Excellent comfort food, beef in a rich vegetable filled gravy topped with a crispy baked cheesy mash. This has always been my favourite winter recipe and I think this year I really perfected the recipe. It also works well as leftovers and can keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. To mix it up, try some different vegetables.
I’m aware that using pecorino in place of cheddar cheese isn’t quite traditional but I think it works well it has a strong bite that really works with the creamy mash.
Classic Cottage Pie
- 1 kg beef mince
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 medium brown onions diced
- 3 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 cup peas
- 3 cups beef stock
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 kg potatoes peeled and diced
- 50 g butter
- 150 g pecorino romano grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large Dutch oven or crockpot, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the beef and fry for 5 minutes to brown, remove from pan.
- reduce heat to low-medium and add the onions and carrots then sauté for 15 minutes to soften. Increase the heat to medium and add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary and flour then cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- add the stock and Worcestershire and deglaze the pan. Return the beef to the pan and simmer for 40 minutes. Season generously.
- while the beef is simmering, add the potatoes to a saucepan of lightly salted cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Drain the potatoes then mash with the butter and 2/3 of the pecorino.
- assemble the pie in a casserole dish by placing the beef mixture in the bottom then topping with the mash. Sprinkle over remaining pecorino. Bake in prepared oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crispy.