Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash

I bring you my second instalment from The Hairy Bikers’ Family Cookbook; mums know best. I love cottage pie and any excuse to try out different variations of this recipe. So when I spotted this recipe in the book I was excited and made it for dinner that same evening. For me nothing beats a plate of delicious home-made comforting food in this cold weather and this pie certainly is a winter warmer. My boys and I really enjoyed this version with its cheesy mash topping and sumptuous meat and veggie underbelly, definitely one I will be making time and time again.

Watch this space for my next instalment from the book. Will be posting Rocky Road tomorrow!

Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash

Serves 4-5

1 tbsp sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
500g lean beef mince
150ml red wine
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml beef stock (fresh or from a cube)
250ml cold water
2 tbsp tomato purée
½ tsp mixed dried herbs
1 dried bay leaf
splash Worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping
800g/1lb 12oz floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled and cut into even-sized pieces
40g butter, cubed
3 tbsp milk
100g mature cheddar, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the sunflower oil in a large deep sauté pan or saucepan and gently fry the onion, celery and carrots for 8 minutes or until the onions are softened and lightly coloured. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir all the vegetables occasionally to prevent them from becoming too brown.

Tip the mince into the pan and cook with the vegetables for 5 minutes or until no pinkness remains, stirring regularly to break up the meat. Pour the wine into the pan and cook until all the liquid evaporates, then sprinkle over the flour and stir well for a minute or two.

Gradually stir in the beef stock into the pan. Add 250ml of cold water, the tomato purée and herbs. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mince is tender and the sauce has thickened. If it starts to look too dry, add some more stock or water. Season with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and spoon the mince mixture into a 1-5 litre ovenproof dish. Leave to stand while you get the mash ready.

Boil the potatoes until they are very soft. Drain well, then return them to the saucepan and add the butter, milk and cheese. Mash until smooth and creamy and season to taste. Preheat the oven to 200oC/fan oven 180oC/ Gas 6.

Spoon the potato over the mince mixture, working around the edge before heading towards the middle. When all the mince is covered, rough up the surface with a fork and place the dish on a baking tray. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Serve with freshly cooked green beans or shredded Savoy cabbage.


The Girl said...

Definitely need to bookmark this one. I've been trying for ages to find a cottage pie that truly satisfies me and so far I don't feel I've hit the mark. Could the Hairy Bikers come through for me?!

And cannot WAIT to see the rocky road recipe!

Maria♥ said...

You should definitely give this recipe a try. Full of flavour and the cheesy mash is so good!


Anna's kitchen table said...

Comfort food at it's best!

Chele said...

I don't eat red meat but that photo is making me wish I did!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Think I need to get that book!

Unknown said...

I made this last night from a similar recipe and discovered that worstershire sauce is an essential magic ingredient. I used it liberally - perhaps four dessertspoons. I also used very good beef stock. The resulting dish had an astonishing depth of flavour that it just never had before when I merely sprinkled a bit of worstershire sauce in. Highly recommended.

Unknown said...

thanks for the recipe. Is this something that I could pre prepare with the mash and mince and then refrigerate. Then do the oven part the following day?

Maria♥ said...

Hi Mark

I've not tried it but I can't see why you couldn't. You would have to adjust the oven cooking time.


Farah :) said...

Hi there,

I was just wondering whether I could substitute the wine with something else? Thanks a bunch.

Maria♥ said...

Hi Farah

You could substitute the wine for more beef stock.