Cottage Pie

This recipe is one of C’s favourites (which is saying a lot since he can be a picky eater!). I made it up last year when I decided that I should have a good shepherd’s pie recipe in my repertoire. I cobbled together several different recipes and played with the ingredients and amounts until I got something that had a few, on-hand ingredients and was relatively healthy. Since then I have made it a lot. It can be a bit time consuming, so I usually double the recipe and make two pies, one of which I freeze for later. Two meals for the time of one – works for me! It is also good for leftovers; it tastes just as good reheated the next day. I like mine served with a squirt of ketchup on top.

Note: It is called Cottage Pie rather than Shepherd’s Pie because traditionally the latter only uses lamb. (Something I discovered in my research in putting together this recipe).

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Cottage Pie

Yield: 6 servings

Topping:
2 lbs. potatoes
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt

Filling:
1 3/4 lb. extra-lean ground beef
2 carrots
1 onion
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons thyme
2 teaspoons pepper
2 cups frozen green peas
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth, fat-free, low-sodium

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Mash potatoes with milk, butter and yolk until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef to the hot skillet with a bit of water. Season with salt, pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Brown and crumble the meat for about 5 minutes.

Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook  for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook butter and flour together for 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken until it reaches a gravy-like consistency, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add gravy to meat and vegetable mixture. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole dish with the meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon the potatoes over the top evenly. Top the potatoes with the paprika. Broil until the potato topping is evenly browned. Serve.

(8 P)

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