Cottage Pie

The weather forecast was 80 degrees and slightly overcast. It was supposed to be warm and a little humid (standard spring/summer weather in DC). It was a little chilly when I left the house in the morning for work, but I opted for light trousers a thin blouse and a light sweater.

And then it never got warmer than 55 degrees...and it rained all day. You lied weatherman! You lied to me!

I thought we were long past casserole/curry/soup season and long into salad and grilling season. And then my 55 degree afternoon made me want to come home and make a big, warm casserole. One of my favorite casseroles is cottage pie because it's tasty, cheap, and uses leftover mashed potatoes. I only make it when we have leftover mashed potatoes and it's always a hit with my husband (mostly because I rarely make mashed potatoes, so we don't have this all that often.)

Not sure if it's still cold enough for this dish where you are, but next time there's a little chill in the air and you have some leftover potatoes, go ahead and make this

  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • a couple tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme and rosemary
  • a handful of frozen peas and corn
  • leftover mashed potatoes (mine had cheddar cheese mixed in already because they were for perogi filling)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Brown ground meat until cooked through. Drain well (rinse if need if there is lots of fat) and move to a bowl.
  2. Sautee the vegetables in the same pan until they are tender. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute until the paste begins to brown.
  3. Add the ground beef back to the pan with some flour. Stir everything together and add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid thickens
  4. Add peas and corn and adjust seasoning to taste. Pour meat into a large glass pan and top with mashed potatoes (you can pipe it or you can spoon it evenly over the whole surface)
  5. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until the filling start to bubble up around the edges. If desired, stick it under the broiler for 5 minutes to get better color.