After all the excesses that the Christmas holidays bring, it was decided that the theme for first Irish Foodies cookalong of 2011 would be Leftovers or Budget cooking and since I had very little left over this year, I decided I’d go with a family favourite of ours instead. Cottage Pie.
I have been making Cottage Pie since child #1 was small. As she was a fussy eater, I always found it hard to get her to eat her vegetables (sometimes even potatoes). So when I started to make this, I set to work with my trusty old Kenwood food processor and blitz the living daylights out of whatever veggies I’m using so the kids can’t pick the bits out and say, “Urgh I don’t like….” (insert vegetable here!)
(Obviously if you or your kids don’t have a problem with vegetables you don’t need to use the food processor or chop the veg so finely)
1-2 onions chopped
3-4 carrots (chopped)
250g mushrooms (chopped)
2-3 peppers (chopped)
450g lean beef mince
1.5kg potatoes (approx)
1 tin tomatoes
beef stock pot/cube
100ml white/red wine
butter & milk for mashing
Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil.
Heat a little oil in a large saucepan. Fry the onions for a couple of minutes then add the mince and sauté for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the finely chopped carrots, mushrooms, peppers and tinned tomatoes. Add the stock cube and wine. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes.
When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and mash with a little milk and butter (personal preference here).
Remove the meat mixture from the heat and spoon into dishes – I usually use a large oval or rectangular oven proof dish but this time I used small heart shaped ramekins. Cover with mashed potatoes and smooth with a knife.
Place the pies under a preheated grill until they are golden brown, just to crisp up the potatoes.
Serve and enjoy!