Cottage pie (or shepherd’s pie if you use lamb mince) is quick, easy and relatively cheap to make. For the three portions we have, I use 250g lean beef mince but you can easily double if you have more mouths to feed.
- 250g mince (I use lean beef or turkey thigh, but it’s up to you)
- 500-750g potatoes, peeled and halved (depending on size of dish you’re covering… as a guide I peel enough to cover the base of my largest pan)
- Gravy granules
- 1-2 tbsp per person frozen veg
- Oil/butter for cooking
- Milk for making mash
- Salt & pepper
- Boil potatoes 15-20 mins
- Fry mince until brown and transfer to an ovenproof dish (Pyrex/ casserole/ bread tin… it’s all good)
- Make approx 1/2 pint or 300 ml of gravy as per instructions and add to the mince to just cover it (if you make more then you can pour rest on dinner later!)
- Drain & mash potatoes with salt & pepper, (not too much salt, especially if using salted butter!) a knob of butter and couple of tablespoons of milk (to the consistency you desire)
- Top mince with mash and spread with fork so you can’t see the filling
- Boil veg 10-15 mins while pie is in oven on top shelf at 200C/ Gas Mark 6 until brown on top
- Serve with veg and extra gravy if you wish
- Obviously (if you haven’t shouted it at me already) you can add the veg to the mince before topping with mash, (but fussy people dictate we have veg separate in our house…the joys of motherhood!) It probably can be added straight to mince if it doesn’t contain carrot or green beans, (they will need to be par-boiled first) peas, sweetcorn, etc will be fine by the time it’s been in oven
- Most people like to add 1/4 chopped onion when frying mince (without a fuss…i am the only onion-lover in our house….*sigh*…)
- Make it veggie! Vegetarian mince and gravy make it an easy vegetarian dish if you are entertaining veggies.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese for the last couple of minutes in oven for extra tasty mash!
- Add milk to drained potatoes slowly, you can always add more but it’s really hard to deal with soggy mash
- Bonus point of mash is you can make it early and leave somewhere cool, covered, so less hassle later (or even make loads and freeze a portion to defrost/reheat in microwave when needed)
- buy big packs of mince (can freeze if not using right away and defrost later) because a big pack can be split into 2 meals (cheaper than 2 small packs) or can make large cottage pie if you have unexpected dinner guests!