Found this in Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Heaven book. Cottage pie is his all-time favourite comfort food and he has it frequently with wife Tana when they dine out. Here's my variation of the recipe adapted from his. I added cheese to the equation - crispy baked cheese crust is always good, no? And I omitted red wine (since I didn't have any on hand) but you can add that if you like (about 200ml).
This recipe purportedly serves four but I think the end result could feed six or eight! Next time for my family, I would halve the meat portion but keep the potatoes (so delicious, and too little this time).
INGREDIENTS: feel free to scale it accordingly
900g minced lean beef
450g white onions
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped (if available)
75ml Worcestershire sauce
1 litre chicken stock (I used stock concentrate with less water to reduce cooking time)
1kg potatoes, peeled and halved (use waxy rather than floury types, e.g. red skin or Desiree - the trick is not to let the potatoes get too watery)
2 egg yolks
grated cheese (can be Parmesan, extra sharp cheddar, maybe about 50g, I didn't measure, you can use as much as you like and see how it goes)
oil for frying
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C or 400 degrees F
- Heat a bit of oil in pan until smoking hot
- Season the mince with salt and pepper
- Fry the mince in batches (I did four for mine in large wok)
- If you have any fat coming off the mince, drain it (cos you don't want greasy mince). I didn't have any to drain for mine though, I think the high heat seared all the juices in!
- Fry onions, garlic and thyme until soft and golden
- Add meat and tomato puree
- Sprinkle the flour and cook a few minutes
- Add Worcestershire sauce and cook until liquid is reduced by half
- Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Turn fire down and simmer until thick and glossy
- Meantime, cook potatoes in salted boiling water
- Mash the potatoes and beat in egg yolks, add half of grated cheese
- Remove mince from heat, cool slightly and check flavour (adjust to taste)
- Put mince in individual or large serving dish.
- Pipe or fork mash on top of mince, and cover with rest of grated cheese
- Bake 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown
That's it. Serve hot and enjoy! :)