There's something really comforting about a cottage pie and it's perfect as a family meal or for batch cooking to stock up your freezer, either way it's a tasty edition to anyone's recipe repertoire. Some shy away due to the thought of mashed potato sinking into the mince but don't worry, I'll deal with that during the method of this recipe. It's a perfect Winter warmer meal.
The Recipe Ingredients
1lb minced beef
1 large onion
4 or 5 carrots (I used purple & orange)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 pint of beef stock (using 1 stock cube)
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp gravy granules
6-8 potatoes (depends how much mash topping you'd like, adjust to suit)
1 bay leaf
pinch of sea salt
knob of butter for mashing the potatoes
sprinkle of grated cheese (optional)
Peel the onions and carrots and place into a blender to pulse till finely chopped. Add to a large non-stick frying pan and cook gently till softened. Add the minced beef, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, mixed herbs, tomato puree and bay leaf and stir till all combined.
Cover and cook gently for 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the gravy granules and stir in. This will add depth of flavour and also help to thicken. Take the lid off and let it reduce down and thicken (approx 5 mins) Once this has reduced and thickened, remove the bay leaf and add salt to taste.
Put the mince mixture into a lasagne style oven proof dish and leave to cool. Once cooled place in the fridge for 20 mins (this is how your mash won't sink)
Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes and boil for 20mins until cooked. Drain, add a knob of butter and mash well until smooth and creamy. Set aside to cool.
Remove the mince from the fridge, this should now be firmer on the top, which will allow the mash to rest on top.
Place the mash all over the top using a smaller spoon (like a dessert spoon) then spread gently and evenly with a fork ensuring the top is fully covered.
If you are adding grated cheese add this now.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30mins Gas 4 180C until golden.
Serve with salad or green vegetables or whatever takes your fancy! ..... enjoy :-)