This was my first attempt at making a cottage pie, I made it using my instinct and it turned out to be absolutely delicious and was wolfed down by 5 people in less than 5 minutes! I wish I could have taken a better photo, but I had hungry mouths to feed! I served it with some simple green beans.
- Dice the onion and garlic and fry on a low heat in a little groundnut oil.
- Keeping an eye on this until it goes very soft, quarter the carrots and chop into small chunks.
- When the onion and garlic has softened, turn the heat up, add the mince and fry for a few minutes until browned.
- Add the carrots, chopped rosemary (or thyme), tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and mix well so all the mince is covered.
- With the heat turned back down, slowly add the beef stock and stir in.
- Leave this to simmer and reduce while you prepare the potatoes. Peel and cut the potatoes into halves or quarters, and put onto boil.
- Put the oven on to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Check on the mince, if most of the stock has been absorbed, add a generous glug of red wine. Add salt, pepper and a small spoonful of chicken granules to taste.
- Gently poke a potato with a fork, if it slides off quickly and easily, they are done and ready to mash. Drain using the lid of the pan.
- Add a small amount of milk and butter to the potatoes, and begin to mash. Add more milk/butter if you like.
- At this point I added a sprinkling of garlic powder to the mash, but if you're not a massive fan of garlic like me, this isn't necessary.
- Using a deep dish, spoon the mince mixture into the dish, and pat down gently. Spoon the mash on top, and sweep the back of a spoon on top to smooth down.
- Finally, sprinkle as much cheese as you like on top of the mash, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately with green beans, runner beans, or whatever takes your fancy.