December 23, 2006

Cottage Pie


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
1 cup frozen peas
1 onion minced
8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 cup green onions, minced
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika (we use Hot Hungarian Paprika)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste

2 lbs potatoes, quartered, boiled, and skinned
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup broth (or more if necessary)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1/4 cup green onions, minced
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450.

For the filling:

Brown beef in a large saute pan. When beef is browned, drain off the fat and liquid. Add the onion, mushrooms, garlic, celery, carrot, and green onion. Saute for 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Whisk the broth, corn starch, and Worcestershire sauce. Add broth mixture to the meat mixture along with the paprika, smoke paprika, thyme, salt and pepper and cook 20-30 minutes until the mixture is very thick and most of the liquid has evaporated

For the potatoes:
Mash potatoes with sour cream, broth, and butter. Add more broth if the misture is too stiff or dry to spread. Add salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and then mix in the egg.

Grease a wide baking dish (we used a 10" oval dish), pour in the meat mixture and spread the potatoe mixture on top. Sprinkle some paprika on top and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown and the meat mixture boils.

My thoughts:
Cottege pie is a close cousin to shepard's pie which is made with lamb. We've made it a number of times in the past but this time it turned out the best: slightly high potato to meat ratio, lean, well seasoned meat, good mixture of vegetables. Cooking the vegetables after the meat has browned and was drained keeps it from being greasy or seperating when it cooks.