Sunday, January 20, 2008

Comfort food

Back in my aussie wife days I used to be an occasional contributor to the Carnival of the Recipes. I haven't contributed as yet in my new blog home, so thought I would this week. Problem is that it is now 10:53pm Saturday CST, and the recipes were supposed to be in by noon Saturday ....

Ah, what the heck, I'll submit it anyway and see if it gets in.

So the theme this week is comfort food. I had a fair think about this, as there were a few I could choose from, as I do love me some comfort food. I gave B a short list, and let him pick which one would be blogged today.

And the winner is .... Cottage Pie.

This is a recipe that I have made time and time again, and for me is very much a comfort food. I've made it for B and I, for friends when they came over, and for friends and family who've just had a baby and don't have much time for cooking. And it tends to get good reviews.

The recipe itself comes from a recipe book called "Family Circle Popular Potato Recipes" which is a little book that I bought at a checkout at the supermarket.

Here it is ... enjoy!

American translations in brackets

Cottage Pie


1 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
500g beef mince (approx 1lb ground beef)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 x 440g (15.5 oz) can tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1 beef stock cube, crumbled (bouillon cube)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
4 large potatoes (1.3kg/2.9 pounds), peeled and chopped
either milk or 1/4 cup sour cream
freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 deg C (356 deg F). Heat oil in a heavy-based pan; add onion. Cook over medium high heat until soft. Add mince. Cook 10 minutes or until well browned and almost all liquid has evaporated. Use a fork to break up any lumps of mince as it cooks.
  2. Blend flour with a little reserved tomato juice until smooth. Add sufficient water to remaining tomato juice to make up 1 cup. Blend into the flour mixture with crumbled stock cube.
  3. Gradually add liquid to mince mixture, stirring constantly over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, peas and carrots. Mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until the meat is tender.
  4. Cook the potato until tender. (The recipe in the book at this point says to cook them in a large pan of boiling water. I steam them instead. Basically do them whichever way you like, whichever way you cook potatoes to make mashed potatoes.) Mash potatoes well. Recipe in book now says to blend in sour cream and pepper, I use milk and pepper, whichever you use, mix in until smooth. Place the mince mixture in a deep, ovenproof dish. Top with potato, using a fork to spread it evenly. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Any questions, feel free to comment.


Helen said...

I looooooove Cottage Pie (I make mine with lentils!)

Snoozen said...

When oh when we get a new oven, hopefully in time for winter I look forward to giving this ago.

I have fond memories of you guys delivering nice comfort pie to us when we moved here and when I came home with daughter 1. A big heartfelt thanks