Friday, November 28, 2014

Recipe: Deliciously Cheap Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is one of my favourite ever dinners. A delicious savoury beefy mince, with a creamy golden mash topping. I like adding leeks or spring onions to mash toppings, gives it a really nice flavour without having to add tonnes of expensive butter to it. Ketchup sounds like a weird ingredient but it sweetens everything up a bit, it's lovely. The trick to economic cooking is to BIG UP the veg and the potatoes/ starchy carbs, which will fill everyone up, instead of using loads more meat is much more pricey. Feel free to use any veg you want, but I find cabbage one of the cheapest vegetables.

Deliciously Cheap Cottage Pie (serves 5)

30g olive oil
450g diced white onions
450g peeled and diced carrots
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100g basics bacon
500g basics beef mince
300ml beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tbsp ketchup
20ml Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1.5kg potatoes, peeled and diced
1 leek, finely sliced
Splash milk
20g golden breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large savoy cabbage, shredded

1)      Fry the onions, garlic, carrots, bacon and mince in the butter on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring often. Add the stock, herbs, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and cook on a medium heat for another 15 minutes. Season to taste and pour into a large ovenproof dish.
2)      Preheat the oven to 180C. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan. Drain, and mash with some milk until the right mash consistency is achieved. Mix in the chopped leeks and season to taste.
3)      Smooth the mash over the mince mixture, and make lines on top with a fork.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs evenly, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Put the cottage pie under a hot grill for a few minutes until the topping is golden.
4)      Just before the pie is finished, boil the cabbage in salted water for 7 minutes, and drain. Serve the cottage pie with the steamed cabbage!

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