30 May 2011

Joe's Cottage Pie

I'm one of those people who really likes my mum's cooking best - but since she tried Joe's cottage pie she's stopped making it. She says there's no point - and I can see what she means - it is pretty good. I've been a bit useless since coming back to London and last night he returned home to whip up a pie for supper with his dad and then made me my favourite thing - capaletti from Sainsbury's with lots of butter, garlic salt, pepper and cheddar. There's nothing quite like it.

I was going to help make the pie... then somehow I found that sitting on the sofa staring into space was much more what I wanted to be doing so he shouted out what he was doing and took pictures for me. Hurrah for Joe in every way...

He'd also like to point out that this is a good recipe for people who don't like carrots in their cottage pie... it does use carrot, but only one and so it's hardly noticeable. I'd like to point out that I know that cottage pie shouldn't really have tinned tomatoes in it... but this one does and it works. This is great to make ahead... or to make loads of and have as yummy left overs... or to have in the freezer as a lazy treat.

Serves 6

4 rashers of bacon (we use Oscar Meyer... how unpatriotic of us)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 onions, sliced
900g beef mince
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
A large handful of thyme
750g tinned tomatoes
Tomato puree
9ish King Edwards potatoes (or any that will make nice mash)
Cheese for grating
Salt and pepper

Joe cooks the majority of this in a wok...Pre-heat the oven to 180C/356F.

1. Soften the onion, garlic and carrot in a frying pan (or wok) on a medium heat and then move to a bowl. Turn the heat up and cook the mince in big chunks until brown. Once it is going brown, throw the onion, garlic and carrot back in. (Weird eh?)

2. Add the thyme, bacon and tomatoes to the mince with a cupful of water and a generous squirt of tomato puree, lots of salt and pepper and the sugar. Stir and reduce the heat and cook with the lid off for half and hour.

mince cooking in a wok
3. While the mince is cooking peel and parboil the potatoes then mash with butter, milk (and cream if you've got it) and nutmeg.

4. Tip the mince into your pie dish and top with the mash. Grate some cheese on top and cook in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes to half an hour.

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