Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Proper English Cottage Pie

So, I know I once posted a recipe and called it "British," which I suppose it is since it is a recipe from a BRITISH can. However, I would never call that a "proper" British pie (though I did like it). THIS recipe however actually TASTED British to me and it's good! I even got both of my little boys to eat it. My 15 month old ate it without a problem, but it took a lot more coaxing for my 3 year old. But he did eventually eat it ALL up! As an aside, when I lived in America, I often heard dishes like this called "shepherds pie." Here in the UK, I've learned that a shepherds pie has minced lamb. If you use minced (ground) beef, it's cottage pie. Just a little random fact for you! Enjoy!

Original recipe, here.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (the reviews said the original 1/2 a tsp was a bit much, so I did a little less and liked the flavour)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth (I did closer to 2 cups based on the size of my bouillon cube over here, since you let the water boil off, it doesn't seem to matter too much)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used ketchup because I didn't have tomato paste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup milk (you may want to try a little less depending on the consistency you want)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 pound shredded Cheddar cheese 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C or gas mark 6). 
  2. To Make Meat Filling: Place a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble in ground beef and sauté 1 minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to sauté until meat is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, and parsley. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine beef broth and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. Spoon mixture into a 9 inch pie plate or similar sized pyrex.
  4. To Make Potato Topping: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
    Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter or margarine, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.  

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. I did not know that about Shepherds vs Cottage Pie! I think because lamb is so expensive, lots of people (even over here) substitute beef for lamb.

    I don't even like lamb. Do you?

    Anyway, looks yummy! I have only ever attempted it with packet seasoning. Shameful, I know!