Nov 28, 2012

English Cottage Pie...English Comfort Food

Since there were so many leftovers from Thanksgiving, I thought that I would try something new. This dish has been also referred to as shepherds pie. But shepherds pie is traditionally made with lamb and cottage pie with ground beef. I have an English neighbor who put me straight about this.  Anyway, it is comfort food in every way and very easy to make.  I cannot believe that I haven't made it before. 


1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 stalk of celery chopped
1 tbs parsley, chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme or 1 tsp ground
1 tbs tomato paste
salt/pepper to taste
2 bouillon cubes
1 tbs flour
2 tbs butter
1 cup of water or milk
1- 12 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables to your liking
3 cups of mashed potatoes
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Place a large skillet on medium to high heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add the ground beef.  Saute until the meat is cooked through. The meat should be broken up into small pieces.  Next, add the onion, celery, spices, salt, pepper, bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and parsley.  Cook until the onion is translucent.  Once the onion is tender, add the mixed vegetables.  Saute for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. 

In a sauce pan, melt the butter.  Then add the flour. Mix well. Then add milk or water.  Stir on medium to low heat until it becomes thick.  You don't want a lot of sauce. Just enough so that the dish is moist when done. Pour the sauce over the meat/vegetable mixture and mix it well.  Set aside.

Mix 1/2 of the cheese with the mashed potatoes.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Now it is time to assemble the pie.  I used a 2 quart glass casserole dish.  Use butter, oil, or cooking oil spray and coat the inside of the dish.  Pour the meat/vegetable mixture in.  Then add the mashed potatoes on top.  Spread it around like you would frosting on a cake.  It should be about 2 inches or more thick.  Sprinkle on top with the remaining cheese.  Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!