Perfect As Pie


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?

Cottage Pie

Pie Filling
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
1/2tsp Salt
1tsp Cracked black pepper
1/2cup Cornflour
1/4cup Cold water
Mash Potato
6-8 Large Agria potatoes, peeled
1tsp Salt
1/2tsp Cracked pepper
1tbsp Dried Parsley or fresh
1tbsp Wholegrain mustard
1cup Potato flakes
100gm Butter
150ml Cream

4x Sheets puff or savoury pastry (I used puff)
2tbsp Butter
2tbsp Plain flour
1/2cup Tastey cheese, grated


  1. 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.
  2.  Add 1/4 cup water to remove the caramilsation and add to the pot, dry pan with a paper towel.
  3. 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.
  4. Repeat step 3 until all mince is browned add to pot.
  5. 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.
  6. Taste and check the seasoning, add frozen peas and turn the heat up to high to get a rapid boil happening.
  7. 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.
  8. Spread your pie mix out on a lined deep roasting tray to cool down fast.
  9. Now to make the mashed potato.
  10. Boil potatoes until tender with 1tsp of salt.
  11. 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.
  12. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. Fill the dishes 3/4 of the way up with the pie filling, you want to make sure there is room for the potato.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.

Perfect Mash

How do you make the perfect mash?

Well it all starts with the potato!
For mashing you want a potato which is low in water content and high in starch, using a potato which holds these characteristics is key for the perfect mash.
Now you say what is the best potato which fits this description?
I say the Agria, a light fluffy potato which breaks up easily when cooked and absorbs and holds flavour well.

Here’s some key tips on making the perfect mash.

  • Use Agria or other high starch potatoes.
  • Generously salt your boiling water.
  • Add a clove of garlic to your boiling water, it will add flavour and softens like the potatoes when cooked and mashes into the potato well.
  • Use good heaped dessert spoon of butter and full fat milk to achieve a creamy texture.
  • Make sure you give your mash a good seasoning with salt and pepper before you serve.

Hope this helps.

8 Hour Slow Baked Potatoes


8 hour slow baked potato topped with the works.

8 hour slow baked potato topped with the works.

Cooked to Perfection

The potato which everyone secretly loves. A perfectly cooked potato, one that’s fluffy and melts in your mouth is really perfection. This is a recipe that I got from my mum. Something that you can put on before you head to work or even before you head to bed at night. They keep perfectly in the fridge for up to 5 days if they last that long. Wrapped in tin foil and slow baked in a handy slow cooker this is a perfect energy packed meal, perfect as a vegetarian dinner or topped with stews, slaws or anything you can imagine. Even better just simply split open and served with plain or flavored butter.

This is one recipe you don’t want to miss out on!!

8 hour slow baked potatoes with herb butter, crunchy slaw, chive sour cream and bacon crumb


8-10 medium size potatoes, agria are best
4 tbsp. plain or flavored butter
Crunchy Cabbage Slaw
1/2 cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
3 tbsp. Italian parsley, rough chop
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 lemon, juice and zest
salt and pepper
Bacon Crumb
4 streaky bacon rashes, baked until crunchy then rough chop
Chive Sour Cream
2 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
125 grams sour cream
salt and pepper


  1. Turn slow cooker onto low.
  2. Individually wrap each potato in tinfoil and place in the slow cooker. Cooker for 8 hours on low.
  3. Turn slow cooker to keep warm while you prepare slaw, bacon crumb and chive sour cream.
  4. Combine all slaw ingredients in a large bowl season with salt and pepper, set aside.
  5. Combine chives, sour cream and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
  6. Remove potatoes from slow cooker, cut a cross in the top and split open, place a spoonful of butter in the center, followed by a good helping of slaw and a large dollop of chive sour cream and finish with crunchy bacon crumb.
  7. Because there are a lot of baked potatoes you can have more than one or place remaining in the fridge and whip one out when your feeling hungry. These are great for an easy lunch during the week or an afternoon snack for the kids when they come home from school.

You can top them with whatever you like here’s a recipe for Beef, Bacon and Chickpea Stew with White Wine and Tomatoes that I topped a baked potato with, and it went down a treat!!

potatoes individually wrapped in tin foil.

Poataoes individually wrapped in tin foil.

Bacon ready to be baked.

Bacon ready to be baked.


End result a bloody good spud!!


Soul Packed Snack

Coriander Spiked Guacamole with Cajun Spiced Baked Wedges

Coriander and Lime spiked Guacamole with Cajun Oven Baked Potato wedges

Fresh quality ingredients used to create a flavour packed afternoon snack.  Smooth avocado with diced red onion and fresh coriander folded in with a hint of lime zest and a squeeze of tangy lime juice, served alongside slightly spiced Cajun oven baked wedges garnished with fresh coriander, spring onion and smoked paprika. Now that’s a perfect afternoon snack or starter to any meal.

I had an abundance of Avocados and Limes were so cheap this week at the fruit and vegetable grocer I couldn’t resist.

Fresh, Quality Ingredients

Guacamole in the Making


Season the Base of the Bowl

Ready to be Finsihes and Served

Oven Baked Cajun Wedges

Coriander and Lime Spiked Guacamole

Coriander Spiked Guacamole with Cajun Spiced Baked Wedges

Would you like the Recipe? Comment Below