Sometimes I just crave an old-fashioned meal. You know, the kind with real mashed potatoes, gravy and tender pieces of meat. Cottage Pie might be one of the easiest meals to put together. A close cousin to Shepard’s Pie (made with lamb), Cottage Pie is made with tender beef simmered in gravy with bits of vegetables – topped off with buttery mashed potatoes. How can you go wrong with that?! This is one of my “go to” dishes when I’m in a hurry and don’t know what to fix for supper. Everyone loves it – and not only does it taste great, it’s super fast to prepare. A win/win!
Old Fashioned Cottage Pie
5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup homemade beef or chicken stock (I have used both and they are equally good)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter, diced
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain and add 2 tablespoons butter and milk. Mash together, taste for seasoning adding pepper and salt if needed. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook until beef is cooked through and carrots are tender. Add in flour, stir to combine. Slowly add in stock and Worcestershire sauce, mix well. Simmer sauce for 5 minutes until thickened – taste for seasonings. Place meat mixture in a 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Top with potatoes, making sure to spread them evenly. Use the tines of a fork to “fluff up” the potatoes (this helps them get crispy and brown). Dot the top with the remaining butter and bake at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes until bubbly and browned. Enjoy!
The total cost of this dish is $3.50 (depending on how much you pay for your ground beef – I stock up when the price is really low, usually around $1.99 or lower per pound) and it serves 4. You can also double or triple this recipe (I usually do) to feed as many as you need to! I really like simple, old-fashioned dishes like this – it reminds me of family dinners growing up. I hope you try this one, I think you’ll really enjoy it!
What are your favorite old-fashioned meals? I’d love to hear from you!