Crispy and Tasty Cottage Pie

  • 500g lean mince beef
  • 1 carton chopped tomatoes
  • Couple of garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 300ml beef stock
  • Handful of rosemary and/or thyme
  • 6 or 7 medium sized potatoes
  • Handful of grated cheese
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • A big glug of red wine
  • Groundnut oil
  • Chicken stock granules
  • Salt and pepper
  • A little squeeze of tomato puree
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.
  1. Dice the onion and garlic and fry on a low heat in a little groundnut oil.
  2. Keeping an eye on this until it goes very soft, quarter the carrots and chop into small chunks.
  3. When the onion and garlic has softened, turn the heat up, add the mince and fry for a few minutes until browned.
  4. Add the carrots, chopped rosemary (or thyme), tomato puree, chopped tomatoes and mix well so all the mince is covered.
  5. With the heat turned back down, slowly add the beef stock and stir in.
  6. Leave this to simmer and reduce while you prepare the potatoes. Peel and cut the potatoes into halves or quarters, and put onto boil.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Add a small amount of milk and butter to the potatoes, and begin to mash. Add more milk/butter if you like.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.