Cottage Pie

Shepherd's pie orange background I read a lot about food. I’m not kidding, if I could I would watch one-minute recipes the whole day (but what’s with all the cream cheese guys, seriously). Anyway lately I’ve found more and more stuff that is classified as ‘comfort food’. That makes sense. It’s getting darker and colder and we’re going towards that stressful time of year we call the holidays. That time that nobody really likes but hey you have to see that strange aunt with the loose tooth sometimes. 

The best part about the holidays is the food, hands down. I’ll write a post next week about how to survive the holidays when you’re dairy free. Right now I’d like to talk about all that nice hot hearty comfort food I’ve been reading about. It seems to all have milk, cream, butter, cheese or a combination of all of those. I figured we needed to change that. I started easy. Cottage pie really only has milk and butter in the mash and that was easy enough to replace.

Shepherd's pie and blanket

On my research into this delicious Irish invention, I found out that any pie that is topped with mashed and filled with some kind of meat can be called a cottage pie. However, you’re only allowed to call it shepherd’s pie if it has lamb in it (because a shepherd takes care of sheep).  Even though this recipe is based on shepherd’s pie, it isn’t actually shepherd’s pie. It’s cottage pie. Doesn’t make it any less delicious though.

The Worcestershire sauce and the tomato add a nice note of sourness to the dish, which is complemented by the saltiness that soaks into the meat from the broth. I promise you’ll want to grab a spoon and starting eating this right out of the dish the minute it comes out of the oven.

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 400 gr minced beef
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • a large splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef broth block
  • 400 ml hot water
  • 600 gr potatoes, peeled and chopped into big chunks
  • 50 gr margarine or dairy free butter
  • 50 ml unsweetened soy milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Start by cutting up your onion and your carrot. I cut my carrot quite small because that way it integrates with the beef nicely but if you prefer to have a chunkier version feel free to leave your carrots a little bigger. Dice your onion
  2. Soften the carrot and onion in the olive oil for about five minutes
  3. Turn the heat up and add the beef. Stir and fry until it’s all brown.
  4. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree, fry for a little bit more, keep stirring.
  5. Add the water into the pot and crumble in the beef stock cube.
  6. Cover and eave to simmer for about 40 minutes, take the lid off about halfway through.
  7. While the meat is simmering, boil the potatoes in some salted water, about 15 minutes or until soft.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180C
  9. Mash time! Take any heaped up anger and really let the potatoes have it, smash into little pieces until there’s nothing left but a steaming heap of … hey mashed potatoes 🙂
  10. Mix in your margarine. Add the milk bit by bit until you have the right consistency. You don’t want this to be very runny mash, but make sure it’s smooth, if it’s too dry the oven will only dry it out further.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. When your meat mixture is done, spread it over the bottom of an ovendish
  13. Cover with the mashed potatoes
  14. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes
  15. Turn the oven up to the grill, or 250C, and leave for another 10 minutes or until the top is starting to brown.
  16. Let cool slightly and then enjoy on a cold day while watching your favourite winter movie.

Pie and dish

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