Ye olde cottage pie is a favourite in our household. It’s one of the ever culinary Mr P’s signature dishes and as such I usually don’t go near the making of them myself. I wouldn’t dare. He has been know to whip up a cottage pie, impromptu, on a chilly autumn evening that makes the child in me weep with joy. But one evening, with a bumper load of Summer produce in the fridge, a package of minced beef ready to use and Mr P working rather later than usual, I decided to tread on his territory a little and rustly up dinner loving. He didn’t really seem to mind too much, so I know it’s not half bad.
This is a great dish to make as the weather turns a little nippy and you want to use up some Summer produce still kicking around.
Incidentally, does anyone know the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherds pie? I’ll give you a hint, the reason is in the name!
Summery Cottage Pie
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb/ 450g minced beef
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 ½tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Patti pan or zucchini, coarsely chopped
6 or 7 chard leaves, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 large potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp Olive oil
splash of milk
salt and pepper
– put a pot of water on to boil. When it’s boiling add the potatoes and lower the heat. Cook for about 10 or 15 minutes until done (when a fork slides easily into the potato chunks). Drain and reserve.
– preheat the oven to 350˚F
– over a medium heat, saute the celery, carrot, onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes
– add the beef and cook until browned, separating the little clumps with a wooden spoon as you go
– add the tomato paste and balsamic and caramalise for a couple minutes
– add the Patti pan, chard, wine and stock and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the mix is thick and yummy
– mash the potatoes with the oil, salt and pepper to taste and enough milk to give a silky but firm texture
– half fill a casserole with the meat mixture, top with the potato mash and bake for 25 – 30 mins, until the top is browned and crisp.