Here is my Grandma’s go-to recipe for a perfect, classic cottage pie – the ideal homely, wholesome meal to come home to.
- 2kg potatoes
- 2 large carrots
- Half of a full broccoli
- 100g (frozen) peas
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 500ml of water
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 1/2 garlic cloves
- 750g beef
- 25g butter
- 225ml milk
- Preheat the oven to 180oC/160C fan/ gas 4.
- Add the oil, onion and garlic to a large pan until the onions have softened. Then add the mince, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon and brown the meat off until there is not a lot of liquid left.
- Add around 250ml of red wine to the pan (I used mulled wine as I had no red wine hanging about but worked just as well) bringing the liquid to the boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and add the vegetables (excluding the peas) and beef stock. After a few minutes, use a slotted spoon to drain off excess liquid into a jug or container. This excess liquid will be used as gravy later.
- Put the meat and veg into an overproof dish and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and boil them in a large pan for 20-25 minutes. Then, drain them and mash with the butter and milk. Alternatively, you can also use cream, or even yogurt. Season the mash with salt and pepper, tasting to check whether you need to add more.
- Take the dish out of the oven and add the peas. Mix the meat and veg before adding the mash on top. Use a fork to make groves along the mash, then place the dish in the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the mince is bubbling. For a crispy top, for the last few minutes turn on the grill to brown up the top until brown.
- While the cottage pie is finishing off, thicken the excess liquid with plain flour, then bring the liquid to the boil in a pan. Once boiling, bring the heat down so that the liquid can simmer, leaving it for 5 minutes at least for that the flour can cook.
- Serve the cottage pie in generous helpings with a lathering of hot gravy.