Admittedly, this isn’t a very summery dish but the weather in Cornwall last weekend wasn’t very summery either…..
Mum doesn’t have much of an appetite anymore so every time I go home I try to make her something and for this visit she requested cottage pie. I adapted Gordon Ramsey’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe to make a luxurious cottage pie as I don’t like lamb. I have also increased the liquid quantities to leave enough for a gravy once the mince has been strained into the pie dish.
Serves 8 Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1kg lean steak mince 2 large onions (finely grated) 2 large carrots (finely grated) 3 cloves garlic 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp tomato puree Large handful of thyme sprigs (leaves picked) 2 sprigs of rosemary (needles chopped) 600ml red wine 800ml good beef stock 2 tbsp cornflour (mixed to a paste with water) 2kg Rooster potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 50g butter 50ml warm milk 50g grated cheese Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper For the pan-roasted carrots 2 sprigs of rosemary Small handful of thyme sprigs 500g Chantenay carrots (topped & tailed and cut in half lengthways if large) 1 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Few knobs of butter
Heat the oil in a large casserole pot then season and fry the mince over a moderately high heat for 3-5 mins. Once a good colour has been achieved, add the grated carrots, onions and the garlic to the pan. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée and chopped herbs and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and reduce until only a small amount remains. Add the beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer for about 45-60 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
While the sauce is simmering, pre heat the oven to 180c/ gas mark 4. Then cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and return to a low heat breifly to dry out the pan and the potatoes. Mash until smooth the add the butter, milk and cheese. Season to taste.
Add some cornflour if the sauce needs further thickening and cook in for at least 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, strain the mince into a large ovenproof dish. Top with the mash starting by spooning it round the outside and working your way into the middle. Smooth over then fluff up the mash with a fork and sprinkle with an extra grating of cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Transfer the remaining liquid to a small pan and warm over a low heat.
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add to it the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Boil the carrots for 5 minutes to soften then drain and pat dry on kitchen towel. Heat the oil in a large non stick frying pan and then add the carrots and brown until tender. Toss in butter and season just before serving.