One of my biggest loves in life is making pies and if you know me you’ll know how much LOVE LOVE LOVE and appreciation I have for a good potato top or cottage pie. Something about them comforting and warm with perfect crunchy pastry topped with clouds of creamy mashed potato. So I took it upon myself today to create cottage pies family and individual size.
This recipe is made from scratch just for you all and it sure made me smile tucking into one straight from the oven this morning, It’s never too early for a pie in my book right?
1kg Beef mince
1 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Leek sliced
2tbsp Crushed garlic
4tbsp The Good Oil (or canola)
2tsp Dried rosemary
1 tin Diced tomatoes
3tbsp Tomato paste
250ml Worcester sauce
2tbsp Malt vinegar
1ltr Beef stock
2tbsp Soy sauce
1cup Frozen peas
1tsp Cracked black pepper
1/4cup Cold water
6-8 Large Agria potatoes, peeled
1/2tsp Cracked pepper
1tbsp Dried Parsley or fresh
1tbsp Wholegrain mustard
1cup Potato flakes
4x Sheets puff or savoury pastry (I used puff)
2tbsp Plain flour
1/2cup Tastey cheese, grated
- Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add 1tbsp the good oil followed by onion,leek and garlic cook until brown add to a heavy based large pot, over a low heat. Browning the components develops the flavour of this pie.
- Add 1/4 cup water to remove the caramilsation and add to the pot, dry pan with a paper towel.
- Heat fry pan over a high heat add 1 tbsp of oil and half of the mince in large chunks, do not break the mince up let the large pieces brown, this is where a huge part of the flavour is going to come from. Once it has been cooking around 2-3 minutes turn the chunks over and start to brake them up. Add to the pot.
- Repeat step 3 until all mince is browned add to pot.
- Place stock, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper and rosemary into the large pot, stirring well. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Making sure you are stiring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Taste and check the seasoning, add frozen peas and turn the heat up to high to get a rapid boil happening.
- Mix the cornflour and 1/4 cup water to create a slurry, stir this into your boiling beef mixture. Cook out for 5 minutes, stirring as this can catch on the bottom once thickened.
- Spread your pie mix out on a lined deep roasting tray to cool down fast.
- Now to make the mashed potato.
- Boil potatoes until tender with 1tsp of salt.
- Drain and add salt, pepper, butter, cream, parsley and mustard. Mash well until smooth, stir in potato flakes. The potato flakes help give the mash structure on top of the pie.
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
- Time to assemble, once your pie mix is cool if using this hot it can make the pastry soggy and not achieve a crunchy finish.
- Butter and flour pie dishes I have used some small and a large Family size round dish as well. Bang the dish on the bench to remove excess flour. You can you muffin tins for mini versions perfect for the kids lunch box.
- When cutting your pastry you want to cut it slightly larger than the pie dish to avoid shrinkage, any off cuts keep for the edges on the larger pie.
- For the large pie I used one sheet of pastry on the base and the off cuts from the small pies around the edge. *see photos below
- Once you have lined your dishes with pastry, trim the edges the a knife resting it on the edge of the dish and cutting the overhanging pastry if there is any.
- Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way up with the pie filling, you want to make sure there is room for the potato.
- Top with potato mixture, for the smaller pies I placed a large spoonful in the center and worked the mash to the edge of the pastry making sure there was no gap left or the mince with boil out in the oven.
- For the large pie I placed spoonfuls of mash over the top and repeated this until it was cover. Smooth over the top making sure you get to the edges of the pastry just like the smaller pies to avoid the mince escaping.
- Top with grated tasty cheese and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
I was left with about 1/4 of the pie mix left over, you can make more pies or freeze this down to use later on when you want the pie again. It could also can be served hot over pasta or creamy mash for an easy mid-week dinner.
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