Friday, May 28, 2010

Cottage Pie or How to Use Up Old Root Veggies

Last night we had this dish that my husband and I both love for different reasons. He loves that at it's heart it is meat and potatoes with some veggies thrown in for color. I love that it is an excellent way to clean out the refrigerator. I discovered it when I needed to make a hearty dinner and we didn't have much in the house beyond our CSA share and a pound of ground beef. The original recipe is here, but I modified it quite a bit based on what we had in the house. Here is my version, hope you like it.

Cottage Pie

2c beef broth
1-2 lbs potatoes (red skin are best, but anything will work)
1 tbs. oil
1 bunch green onions, shallots, or a normal small onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped carrot
1/2 c. frozen green beans/peas/corn/other veggie
1 tsp. Worchestershire Sauce
1 pinch chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350. Chop up the potatoes and boil them in the broth. Meanwhile chop the green onions separating the white part from the green part. Heat the oil and saute the white part of the onion in the oil. When it is translucent add the ground beef. Brown the beef and then drain out most of the fat. You don't have to be super careful because a little won't hurt the flavor of this at all. When your potatoes are tender pour about half of the liquid into the pan with the beef (leave the other half in the pot) and add the veggies, Worchestershire sauce, chili flakes and salt and pepper to the beef mixture. Put the pan back on the stove over medium heat and let it get all warm and bubbly. Once it is bubbly pour it into a 2 qt. casserole dish. Meanwhile mash the potatoes with the other half of the broth. They should be like runny mashed potatoes. Stir in the green onions and put the whole thing in the casserole on top of the beef. Bake in the oven 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are starting to brown up nicely and everything is hot, bubbly and smelling amazing. Pull it out and let it cool a couple minutes so you don't burn yourself and you are done.

If you want to be fancy you can serve it with a green salad, but if it has been a busy day and you're tired don't feel bad serving it as is. You have your meat, veggie and carbs all in one dish. If you have extra veggies feel free to throw them in, the amounts I list are really the minimum. My favorite part of this dish, other than using up lots of stuff out of the fridge, is that if the baby wakes up or I suddenly need to do something right as it is finishing it can be left in a warm oven for quite a while and still be quite tasty.

Try it, I hope you like it as much as we do.


  1. Nice recipe. I call it "Shepherd's Pie"... same thing, though. I fell in love with this dish in England, but instead of beef it was made with lamb. It was delicious! Yum!

  2. I'm glad you like it. From what I've seen it is called Shepherd's Pie when it is made with lamb, but there is some debate as to whether it deserves the name when you make it with other meats. I call it "Cottage Pie" because that is what the recipe it was based off of called it. I had had it at a friend's house once and then made it myself for the first time when Kyle had been working late and we didn't really have anything else in the house, but I wanted a nice dinner anyway. Since then it has become a regular thing.