Cottage Pie

Let me set the scene.
We're in the coldest part of winter and it's wet and miserable outside. The sky is so grey that I need to turn the lights on in the kitchen.
While the kids and I have spent the morning sheltered in the shopping centre, oblivious to the icy cold wind and rain, Mr. Wonderful has been out there on the front line, toiling away in freezing conditions, to fund our shopping expedition.

How to show my appreciation for this tremendous sacrifice made for his family? Cottage Pie! The ultimate winter comfort food, topped off with a Bread and Butter Pudding.

Cottage Pie

Ingredients
Beef
1 Tablespoon Oil
500g Beef Mince (ground beef)
2 medium Carrots (170-220g)
1 Brown Onion (about 100g)
4 Celery stalks (about 100g)
* Carrots, celery and onion roughly diced.
1 1/2 Tablespoons Plain Flour
1 Beef stock cube dissolved in 150mls Hot Water
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
Potato Topping
4 Large  Potatoes (about 800g) cubed.
30g butter
30g milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)

• Heat oil in a large pot.
• Add Carrots, Onion and Celery to the pot and cook until onion is translucent, stirring frequently.
• Add beef, continue stirring regularly until just browned, then mix in flour.
•Stir in Stock, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce.
• Simmer for 1/2-1 hour

• Preheat oven to 180°C
• In a separate pot, boil potatoes in enough water to cover them completely for 20 minutes or until tender. Use a fork to test.
• Drain potatoes, add butter and milk (plus any seasoning you desire, salt, pepper etc.) and mash well.

• Spread beef mixture evenly in a medium, deep baking dish.
• Spread potato evenly over the top of beef mixture.
• Sprinkle top with cheese.
• Place in oven for 10-15 minutes or until top is browned.

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