesn’t need to completely cover the top – and then sprinkle with parmesan.
9.    Bake in your hot oven for 15 minutes or until the potatoes and parmesan have turned golden. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.