Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cottage Pie

Pop quiz!

What is the difference between shepherd's pie and cottage pie?

Do you know?

They are actually very similar. The difference is that shepherd's pie is made with lamb and cottage pie is made with ground beef.

We took the easy (and cheaper) route this week and made the English classic, cottage pie. It was warm and filling - just what we needed on a cold winter's night.

Don't be scared off by the long ingredients list. Most of it is herbs and spices which you can add in or leave out as needed!

For Cottage Pie you need:
We love seasonings! Lots of flavor - no fat!

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 Tbs flour
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 cups beef broth
Peas, corn or any other vegetables wanted
Mashed potatoes (make your own or use instant)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs parsley (fresh is best)
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
Salt, pepper and chili flakes if desired
Cheese, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).

Saute the beef, onion and carrots over medium heat.

Don't be scared to dump it in!

After the meat is fully browned, add flour, cinnamon, herbs and any other spices you may want such as salt, pepper and chili flakes.  Add beef broth and tomato paste.

Simmer for 15 minutes

Mix everything together well and let simmer for about 15 minute or until most of the liquid has disappeared.While the mixture is simmering, make mashed potatoes. It is up to you if you want to make these from scratch or use instant.

We added peas and corn to our cottage pie but not until the very end. This is because they are already quite soft and we did not want them to become mushy. We just left them in for about 1 minute to warm up before taking everything off the stove.

Cover with mashed potatoes

Take the meat mixture off the heat and pour it into a oven-safe casserole dish. Cover with mashed potatoes and cheese if desired. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes or until top is brown (and if covered with cheese, the cheese should be melted and bubbling).

Serve with bread and salad. Warm, cozy, and very simple to make. This recipe makes a lot so plan to feed a family of four or to have leftovers!

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