For us cottage pie is usually a weekend meal as we don’t tend to have time during the week to make it. However this week we decided to make double quantities of the filling so that we can freeze half for another day and eat half now. I love getting to taste this as we build the flavour of the filling, it’s fun trying to getting the tastes just right and the smell of it makes me hungry so little spoonfuls are always well received to keep my hunger at bay.
We are trying to use our freezer a little more at the moment with the aim to save us a little time during the week, any freezer recipes would be most welcome!
You will need:
900 g minced beef
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of thyme
2 tbsp tomato purée
175 ml red wine
60ml worcestershire sauce
1 litre chicken stock
1 kg Potatoes
4 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
(1) Heat the oil in a large pot and once hot enough add the mince and fry.
(2) Once fully cooked drain the excess fat from the mince using a sieve.
(3) In a second pot fry the onions, garlic and thyme until soft.
(4) Add the meat and the tomato purée to the pot with the onions and garlic and sift in the flour
(5) Stir for a few minutes to cook the flour and then add the red wine, Worcestershire sauce. Stir all this in, add a little salt and pepper and at this point I taste the flavourings in case I need to add a little more Worcestershire sauce or salt or pepper
(6) Cook until the liquid has halved and then add your chicken stock
(7) Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for around 30-40 minutes. Your filling is done when it looks thick and glossy
(8) Preheat oven to 180 °C (fan assisted)
(9) For the mash topping, peel your potatoes and cook in a pot of boiling water until tender.
(10) Drain off and return to the pot to mash. Add cream and butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed.
(11) Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste.
(12) Return to the mince filling and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning again (another excuse to taste and add more Worcestershire sauce)
(13) At this point we add the filling to a large dish, but you could always divide it until individual serving dishes.
(14) Pipe or spoon the mash over the top. We tend to spoon it on and then run a fork over the top.
(15) Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until it’s golden brown on top.
(16) Serve with a red wine, preferrably a Côtes-du-Rhône or a light Beaujolais as Cottage Pie needs a low to medium tannin Red wine with little or no oak influence