Yesterday recovering from my cold I ventured out to do some much needed fresh food shopping. The crisp snow on the ground and the sub-zero temperatures called once again for some heart-warming fayre, so how about a traditional cottage pie? I have most of the ingredients in the store cupboard, so just some good fresh beef mince and vegetables to accompany the pie were required.
I used the remainder of the celeriac mash from another meal mixed with additional potatoes to cover the pie. A very rustic and tasty meal if not quite fine dining!
Holly Grove Cottage Pie
For the filling
1 lb steak mince
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stick celery, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
8 fl ozs beef stock
2 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
For the topping
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4-6 ozs strong Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup creme fraiche
Brown the mince in a large pan. Remove the mince with a slotted spoon and place in a dish. Drain off the fat from the pan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion is softened. Add the carrots and celery and heat through. Return the mince to the pan and add the tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring gently to a simmer. Cover and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. About 15 minutes before the sauce is ready add 2 tablespoons of tomato puree to thicken the sauce. Season to taste.
Meanwhile put the potatoes in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes and push them through a potato ricer into a bowl. Add the creme fraiche and beat until smooth. Add about 2-3 ozs of the cheese and mix through the potatoes.
Take a pie dish and 2/3rds fill with the minced beef mixture. Top this with the creamed potato and then cover with the remaining cheese. place the dish on an oven tray and bake at 190C for 25-30 minutes until the topping is bubbling and golden.
Serve with green vegetables.