Sunday, 6 February 2011

Cottage Pie

The endless dilemma: Cottage Pie or Shepherds' Pie. Common wisdom is that the former is made with minced beef the latter with minced lamb and I'm not going to argue with that. In any case my version would shock any cottager or shepherd! Amounts serve four with enough left over to make a pasta sauce for my next two lunches!

For a vegetarian option replace the mince with more beans or cooked lentils.

400g minced beef
1 can tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 large onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 courgette
1/2 red pepper
1 bay leaf
2 carrots finely chopped
4 chestnut mushrooms chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper

For the topping:
1 large parsnips
3-4 small potatoes
2 small Jerusalem artichokes (or more parsnips, potatoes, swede)
Knob of butter
Grated cheese
Grated nutmeg

Fry the mince in a little oil then add the onion, pepper, courgette and mushrooms. Fry for a bit longer then add the remaining ingredients bring to the boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
Cook the vegetables for the topping in plenty of salted water until soft then mash with the butter, cheese and nutmeg.

Put the sauce in a oven proof dish then cover with the mash and dot with butter and perhaps a little extra grated cheese.
Cook in hot oven until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Serve with green veg or a crispy salad.


  1. A small marrow or zucchini - very tasty. I usually grow shedloads in the back garden each year.