Friday, 28 November 2014

Plain and simple Cottage Pie....

The last couple of weeks have been all about the sunrises and sunsets. Sometimes dawn is a bright lemon yellow, sometimes a vivid pink. But rarely a day has passed without us standing on the patio remembering why we are so lucky to live here. 

The vegetable stall is still going strong with little tomatoes, peppers and cabbage still being picked. But the fields are mainly empty, beautifully ploughed for next years crops. 

 We're back off to Cornwall tomorrow for ten days to spend time with family before Christmas. Scilly hasn't been touched with signs of festivities yet so the best is still to come. But the time away does mean I've had to clear out the fridge. I've frozen lemon and orange wedges and dried out leftover herbs. With a fridge nursing some carrots, potatoes and minced beef I decided last night to make a cottage pie. It might not look gourmet but it's one of my favourite comfort foods and is brilliant to portion up and freeze for Cory. 

Cottage Pie (serves 4)

400g minced beef
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion
2 carrots
3 sticks of celery
1kg potatoes
100g butter
80ml milk
50g manchego cheese/cheddar
1 tbsp plain flour
500ml beef stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 190'c. Chop the onion, celery and carrot into small pieces and fry in the oil on a medium temperature for around 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place to one side. 

While that is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut in half. Place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. 

Drain the potatoes and put back into the hot pan with the milk and 75g of the butter. Mask enthusiastically until the potatoes look a bit like over whipped cream. Put to one side. 

Back to the vegetable pan. Increase the heat to high and add the minced beef (breaking up with a spoon). Cook until browned. Add the flour and stir through. Then add the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes until you have a lovely gravy. 

Top with the mashed potatoes, grated cheese and the remainder of the butter. Bake for around 20 minutes until browned. 

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