Friday, August 17, 2012

Today is the second day of really fine, nice weather. Boy, do we need a break from the scorching weather we've been having as does the whole Midwest and South.

And because it's slightly cooler and I don't especially mind using my oven, I have been craving comfort food. When I think of comfort food it generally has potatoes in or with it.

So....I have been dieing to make Cottage or Shepherd's Pie!!

And it is so simple, Brown ground beef with onions, some seasoning, add your favorite vegetables and gravy and top with creamy mashed potatoes. I even plan on making it easier because, egad!!, I plan on using a jarred beef gravy**. If you really wanted to make things easy you could use instant prepared, refrigerated mashed potatoes.

But I already feel guilty enough using jarred gravy, instead of making my own, so I plan on boiling potatoes and mashing them.

So, today for Friday, here is my take on Cottage Pie, God Save The Queen!!!

Easy Cottage Pie

 

Easy Cottage Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas ( I use frozen)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • Milk, as needed to make mashed potatoes
  • 1 jar Beef Gravy**
  • 1 Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Sage and/or thyme

Method

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large cast iron skillet, brown and crumble ground meat until cooked, add  onions and saute until softened.

3 Add vegetables,and season to taste with salt and pepper, add herbs if using. Pour in gravy and mix and set aside.I am using the cast iron skillet as my casserole dish as well. If you don't have one just use a skillet and transfer the meat mixture to a greased or sprayed casserole dish.

4 Drain and add butter to potatoes, mash and add enough milk to make creamy mashed potatoes.Salt and Pepper to taste.

5 Spread mashed potatoes over meat and vegetable mixture in cast iron skillet (see--1 dish!!). Sprinkle with cheese if desired and bake in a 400F oven for 30 or until potatoes start to brown and the dish is heated through thoroughly.

**Eek! I didn't have a jar of gravy, so I went traditional. After the meat was browned and onions softened I added a tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce and sprinkled it with 2 tbsp. of flour and cooked it for 2 minutes. I used a tsp. of concentrated beef stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and simmered it for another 5 minutes until it becomes thickened and gravy-like. Sprinkle the vegetables over and mix in and set aside for step 4.