Now I’m going to be totally upfront and honest. I don’t usually cook with red meat. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that for whatever reason, I don’t often use it. But I know I should and I do really love a good bolognese or lamb roast!! Anyway, I hadn’t made a Cottage Pie for a long time and after feeling the chill of the start of winter, decided that there was no time like the present!
I know that Cottage Pie is usually made with potato mash on top, but I just prefer sweet potato and find that it’s heaps lighter! No potato bloat after eating this!!
Now I know that my husband is the one and only person for me, but this was totally confirmed when he came home from work, walked into the kitchen, saw me piping sweet potato mash stars onto my mini Cottage Pies and didn’t even question what on earth I was doing. I love that he knows me so well that seeing me doing things like this is no surprise! Hehe I definitely have a keeper.
I made 6 mini cottage pies using ramekins however, you could make one really large cottage pie instead if you prefer! Anyway, these mini cottage pies were the perfect winter warmer dinner… and knowing the Melbourne weather, we are going to be needed a whole heap more winter warmers in the coming months!
What other meals do you like to make with red meat? I need some inspiration!!!
Mini Cottage Pies with Sweet Potato Mash
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1¼ kg beef mince
- 2 onions finely chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 3 celery sticks chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- large glass red wine optional
- 850 ml beef stock
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- few thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 sheets shortcrust pastry
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 50 g butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheese.
- Defrost shortcrust pastry by leaving out on the bench while you prepare the filling.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a saucepan and fry the mince until browned.
- Place the browned mince into a bowl and set aside.
- Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables (except for the frozen peas!) and cook on a low heat until soft, about 15 mins.
- Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste.
- Increase the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes.
- Return the beef to the pan.
- Pour in the wine (if using) and boil to reduce slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins.
- By this time the gravy should have thickened - if it's still too liquidy then turn the heat up a little.
- Pop in the frozen peas and stir to combine.
- Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
- Leave the mixture to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- Lightly spray your ramekins with cooking oil.
- Lay the pastry over each ramekin and gently press into the bottom and sides.
- Cut off the extra pastry.
- Alternatively you can simply use the pastry to line the bottom and sides of a large casserole dish.
- Pop the ramekins or casserole dish into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden (if you're using a casserole dish, it may need slightly longer).
- Take the pastry cases out of the oven and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, cover the sweet potato with water and boil until tender. Drain and mash with extra butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon meat into the ramekins (or casserole dish).
- Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover.
- Sprinkle on the grated cheese.
- Cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.
This recipe has been adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe. 🙂