Cheap and Cheerful Cottage Pie

I don’t need to feed a family of 6… but if I did, this would be the recipe that I would make on a regular basis as it is relatively easy, cost-effective and very (VERY, even if I say so myself) tasty!

A cottage pie (or Shepherd’s pie) is essentially a meat pie covered with mashed potatoes… the wacky world of wiki says that the term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791 when potatoes were being introduced as an edible crop affordable to the poor (cottage = modest dwelling for rural workers)

While Shepherd’s pie as a term didn’t appear until 1877 and the main meat used would be mutton or lamb – with the origin that shepherds were dealing with sheep rather than cattle…. although this has never really been fully collaborated!

A Cumberland Pie is a version with a layer of bread crumbs on top and a shepherless Pie is a vegetarian option.  HIM was even aware of this type of dish – as the Portuguese have a similar option called Empadao which has the minced beef between two layers of mashed potatoes. HIM wasn’t able to be taste tester for my version – but I am sure he would agree that mine is just as good 🙂

We live in a world where meat is a luxury item to eat on a regular basis… and even when we do, I know that I would rather only eat meat once a week and get a good piece than eat it twice a week with a not so good cut! But the need to stretch our meals and make every cent count… means that we need to find ways to keep our meals tasty while adding a little extra!

I found that adding grated carrot to my minced meat added a sweetness, and doubled the portion! Cha ching!

Cottage Pie

i love serving it with rice for the double carbs effect 🙂

500g minced meat (I used a pork/beef mix – but the type of meat is up to you)

Tablespoon of oil

2 tins of tomato paste

2 garlic cloves (crushed)

125ml stock (I like to use chicken stock)

2-3 carrots (grated)

sprinkle of mixed dried herbs (or fresh)

3-4 potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)

250ml milk

50g butter

150g grated cheese

  1. heat the oil in a pot, then add the minced meat and crushed garlic, stirring continuously until meat has lost its pinkness
  2. Add the tomato paste, mixed herbs and stock – stirring occasionally
  3. Turn down the heat, add the grated carrots and simmer for 10-15minutes
  4.  At the same time, Boil the potatoes in salted water until a knife goes smoothly through a piece
  5. Drain the potatoes, return back to the pot and add the milk and mash mash mash away until consistency is as smooth as you like (add more or less milk as you see fit)
  6. Add the butter and leave for 5minutes to melt and then mix in
  7. Layer the meat into an oven-proof dish and top with the mash and finally with the grated cheese
  8. Bake in an oven for 30minutes at 180C


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