Cottage Pie

Posted in : British, In the kitchen on by : Richard Lamse

2 tbsp sunflower oil
400gr minced (lean) beef
1 onions ,chopped
2 carrots , chopped
1 small cellery root, chopped
4 cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp tomato paste
¼ cup red wine
1 cube beef bouillon
300ml water
1 tbsp (royal) Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 bay leave

600gr potatoes (for mashing)
1 tbsp butter
½ cup whole milk
80gr (raw milk) sharp cheddar, grated
ground nutmeg

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned. Set aside. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine and boil to reduce it slightly. Crumble the beef bouillon cube and stir in the water, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season to taste with pepper and salt, then discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, make the mash. In a saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and half of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper. The mash needs to be creamy. Add more milk if necessary.

Spoon meat into ovenproof dish. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Heat oven to 220C (430F) and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.

Serving tip: green peas seasoned with some ground nutmeg and salt.

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