Everyone in Britain seems to have their own recipe for Cottage Pie. This was the first recipe that came to mind when I was asked for English recipes. It is a staple in most British homes and this is my version made with fresh beef. Serves 2-4. The main ingredients are beef, onion, herbs & stock & potatoes. All other ingredients are optional.
t = teaspoon, T = tablespoon, s&p = salt & pepper
1 lb. lean minced (ground USA) beef
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion (fist size)
1 medium carrot (if I have one, it gives a lovely sweetness, optional)
1 T. oil
1 level t. mixed herbs dried (double if fresh)
Traditional English dried “mixed herbs” is: Thyme, Marjoram, Sage, Parsley, and Oregano
1 level T. flour
10 oz. Beef Stock (Stock cube will do)
S & P
8 oz. potatoes
Knob of butter (optional)
Boil the peeled potatoes, cut into chunks, in salted water ‘til tender.
Drain and return to the pan.
Add butter, then mash ‘til smooth
CHOP onion and carrot finely
FRY onion & carrot gently until softened and browned slightly then remove to a plate.
BROWN the meat on a higher heat ‘til toasted on the edges.
DRAIN off any fat and return cooked onion and carrot to pan with the meat.
STIR in the flour
ADD the stock and the Worcestershire sauce to make a nice gravy consistency.
You may not need it all; it mustn’t be too thick because of evaporation in the baking.
CHECK the seasoning and transfer to a baking dish about 2” deep
SPOON the potatoes all over the top
Level it off with a fork making a pattern so the rough edges will brown and crisp.
BAKE at the top of the oven for 30 mins. 220C/200fan, 425F/400 fan, gas 7
You may need to turn on the top element to brown or put under the grill (broiler USA)
Serve with a green leafy vegetable like Spring Cabbage, Kale, or Broccoli. Making extra gravy is sometimes useful.
You can double the amount of ingredients and make a family size as in the picture or less for one.
You could use leeks instead of onions and grate cheese on the top.