If you want a winter warmer to keep the meat-eaters satisfied here's a lovely cottage pie recipe you can depend on. It goes great as an alternative to the Shepherd-less Pie (Vegetarian/Vegan).
For the filling
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 large onions, chopped finely
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
750g (1.5 llbs) mince beef (ideally organic)
2 teaspoon of plain flour
beef stock cube, mixed with 300ml of water
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce (ideally homemade but out of a jar is fine)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
couple of fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to season
For the potato topping:
750g (1.5 llbs) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
30g (1 oz butter)
2-3 tablespoons of milk
125g (4oz) mature cheddar cheese grated
For the filling
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, celery, and carrot and gently sauté for about a few minutes until softening but not turning brown. Add the minced beef, and sauté for about 5 minutes until browned. At this point, add the flour and stir it in well, whilst keeping the heat on.
Add the stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, basil leaves and seasoning to taste. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes.
Once cooked through, spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish.
Turn the oven on to 180C/Gas Mark 4 whilst you make the topping.
For the potato topping
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until they are tender. I usually cook them in a microwave for the same amount of time. Drain. Add the the butter and milk to the potatoes, and mash until they are soft. Season to taste, and stir in the cheese.
Spoon the potato over the mixture in the ovenproof dish, and smooth it out with a knife. Cook the pie in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes until the potato topping is golden brown and the meat mixture is bubbling. Serve whilst its nice and hot still bubbling under the potato surface,
Inspired by a Good Housekeeping recipe.