Family Cottage Pie

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This cottage pie recipe is a rather luxurious version of an old fashioned favourite comfort food. You can either make one large Cottage Pie or you can make several individual portions in ramekin dishes so that you can freeze some portions for use later. If you prefer you could make an ordinary cottage pie – simply leave out the layers of vegetables.
My son Nicholas is a big meat eater and can easily eat three huge platefuls of this for supper. When he went off to University and was missing the thought of home cooked meals, he asked if I could make up a batch of these to take with him and pop in the freezer so that he has something yummy for supper!

Cottage Pie
Prep
10 minutes
Cook
77minutes
Best for
Serves
6
Suitable for freezing

Ingredients

  • 250g swede, peeled and chopped 
  • 200g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • A generous knob of butter
  • 2 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 100g leek, finely chopped
  • 100g red pepper, finely chopped
  • 150g button mushrooms, diced
  • 4 medium tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 350ml boiling water
  • 675g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • Salt and a little white pepper
  • 225g frozen peas, cooked
  • 1 beaten egg

Conversion chart

Method

  1. Cook the carrots and swede in boiling lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until tender and then mash with the knob of butter until smooth.
  2. Heat half a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the minced beef for 7 or 8 minutes or until the liquid has been evaporated. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a fairly large casserole and sauté the onion and leek for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and beef stock and simmer for about 30 minutes. Season to taste.
  6. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Return the cooked potatoes to the empty saucepan and mash together with butter, milk salt and pepper until smooth.
  7. Place the mashed carrots and swede in the base of a glass ovenproof dish (approximately 18cm diameter / 7.5 cm deep) or use mini dishes to make individual portions. Arrange the meat on top, then cover with a layer of cooked peas and top with a layer of potato.
  8. Brush the potato with the beaten egg and cook under a preheated grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until the top is browned.

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