Ahhhh hello half term! This very welcome time off from work couldn’t come soon enough and I have plans with friends, family and a romantic theatre break to London on the cards.
With the clocks going back this coming weekend and darker, chillier mornings, I think we can safely say the seasons are a-changing! This calls for some comfort food that makes your kitchen smell delicious and welcoming and these two cottage pie recipes certainly tick all the right boxes.
I love a spot of batch cooking and this recipe is great for freezing or for pleasing a crowd.
I decided to make two different varieties so I didn’t get bored of having the same meal for dinner a couple of nights running. The base of the pies are the same but one is topped with a cheddar and horseradish mash and the other has a sweet potato and brie topping.
For the pie base:
A drizzle of olive oil
1 white onion, roughly chopped
Half a dozen carrots, peeled and chopped
A couple of rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped
A tray of good quality minced beef
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
A few bay leaves
A pinch of dried thyme
One tin of chopped tomatoes
A squirt of brown sauce or ketchup
A handful of frozen peas
For the topping:
Enough white or sweet potatoes to cover your pie
Salt and pepper
A dash of milk (or cream if you’re feeling naughty!)
Cheddar, brie or any other cheese of your choice to top
A few teaspoons of horseradish
How to make it
- Preheat your oven to 200°C, Gas Mark 6
- In a large pan, heat a little oil and lightly sauté the onions and carrots for 10 minutes until they have softened
- Add the bacon and fry for another few minutes
- Next, add the beef mince and garlic then fry until browned
- Season well and add the bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes and sauce. If you have a bottle open, I usually add a splash of red wine too, anything to get a bit more flavour in!
- Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes while you make the mash
- In a large saucepan, boil your potatoes until soft
- Drain well then mash with a little butter, salt and pepper and milk
- You can add cheese or the horseradish into your mash at this stage too
- Mix your peas into the mix then in an oven proof dish (or dishes), spoon in your meat layer
- Then top with your mash and sprinkle over some cheese
- Pop it in the oven for about half an hour until you have a golden crust on top
- Enjoy straight from the oven…I had mine with some baked beans