The cottage pie turned out really well, and the boy liked it too. In case you want to make your own, here’s the recipe:
For the filling
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 clove garlic (crushed) or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 medium sized carrots (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons frozen peas
- 1 packet beef mince (ca. 500g)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (ca. 400g)
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 250ml vegetable or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to season
For the topping
- 500g floury potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 50-100ml milk
- 50-100g grated cheese of your choice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- salt and pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C for a fan oven).
- Put your potatoes on to boil.
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the carrots and garlic, and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the carrots are starting to soften.
- Add the minced beef and cook for about 5 mins until starting to brown. I’ve said ca. 500g because it depends what sizes your packets come in. If your supermarket sells 400g or 600g packets, go with that. 100g up or down won’t spoil the recipe.
- Add the frozen peas, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, and stock. If you like it really beefy, go for beef stock. I always cook wheat and where possible gluten free, and I can only find vegetable stock for that.
- Season with the herbs, salt and pepper. I was cooking for the boy too, so I didn’t actually add any extra salt and just a little pepper, but if you don’t have to consider a baby you can season it stronger.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- While the filling is simmering away, prepare your mashed potatoes which should hopefully be done by now. They should easily give way if you press a fork against them. If not, leave them for a few more minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and mash them with butter and milk. I’ve said 50-100ml milk because it depends partly on the type of potatoes you have. Basically, add enough milk to make a smooth mash that you’ll easily be able to spread over the filling.
- Add the cheese. I’ve said 50-100g because it depends on how cheesy you like it. If you don’t like it cheesy at all, you can leave it out altogether.
- Season with salt, pepper and optionally nutmeg. I only added a little pepper because too much salt is bad for the boy, as it nutmeg. But if you don’t have those worries, nutmeg gives the mash a nice little twist.
- Once the meat filling is done, spoon it into an ovenproof dish and top with the mash. Bake for about 30 minutes until the mash starts to go golden brown.
(Don’t worry, I had enough mash to cover it all, I was just taking a photo where you can see the filling!)