If you’re not a vegetable lover, this is a great way of getting some of your ‘five a day’ as you don’t notice they are there.
- 6oz mince (lean if possible)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- A small handful of mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 small carrots (or 1 large carrot), finely chopped
- A handful of frozen peas and sweetcorn
- 1 pint of hot beef stock (from a cube is fine)
- 1 tablespoon of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- Black pepper
- Worchester sauce (five or six good shakes)
- 2 baking potatoes (medium/large in size, peeled and cut into chunks)
- ¼ pint of milk
Oven: 180º c/Gas Mk 4. Fan oven 160ºc
Dry fry the mince in a frying pan over a medium heat until the mince is browned. If there’s oil from the mince left in the pan, carefully drain it away.
Add the carrots, onions and mushrooms to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the plain flour and mix well. Next add the tomato paste, black pepper (to taste), dried mix herbs and Worchester sauce to the stock and stir. Add the stock to the pan and mix well. Turn the heat up to high.
Add the peas and sweetcorn and mix well. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for 25 – 30 minutes until the mixture is thick.
While the mixture is simmering, pre-heat the oven, boil the potatoes for 20 minutes then mash with the milk.
Put the mince mixture into either two ovenproof dishes or one large one and top with the mashed potato. Make sure the edges are sealed to stop any liquid escaping. Fluff the potato with a fork so the ends get nice and crispy.
Cook in the oven for 25 minutes until the potato is golden brown.
Tip: let the mince mixture cool slightly in the dishes as it makes it easier to add the mashed potato.
The cottage pie mix can also be made in a slow cooker. Lean mince is best for this method as ordinary mince produces too much oil.
Add the mince, onion, carrots, mushrooms, peas and sweetcorn into the frying pan and cook on high for five minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Add the plain flour and mix well. Next add the tomato paste, black pepper (to taste), dried mix herbs and Worchester sauce to the stock and stir. As a slow cooker will not boil away the liquid, you will only need ¼ pint of stock. Add the stock to the pan and mix well.
Transfer to the slow cooker and cook on Low for 8 hours.
Don’t peel or chunk the potato’s, leave them whole. Prick each potato a couple of times and microwave them on full power (850w) for about 10 minutes. Leave to cool slightly.
Half the potatoes, then scrap out the insides leaving the skins behind into a bowl.
Heat the milk in the microwave on full power (850w) for 1 ½ minutes, then mash the potatoes using the milk.
Pre-heat the grill to it’s hottest setting. Fill the dish/dishes with boiling water, about half way is fine. Leave for about three minutes then carefully dry them.
Put the mince mixture into the dish/dishes and top with the mashed potato. Fluff the potato with a fork. Put under the grill for about 10 – 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
All the weights are in ‘old money’. If you want them in Metric, you’ll have to convert it yourself….