Classic Cottage Pie

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Ingredients

Serves 3

  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 rashes smoked bacon, diced
  • 100g chestnut or button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 600g beef mince
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, core removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped mixed fresh or dried base herbs (oregano, rosemary or thyme)
  • 100ml red cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Maldon Sea Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 3 large mashing potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

Timings

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Classic Cottage Pie

Mince… such an extraordinarily versatile ingredient as it can be made into many meals. Here is a classic Cottage Pie where any leftovers can be frozen as a ready-meal or save the mince on it’s own for the delicious Stuffed Aubergines with Feta and Basil.

Method

In a large saucepan or casserole dish heat the oil and fry off the mince for 5 minutes. Add the celery, bacon, mushrooms and stir. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Stir once again and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and let it bubble for 5 minutes so that the alcohol evaporates (this is called reducing). Add the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper and herbs. Bring to the boil, pop a lid on it turn down the heat so that it is very gently simmering and cook for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to boil in a pan of water. Once they are soft, drain them and add a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mash the seasoned potatoes well with a fork, whisking them at the end so they go really light and creamy.

Carefully spoon the mash on to the mince and fork up the top so it catches under the grill. Heat the grill to its highest setting and grill until golden brown. Serve with peas, beans or broccoli.

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Mince freezes really well either raw or cooked. If you freeze it raw and then defrost it, you can then cook it and freeze it again. What you aren’t able to do is freeze defrosted raw meat again without it going though the cooking process (the temperature kills off the bacteria). I recommend freezing it as purelyΒ the mince (without the potato) as then you can defrost it for a number of meals – Shepard’s Pie, Moussaka, Lasagne, Chilli Beef or Bolognaise.

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