This is an old favourite of mine; one that I pretty much always fall back on making if I can’t be arsed to be inventive for dinner. I don’t really have any precise measurements, but I’ll do a good guess on the amount of everything that I use. I do know that my cottage pies are always yummy, are full of vegetables, and can be stuck in the fridge and made to last for bloody ages. So!
- About 1kg of mince
- An onion (red or white)
- Enough potatoes to cover the top of your dish — I fill a large pan
- Cheese (optional)
Any mixture of:
- A handful of mushrooms
- 2 or 3 carrots
- Sweet potato
Start by peeling your potatoes, slicing them and boiling them in a pan for 20 minutes. Whilst they’re boiling prepare your veg. I cut everything into small-ish pieces. Then I fry the onions and mushrooms and boil the carrots, swede and sweet potato. You can honestly put as much or as little or each in as you want. I usually have mushrooms and carrots or swede and sweet potatoes, but they all work together too.
When the onions have browned, add the mince. Put in a good dollop of Easy Garlic or a good few garlic cloves and whatever other spices you like — I’m a fan of pepper and some ground cumin. Once the mince has browned, drain off the fat and pour it in a dish. Add the other vegetables once they’re cooked and stir so that everything is evenly distributed.
Once the potatoes are finished, add butter and milk if you like and then mash it. The smoother the mash the better — the contrast between the veg, mince and mash should be noticeable but nicely so.
To finish, smear the potatoes evenly across the top of the dish that the mince is in. You can either just serve it as it, or you can sprinkle cheese on the top and stick it in the oven at about 180C until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Then serve it with lots and lots of thick gravy.
The good thing about this is that usually there’s more than everyone can eat, so you can freeze the rest and use it for dinners over the next few days. I’ve not met a single person that doesn’t love this cottage pie, and it’s super easy to make.
However, I just found this recipe from BBC Good Food which looks absoflippinglutely lovely, possibly even more lovely than mine. I sense I may have to try this at some point…
There are more photos from my cottage pie making on my Flickr photoset.