11 hours ago
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
More winter comfort food.
Well, it's still winter here in the Northeast. We got 14" of snow where I live over the weekend. It's pretty, but now it's raining and is turning to slush.
I can't wait for the first sign of spring, when that first little crocus head pops up in my garden.
I'm craving some fresh produce and want to get going planting in the garden, but I will just have to be patient.
Thank goodness February only has 28 days.
What is cottage pie anyway?
It is a British casserole thing, made with minced meat and mashed potatoes on top.
It is not a Shepherd's Pie, which is always made with lamb (hence the word "shepherd").
It is also known as Hachis Parmentier, France's version of macaroni & cheese, I guess.
The main reason I made cottage pies, besides the weather, is I had leftover mashed potatoes! (which I never make).
Instead of tossing them, this was the perfect save.
This recipe is from Julie's website, and I followed it exactly.
Julie's Cottage Pie: (I made them in individual ramekins)
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef stock or broth
2 tbsp. tomato paste
a couple glugs of Worcestershire sauce
2 carrots, diced small
1/2 cup frozen green peas
salt and pepper
4 large potatoes, peeled (or not) and diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk
a big handful of grated cheese (sharp cheddar is best)
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, carrots and onion until the onion is soft and the beef is no longer pink. Sprinkle the flour overtop and stir to distribute it, then pour in the beef stock, add the tomato paste and Worcestershire, and stir to blend well.
Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or two, until the gravy thickens. Add in the peas, season with salt and pepper and pour into a baking dish or individual ramekins.
Meanwhile, pour cold water over the potatoes in a medium-large pot and bring to a boil. When they’re very tender, drain and mash them (rough or smooth) with the butter and milk and spread over the beef mixture.
(you can also use leftover mashed potatoes, like I did!).
Scatter the grated cheese overtop. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and it’s bubbly around the edges.