Cottage pie was on the menu plan the other night, but when I went to the fridge there was one solitary potato rolling around in the crisper (if you’re wondering, I keep spuds in the fridge in summer – it’s the only way to stop them from rotting in the QLD heat and humidity).
Undeterred, we had our cottage pie with a lovely crispy top rather than the usual mash, which of course makes it cheaper and less carb-full. And I have to admit, I prefer it this way. There are a million different ways to make cottage pie, this is a method I used devised around the ingredients we had on hand, that was both easy and tasty.
1 spud (or more if you have them)
500g beef mince
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup peas
handful of mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbsp cornflour
squirt or two of bottled tomato sauce to taste (optional)
1/2 cup grated cheese
- Wash and par boil potato until slightly under tender. Refresh in cold water and leave to cool.
- Brown mince in a large frypan over high heat. Drain and set aside.
- Turn the pan down to medium heat, add a little olive oil if necessary and sauté the onion and carrot until tender.
- Add the garlic and herbs and cook for a further minute. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Return the mince to the pan and add the stock, Worcestershire sauce, peas and mushrooms. Stir, season and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Combine the cornflour with a little cold water and stir this into the mince mixture. At this point, taste the mixture and add a little tomato sauce if preferred. Simmer for a further 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C. Slice the potato as thinly as possible. Pour the mince mixture into a greased baking dish, arrange the potato slices over the top and then top with the grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato is golden. Alternatively, place the baking dish under the griller until potato is golden.