Reminiscing about England and Cottage Pie

Tonight’s dinner was requested by Jacob – cottage pie!  Similar to shepherd’s pie (uses lamb), cottage pie is an English favorite of mine (along with scones and clotted cream). It reminds me of my days in England, having shepherd’s pie or fish n’ chips  with a pint of Guinness (before the gluten intolerance diagnosis) at the corner pub. And afternoon tea was a blessing! Ah, walks down memory lane …

 

Cottage Pie:
1 pound ground beef
1/4 onion, sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped (I always add extra – depending on the size of the carrots)
Enough beef stock to cover
Salt & pepper
3-4 tsp corn starch

 

Topping:
Mashed potatoes
4 oz butter

 

Add ground beef into a casserole dish. I like to brown mine a bit before I proceed – do not cook all the way. Add the onion and carrot, beef stock, corn starch, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir.

Cook in a slow oven – 300-350 degrees for an hour or so. You can do all of this on a stove top for about 20 minutes, but the flavor is never the same.

When complete, drain off gravy and reserve.

Boil and mash potatoes (or use the instant kind, if you prefer) with milk, butter, salt and pepper. The potatoes should be firm – not a wet paste.

Add back enough gravy to the meat to make it moist. Gently add the potato to the top and build up. Spread with a fork, finally making fork marks both up and down and across to form a basket-like pattern.

Put oven temperature at 400 degrees, then bake until potato is crispy and golden on the peaks (about 30 minutes). Serve with remaining gravy.

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About ALM Tree

Bachelor's degree in biology-chemistry; Masters in public health. Science nerd (and proud of it!). Wine-o, beer snob, and foodie! Always has a sense of humor and looks on the bright side.
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