Cottage pie

Cottage pie

By
From
Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How it is at Home
Serves
4 plus leftovers
Photographer
Patricia Niven

MRS: We usually make a version of this whenever we have left-over mashed potato around, varying the vegetable depending on what we have to hand and what’s in season. Our secret ingredient is Mr Wilkinson’s brown sauce but of course you could always make it without, or add a spoonful of tomato chutney instead.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
500g lean minced (ground) beef
375ml beef or vegetables stock
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Mr Wilkinson’s brown sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
pinch of salt flakes
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
60g grated cheddar
steamed peas and corn cobs, to serve

Mash topping

Quantity Ingredient
750g all-purpose potato, cut into rough chunks
50g salted butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 free-range egg

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

    Get your mash topping started first. Place the potato pieces in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and can be easily pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

    Meanwhile, in a separate large heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and zucchini and cook for 3–4 minutes until slightly softened, then add the minced beef. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces and cook, stirring, for 8–10 minutes until browned all over. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then add the worcestershire sauce, brown sauce, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, reduce the heat to low and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated (if the meat looks like it is in danger of drying out completely just add a splash of water from the kettle). Remove from the heat, transfer to a 30 x 22 x 5 cm pie dish and set aside.

    Once the potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat and drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan and leave it on the hot hob to dry out. Using a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes until smooth then whisk in the butter, milk and egg.

    Spread the mash evenly over the top of the minced beef, making sure the whole top is covered. Sprinkle over the cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until lightly golden on top with the filling bubbling up underneath. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for a few minutes before serving with steamed peas and corn cobs.
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