Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cottage Pie

This is my own version of an English classic. It's one of those hearty "stick to your ribs" meals that always hits the spot. I made it last week for our weekly get together and it was gone in the blink of an eye. Maybe I should make TWO next time! This is a really easy one and it's so hearty! You MUST try it!

3 lbs potatoes
2 lbs ground beef
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas with pearl onions
1 10oz can beef gravy
1 15oz can crush tomatoes
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
salt and pepper to taste
4 tbs butter
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Peel and quarter potatoes. Place in large pot of salted water and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, brown the ground beef in a large skillet. When the beef is nearly done, add the carrots and continue to saute. When it's completely browned, drain any excess fat. Add peas and onions, corn, beef gravy, crushed tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and let it simmer over a medium low heat for about 10 minutes. While that simmers, make the mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. Add butter. Mix the potatoes very well, making sure to get out all the lumps. After the lumps are gone, add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Mix again until smooth.
Pour beef mixture into a 9x13x2 baking pan. Spread mashed potatoes over the beef mixture, making sure to smooth the top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350F until melted and bubbly. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

The key to smooth mashed potatoes is to get out all the lumps BEFORE you add the milk. If you add the milk before you start mashing, you're likely to have lumps. Use any combination of fresh or frozen vegetables. If you'd like to just use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, go for it. If you'd like to dice up all the fresh vegetables you just picked from your garden, even better!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Now this is a dish I grew up with, believe it or not, in the Philippines. Maybe my kids would like this better thatn my recipe.

By the way, I love the Olympic theme. Great idea.

I've been lurking around for sometime, led here by your sister, Cathy, with whom I work.