I spent years calling this dish Shepherd’s Pie, only to learn that Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. Turns out this is called Cottage Pie. It’s made with ground beef and is a wonderful, warming, comfort food. I made last-minute plans yesterday afternoon to have two friends over for dinner, and I chose to make Cottage Pie because it’s quick and easy to make, tastes great, and everyone seems to like it.
I used a Martha Stewart recipe and made a few changes to it:
Here is the recipe, followed by my notes:
This recipe for traditional lamb potpie makes eight individual servings (or two large pies instead). If you like, you can replace the lamb with ground beef. Cool pies completely before covering with plastic and freezing for up to three months. Reheat frozen pies (small or large) in a 375-degree oven for about an hour.
- 2 pounds freshly ground lamb
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
- 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook lamb until no longer pink, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a colander set in a bowl; let fat drain off and discard.
- Add ¼ cup water to the skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add flour; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
- Add Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups water, and lamb. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Divide among eight 8-ounce ramekins or two 9-inch glass pie dishes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with salted water by 1 inch; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
- In pan, bring milk and butter to a simmer; remove from heat. Return potatoes; mash. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread over pies; use a fork to make peaks. Bake on a baking sheet until tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly; serve.
I cut the recipe in half and made only one rather than two 9 inch pies.
I used 1 lb. of ground beef rather than the 2 lbs. of ground lamb
Because I kept forgetting that I was halving the recipe, I didn’t halve everything; for ex. I used a whole onion and two Tbs. tomato paste.
Instead of 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, I used 1 tablespoon of quinoa flour.
I used a cup of frozen peas, and thawed them.
I used a little over 1 lb. of potatoes. They were a mix of Yukon golds, baby red potatoes, and fingerlings. I didn’t peel them; the peel adds to the interest and texture of the mashed potatoes.