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Monday, 1 April 2013

You Like Cottage Pie? You'll Love This One


Cottage pie is one of my all time favourite dishes, my mother made it when I was a kid, my wife made it when I was married and I have perfected it over the years to my taste.

I have to say mine is the best, as you can see modesty is not my strong point.

 

Although the potatoes have to be right, smooth and well seasoned, the mince is the most important part of the dish. Cook it gently in some red wine, season it well and you can’t go wrong.

 

As you have seen in my other posts I don’t always put exact quantities of ingredients, that’s because cooking is an art, I am an artist, I draw portraits, it’s not all about exact quantities it’s about feel and taste.

To feed 4 -6 people (depending on how hungry they are and what you serve it with)

You will need-:

 3 Large Carrots
500 gm Minced Beef
1 Large Onion
1 Glass Red Wine
Mixed Herbs
2 Beef Stock Cubes
Gravy Granules
Potatoes
Butter
Milk
Salt and Pepper
Grated Cheddar

 Right here we go, get three pans of water 1 small for the carrots, 1 medium for the mince and 1 large for the potatoes.


Put them all on a high heat and while they
are coming to the boil put the mince in the medium pan,

finely chop the carrots put them in the small pan, peel and chop the potatoes and put them in the large pan.
I normally chop potatoes quite small if I am going to mash them because they cook quicker and are easier to mash.

 

 I always boil up the mince because it gets rid of a lot of the fat. When it comes to the boil drain it and get rid of all the scum off the top, give it a good stir to get rid of all the lumps and put it on a low heat. Keep stirring it while you finely chop the onion and the add the onion to it, now add the mixed herbs and the red wine, stir occasionally while still on a low heat.
After about 10 minutes of simmering add the carrots and their water to the mince and bring to the boil.


 Now you can add the stock cubes and the gravy granules, this is one of the rare times that I use gravy granules but they work well in this dish, just add a little at a time until you get the thickness and consistency of your liking.
By now your potatoes should be ready, test them with a fork, just about falling apart should be perfect. Mash them with a masher for a minute then add milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste and use a whisk to get them nice and smooth.

 Now pour the mince into a suitable oven proof dish, spread the mash over the top and sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over, place into the oven on a high heat for about 10 minutes and when it has browned  take it out and you are done.