Cottage Pie

Comfort food for a niece not a favourite for my daughter.

And because I am cooking for my other family members, recipe portions are bigger.

Ingredients: serves 6-8 persons

1.5 kg (about 3.5lbs) minced beef

1 kg (about 2 lbs) potatoes

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 beef stock cubes

1/4 cup jam (optional or you can replace with chutney)

2 bay leaves

3 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

1 tablespoon turmeric (optional)

1 tablespoon dried thyme or sprigs of fresh thyme

salt & pepper

Method:

  • Grease a rectangle lasagne or baking dish. Size approximately 20x30x5cm (8″x11-1/2″x2″)
  • Now to cook the beef. Dice the onion, mince the garlic and fry till the onion is clear.
  • Add the mince and fry till the meat is cooked.
  • Add in the stock cubes, jam, bay leaves & herbs.
  • Add in a cup of water, make sure it is enough to cover the meat.
  • Add in the tomato paste & tumeric if using. Stir to mix well.
  •  Simmer the mince till the liquid is almost evaporated. Taste and add salt & pepper to your liking.
  • Question? Why isn’t the amount of salt & pepper given! You can try adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt if it tastes slightly bland. Salt helps to bring out the natural flavours of the dish. Pepper, about 1/2 tablespoon or 1-1/2 teaspoons should be good for a little flavour. More if you like.
  • Spoon the meat into the prepared baking dish. Do not put too much of the leftover liquids in as it would be absorbed by the mashed potatoes and make it really wet and too mushy.
  • Next on, work on the potatoes as you would preparing mashed potatoes. That’s what it really is, mashed potatoes topped onto mince.
  • Remove skin from potatoes and dice them. The smaller (not too small) the cubes, the quicker they cook.
  • Add to water with some salt and cook till soft.
  • Mash and add on top of the mince. Level it up, and prick some holes (with a fork) to allow the sauce from the meat to come through.
  • Bake in a preheated 200ºC (400ºF) oven for 20 minutes.

 

For a tastier bake, you can add grated parmesan cheese to the mash or on top of the mash before baking.

If you like a garlicky cheesy mash, boil some garlic with the potatoes and mashed together with 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese before topping on the mince.

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