Florida girl that I am, I never knew that shepherd's pie was actually made with lamb and cottage pie with beef--until I spent some time in the UK studying and then married a Brit whose mum is a wonderful cook.
I first had cottage pie with baked beans at my in-laws' home (in Buckinghamshire) and haven't looked back. Yum. My mother-in-law usually adds crushed potato chips (crisps) on top with dabs of butter so that it gets all brown and crunchy. Double yum.
This post is dedicated to my little sis who asked me today to post my "recipe" for cottage pie--I use the term loosely because I change it a little every time I make it.
Here's today's version for your delectation.
- 1 lb. organic ground beef
- 3 carrots, grated (they'll cook faster that way)
- one onion, diced
- 5 or 6 cloves garlic, diced finely
- 4 sticks celery, diced
- a blob of tomato paste
- a few splashes Worcestershire sauce
- a spoonful of ketchup
- vegetarian baked beans (about 16 oz. or so)
- Nature's Seasons seasoning salt
- ground black pepper
- about 6 or 7 potatoes, peeled and chopped
- whole milk or half and half
- shredded cheese
- more Nature's Seasons
Saute the ground beef with the veggies and garlic, then add the ketchup, tomato paste (about 4 T.), Worcestershire sauce, baked beans, seasoning salt, and pepper. Let simmer a bit and in the meanwhile, boil the potatoes till tender, drain, mash, and add heated milk, butter, cheese, and seasonings.
In a casserole dish, plop the meat mixture on bottom and then spread the mashed taters over the top, adding crushed potato chips if you've got them. Bake at about 350 F/180 C for 15 minutes or so, till bubbly on bottom and a bit browned on top.
Grab a spoon and dig in! Itadakimasu!