I know the difference between cottage pie & shepherd’s pie is the meat but I call cottage pie shepherd’s pie….always. I grew up calling the pie with ground beef shepherd’s pie and I still call it that. My mom is British, so if she called it that, I will, too….but I don’t want to be called out on the internet so I’ll conform in print. Technically, shepherd’s pie is red meat so I wouldn’t be wrong…..listen to me, justifying my stance! 🙂
Anyway, cottage pie with a little flavour extra, for fun.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1-2 cups mixed vegetables or vegetables of your choice
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 heaped tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2-3 TB flour (start with 2, use the 3rd if really runny)
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 2 cups precooked mashed potatoes or use instant mashed potatoes, I won’t judge (if using instant, prepare them as instructed and skip the 2 TB milk following)
- 2 TB milk
- 2 TB pesto (or more if you’re feeling wild)
Brown the ground beef in a large frying pan. When almost done, add the onion & saute until translucent. Add the garlic & saute until fragrant. Add the vegetables.
Sprinkle the flour over everything and mix it very well. Add the broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire and spices and mix well. Simmer until thickened. It may seem a little runny, but the potato layer will absorb some of the liquid so don’t get the gravy too thick. If it seems more broth-like than gravy-like, add the 3rd TB of flour to a little bit of the broth, mix until smooth and add in.
Add to a casserole dish. An 8 inch or 9 inch will work for this amount of food.
Warm up the mashed potatoes a little bit. You can use a microwave or just use the now empty frying pan. Add a little milk to loosen them up a little….I used about 2 TB. Add the 2 TB of pesto & mix thoroughly.
Add the potatoes by the spoonful to the top of your meat mixture in the casserole dish. Drop them into mounds that will be smoothed out. Once smoothed out fairly evenly, use a fork and drag it gently across the top of the potatoes to make some lovely ridges.
Put into a 350 F oven and bake for about half an hour. Everything is already cooked, so it doesn’t need long. When done, flip the oven to broil from the top element and brown the potato layer….about 5 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes so it cools to something less scalding hot than magma. Cut & eat.