Sunday, 21 February 2010

Slow-cooked cottage pie

It's been a long time coming but here it is, my cottage pie recipe!

Although there's no sign of it today I have been confidently assured that spring is no far away, with that in mind I've been cooking up some of my favourite winter dishes before the weather turns back to spring and the time for summer recipes returns.

One of mine (and I think everybodies) favourites has to be cottage pie. My cottage pie is a slight twist from the classic recipe as I used braising steak instead of the usual mince, after slow-cooking the steak for several hours it became so tender it just fell apart and left me with a fantastic rich, meaty stew, the perfect filling for my pie.I really love the crispy crusty bits on top of a cottage pie, to achieve maximum crustiness I always fluff up the top before baking and then flash it under the grill before serving.

For the filling: -
  • 400g braising/stewing steak cut into large chunks, seasoned and dusted with flour
  • Sunflower or other cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions roughly chopped
  • A stick of celery finely sliced
  • 3 carrots roughly chopped
  • A pint of beef stock
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
For the topping: -
  • 3 large potatoes peeled
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
Method: -
  • To prepare the filling first put a large casserole dish on the hob at a medium heat
  • Add a little oil and cook the meat until it is well browned
  • Add the onions celery and carrots and cook for a minute longer
  • Tip in the stock, add the bay leaves and bring to a gentle simmer
  • Cover the casserole dish and turn the heat right down, leave it to cook for at least an hour, preferably 2 or more.
  • To make the mash topping simply boil the potatoes until tender, drain, add hot milk, butter and seasoning then mash!
  • To assemble pour the filling into an oven proof dish
  • Spoon the potato on top and fluff up well for extra crustiness
  • Bake at gas 4 for 1-1 1/2 hours until golden
  • If the top isn't crusty enough just stick it under the grill for a minute.
  • Serve!


Anonymous said...

Yay! Yummy! So just to clarify, the difference between cottage pie and shepherd's pie is the meat used?

Sam said...

Croquecamille: You're spot on, Shepherds pie is made with lamb (hence the name) and cottage pie is beef, apart from that they are the same. You can also get Cumberland pie which if I remember rightly is a cottage pie with cheese on top of the potato

Beth said...

Photo's look REALLY good. Perfect winter warmer - but I'm looking forward to Spring, it has been a long time coming!!

Hopie said...

Wow I bet that was really good with the braising steak. I'm going to have to try that. I like the crunchy bits too!

The Caked Crusader said...

That's how we make it in my family - slow cook the meat for hours before building the pie - it gives the richest, yummiest taste

Foodycat said...

I love the idea of using braising steak instead of mince! It looks so good! And since there was horizontal snow at my house this morning, it looks exactly like what I need!

Kadeeae said...

Looks scrumptous Sam! It's also excellent with the beef from slow cooked oxtail ;-)

Glad you're 'back', hope things are going well.

Anne said...

Mmm crunchy bits are the best part of the topping!! Really love the sound of using the braising steak too, sure would be very popular with the menfolk here!! Looks delicious :)

Karen said...

Looks really delicious... love the crunch on top!

Joie de vivre said...

I have soooo missed reading your blog! It is wonderful to be back in the blogging world and catching up with everyone. Cinnamon girl has a cottage pie up right now too! I've never had it before, it is a decidedly British dish, but I need to remedy that situation.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

That looks like an absolutely cracking version - yum!