My first taste of cottage pie was at a friend’s farewell party. I think we were 15 years old. She was one of my close mates in class and we had debates over Shakespeare’s Macbeth. But her dad was relocating to the UK and subsequently to Sydney, hence the farewell party was held.
I took a bite of her mom’s cottage pie and I was sooo sooo hooked on it. Seriously, I have NOT tasted such a well made cottage pie since then. I remembered being cautious.. not quite certain what I was eating (I was brought up in a Traditional soup, vege and meat meals home) but gave it a go anyway. It was in a aluminum tray…and it was huge.
And it was gone in minutes.
The worst thing was I was too stunned (and very unsure about my cookery skills!) to even ask for what her secret was. AND we lost touch soon after her re-location..
I can’t get that image and taste out of my mind though.
Here is my version of cottage pie when the pangs hit.
1 red onion chopped
1 tsp of garlic
400 grams of lean beef mince
3-4 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
1/4-1/2 cup of beef stock
1 cup of peas
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
1 can of tomatoes
1 tablespoon of spicy mango chutney
2-3 celery sticks chopped
Cheddar and Parmesan cheese (around 1 cup)
1) Chop and cook potatoes till done. Mash with milk and spread. Season.
2) Pre heat oven 180C. In a deep pan, fry garlic and onion till soft and done. Add beef mince. Break the mince up as you cook it. Add stock and simmer. Add chutney, sauce and seasoning. Stir in the veges. Cook for around 10-15 minutes till done.
3) Place beef mixture in an oven proof dish. Then top it with the mash potato. Sprinkle some cheese on too. Bake for around 45 minutes till it is bubbling hot and golden brown.