Sunday, 28 April 2013

Cottage Pie Ala Chris

I love to cook cottage pie, I've always liked the reaction to people eating it and going back for more. Traditionally an old left over recipe if done right can be a great winter or cold spring dish, since the weathers been so off and on.

Just to let everyone know the design for these cook ups is going to change, I'll do a quick intro to the food with pictures and how I cooked it, then I will list either the recipe or a revised recipe underneath with a guide for allergies etc underneath.

I wanted some way to use the butter and potatoes that me and Kris had bought from the local farmers market the last weekend and viola add some mince and herbs and you have a Cottage Pie.

I was quite busy the day that I cooked this and ultimately had to wait until our shared kitchen was free to get started so I was cooking late. I'd asked Kris to pick me up some mince beef, a good choice for mince is to go for the lean if its not grass fed, I'm poor so I went for lean, you don't need to go for extra lean otherwise you'll lose too much of the vitamins that are in the fat plus there is some omega 3 in there along with the omega 6 just not as much as grass fed.

She bought me 750 gram pack, I should have known it was too much but I chucked it all in as I was cooking in a rush (never a good idea) so I fried the lot with some onion and it barely fit in my large pan.

The potatoes took a lot of peeling either my batch was a bit wrong or organic potatoes from the farm had a bit of rot to dig out of each one.

I finally mashed up the potato with the butter using a broken potato masher, yay.

However I had to use the oven downstairs as someone had stolen the racks out of ours! I blame this on the potato not quite crisping the way I liked it even though I baked the whole thing for 30 minutes and finished with the grill for 15.
You can add some peas to the mix if you like but I like my pie on the sweater side and omit them.

Main ingredients:
  • 1 kg of floury potatoes for mashing. Or any kind of potato if your not fussy.
  • 500 grams (not 750 ) of lean beef steak mince or whole grass fed steak mince.
  • 300 grams carrots
  • 1 Large onion.
  • 2 Stock cubes dissolved in a small amount of boiling water.
  • 1 Tin of chopped tomatoes.

For mince:

  • 1/2 tea spoon of sea salt.
  • 1/2 black pepper.
  • 2 Tea spoon of Thyme.
  • 1 Tea spoon of Basil.

For mash:

  • 1/2 tea spoon of sea salt.
  • 1/2 black pepper.
  • 22 grams of butter if organic like mine or 32 if non organic (unsalted)
  • 2 Tea spoons of Parsley.
  • 1 Tea spoon of Sage.

To cook:

1. Clean and skin the potatoes, they need roughly chopping and then placing into either a steamer for 30 mins or 20/30 mins of boiling time, bring to boil and then simmer for the 20 mins or more.

2. Do the same for the carrots and cut into small medallions and half medallions for the larger pieces, again steam or boil for around 15 mins and put aside.

3. Pre heat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.

4. Fry up the mince with the onion in a large pan adding the salt and pepper to taste, once fried add the Thyme and Basil and put to one side.

5. Get a small jug or bowl and dissolve 2 stock cubes or packs into a very small amount of boiling water, stir until dissolved, I like Kallo cubes as they tend to be lower in sugar and carbohydrates than even the new stock pots that are out.

6. Next get your baking dish, Medium to large sized and add the tomatoes,carrots, mince and stock to the dish, make sure to stir and mix everything thoroughly.

7. Mash the potatoes once cooked and add in the butter, salt, pepper, Parsley and Sage.

8. Spoon on the potato and use a fork to even it out, don't push hard or it will be lost in the mince! Alternatively if you have a piping bag you can take your time and make a real work of art.

9. Pop the dish into the oven and leave to bake for 30 mins, switch to the grill and finish for another 20 mins or until the potato turns golden brown.

10. Enjoy.

Allergy advice:
Gluten free, Nut free.

Diet types:
Paleo friendly if you like potato.

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