A Celtic Tradition: English Cottage Pie!
English Cottage Pie
I have long been a fan of one-dish meals. I think it’s because my mom always made them when I was growing up. I have always liked Sheppard’s Pie, which is part of my Irish heritage. But I have found there are many variations from Ireland and other areas in the UK. The Irish recipes often feature lamb, the English more often use beef. Although I felt a little guilty for trying an English version, I really like this English Cottage Pie. Note: This recipe is supposed to yield 6 servings (2/3 cups each), which you will find to be a fairly small portion. I would count on 4 -5 servings, depending on whether you also serve a salad.
A friend mentioned recently that she finds “in progress” photos helpful, so I thought I would try a few here. Let me know if they help.
English Cottage Pie
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flout
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped carrot
- 1 (8-ounce) package cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (buy the tubes for less waste)
- 1 cup fat-free, beef broth
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 4 teaspoons dried parsley)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 3/8 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups mashed potatoes (either leftover or store-bought)
- 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Paprika (optional)
Result of steps 2-12.
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine flour and butter; stir well and set aside
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray
- Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes
- Add mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes or until lightly browned
- Remove vegetables from skillet
- Add beef to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble
- Stir in tomato paste, and cook 3 minutes
- Stir in broth and pepper
- Return vegetables to pan, and bring to a simmer
- Stir in parsley, thyme, and salt
- Add flour mixture, and cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly
- Spoon meat mixture into an 8-inch square (or round), glass or ceramic baking dish which has been coated with cooking spray; spread mixture evenly
- Combine the potatoes and half the cheese; spread the potato mixture evenly over the meat mixture
- Top with the remaining cheese
Dinner is ready!
- Sprinkle with paprika, if desired
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Add a salad if you wish and enjoy!