Cottage Pie is a traditional English dish that first came into use in the late 1700s. It was peasant food, a pie made with any kind of meat in gravy and topped with mashed potato. Cottagers ate it – hence the name.
Today there are many variations to be found but they are still basically the same dish.
|I was sent this lovely sunrise photo by a friend|
My mother used to make Cottage Pie using finely chopped leftover roast beef. I like to make mine using raw beef mince (ground beef), and made this up for my midday meal today.
After sautéing a finely diced small onion in a little butter, I added 300g raw mince and fried it until the red colour had gone (I mash it up during this time as I dislike large lumps in this dish). Add one cup of beef stock (ready-made bought – I am not that good a cook!), and the mince was left to simmer.
I took one tomato and sliced up some of the flesh to keep aside for a garnish. The rest was roughly chopped and added to the mince, along with quarter of a cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn kernels.
While the mince was cooking I boiled up a large potato and mashed it – I am not that keen on potato so I only look for a thin topping on my Pie, not the traditional thick one.
The mince was cooked for about 45 minutes and then thickened slightly with some cornflour in water, and seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire Sauce, before being poured into a small Pyrex dish.
Using a spoon, I dotted the mashed potato over the top and then my strips of tomato flesh. Pop it into a hot oven (somewhere around 175 degrees Celsius works well) until the dish is hot and the potato has turned crispy – the time this takes will depend on whether you are reheating from cold or just finishing off a newly cooked dish.
I ate half of this Pie for my meal. I never added any extra vegetables because it already contained them, but I may add some green beans when I heat up the remaining half tomorrow.
I like these old stand-by recipes. They are easy to do, can be altered without any fuss to suit what you have available, and are (usually!) tasty and filling to eat.
Keep smiling J