Using a combination of meats (pork, beef and lamb) also makes for a most interesting option.
- for the roasted garlic mashed potato topping:
- 6-8 potatoes
- 3 tblsp milk
- 25 g butter
- for the seasoning:
- 1 bulb of garlic
- for the filling:
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chopped thyme
- 2 onions (finely chopped)
- 3-4 sticks celery (finely chopped)
- 2 small carrots (finely chopped)
- 4 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1350 g minced beef
- 2 tsp tomato purée
- 1 tblsp worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 glass red wine (optional) or 50ml beef stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5).
- Horizontally slice the bulb of garlic. Place into some tin foil and drizzle with a little oil, seal the tin foil and place in the oven for approximately 45-55 minutes until the garlic has softened.
- Peel the potatoes and place into a large saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, fit with a tightly fitting lid and continue to cook until the potatoes are softened. Strain the potatoes into a large colander and return to the saucepan with the butter and the milk. Squeeze the garlic out of the roasted bulbs into the potatoes also. Mash the potatoes until completely smooth.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic together with the thyme and sauté for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to soften but not colour. Stir the mince into the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until browned, breaking up any lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato purée and red wine/stock and cook gently for another 15-20 minutes until completely tender. Add in the Worcestershire sauce at this stage also.
- Divide the beef between two ovenproof casserole dishes.
- Pipe or spoon the potatoes onto the top of the meat mixture.
- With one of the cottage pies you need to allow it to cool down completely and with the other pop it straight into the oven and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until bubbling hot and golden brown.
- Serve immediately with some crisp green vegetables.
- With the other cottage pie, wrap it tightly in cling film, label with the date of production and store in the freezer. Enjoy at a later date.
Kevin's tip: Substitute the roasted garlic for 2oz/50g grated cheese for a different flavour. Use minced lamb instead of beef for the traditional Shepherd's Pie. Using a combination of meats (pork, beef and lamb) also makes for a most interesting option.