Approx cost: €5
Approx calories (per serving): ~450
Approx preparation and cooking time: 50 mins
While I can certainly appreciate fancy food, where great time and effort is put in to making things “just so” I still feel an urge to return to hearty, traditional dishes sometimes. Now this isn’t really a summer dish. It’s so much more appropriate for cold winters when everyone is huddled around the fire longing for some warm food to fill their hungry stomachs… wait, I think I may be getting my life confused with something out of Charles Dickens. Regardless – cottage pie is awesome! I say cottage pie because I make it with beef mince. While Google doesn’t seem to distinguish between the two types, I’m going to continue to call it cottage pie, because a shepherd’s pie, made with lamb, seems so much more logical, but I digress… again. There’s not much in here to not like – awesome, juicy meat, creamy potato topping, soft, sweet peas and tender carrots. All swimming around in a delicious meaty sauce.
– If you have any left over gravy, meat sauce, or even instant gravy granules this will also come in handy
- Start off by preheating the oven to around 140 degrees Celsius. Next, peel and finely chop the onion, peel and slice the carrots as thinly as possible and mince the garlic.
- Add the Olive oil to a large frying pan and transfer in the onion and garlic. Fry lightly for a couple of minutes before adding in the minced beef. Stir well until well broken. When the meat is starting to brown add in the carrot and the peas. Add in a bit of salt and pepper and a small glass of water. If you have any leftover gravy add this in too. If you only have gravy granules then add in about 1 heaped tbsp of these and mix well. If you have neither then don’t worry. Whatever the case, allow the ingredients to simmer and the liquid will reduce.
- While the liquid is reducing, peel the potatoes and place into a pan of boiling water and boil until you can stick a fork through them. By this time the meat should be quite tasty looking as per the the picture above. Transfer the meat into a large, deep, oven-proof dish, so the meat mixture is about 2cm – 3cm thick. Meanwhile, mash the potatoes. Add in the butter and milk and a good sprinkling of salt and mix well.
- Scoop the potato onto the top of the meat mixture and spread out carefully. Draw a fork over the top to create a cute little pattern (this will ensure crispy ridges of potato too).
- Place into the hot oven and bake for about 30 minutes before opening the oven door and setting the oven to the grill (broiler) setting to brown/crisp off the top of the potato. When a nice golden brown, take out and serve out with some nice vegetables and enjoy!