Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cottage Pie

It's still cold. In fact, it's freezing. Schools are closed, ice covers the roads, and the dogs will go stir crazy if I don't bundle up and walk them soon.

Perfect day for another stomach-filling, hot out-of-the-oven pie!

Cottage Pie is, I'm given to understand, similar to Shepherd's Pie with the exception of using beef instead of lamb. [Think: Shepherd=Lamb]

A conundrum: What I know as "ground beef" is called "beef mince" so this dish may be called a "mince meat pie." This is *not* the same as the mincemeat pie (made with apples and raisins) that many Americans eat on Thanksgiving day. You won't find a recipe for mincemeat pie in this blog as it breaks Rule Number One: Don't cook anything you don't like.

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes stovetop + 45 minutes oven
Note: We had mushy peas left over from last night so they became the vegetable layer (sandwiched between the meat and mashed potatoes).

1 roll of shortcrust (Jus-rol pastry)
1 tbsp oil 

1 large onion, chopped 

500 g beef mince 

1 tbsp plain flour
400 g can diced tomatoes 

2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp oregano
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped 

3 cloves garlic, peeled 

1 tbsp creamed horseradish 

handful of chives, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup double cream
leftover mushy peas (or any other cooked vegetable you might have on hand)

1. Prep
Let the pastry sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

2. Warm the kitchen
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. Prep
Peel and chop the potatoes.
Peel the garlic.
Peel and chop the onion.
Chop the chives.

4. Stovetop (potatoes)
Put the potatoes and garlic into boiling water and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Stovetop (meat)
Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Add the onion and beef mince and cook over medium heat, stirring, until browned.
If necessary, drain the beef [usually not necessary in the UK but almost always necessary in the US]. Stir in the flour just to thicken it a bit.
Add the tomatoes, purée, and oregano. 
 Simmer until the potatoes are done.

6. Mash
Drain the potatoes and mash with horseradish, chives, butter, and cream.

7. Layer the pie
Lie a deep glass pie plate with the shortcrust.
Dump the beef mixture into the plate and level. [Depending on how deep the plate is, you might not be able to use all of the meat.]
Spoon the mushy peas evenly over the top.
Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly onto the peas.

8. Oven
Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown.

9. Enjoy!

[Adapted from BBC Recipes]

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