Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's for Dinner?

I'd already served one very hungry male, when I realised I hadn't taken a photo!

Even though the weather is unbelievably hot at the moment, I decided to make one of my husband’s favourite meals for dinner: Cottage Pie. This is a dish consisting of minced beef flavoured with vegetables, covered with mashed potato and baked. Sometimes referred to as shepherd's pie; this is more properly made with minced lamb or mutton. I’ve been making this dish for over forty years so, wanting to make something different, I looked up the recipe on the Internet. I normally only add garlic and onions when I brown the meat. Today I added carrots, tomato paste and some chopped sweet red peppers. I also sprinkled a little Cheddar cheese on top of the potato. Following the steps below turned an age-old recipe into a really memorable repast.

Cottage pie ( pie)

15 ml olive oil 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
500 g extra-lean beef or ostrich mince
3 large carrots, peeled and grated
10 ml tomato paste
15 ml beef-stock powder
100 ml water
10 ml Worcestershire sauce
5 ml sugar
2 whole chillies
80 ml chopped fresh parsley
450 g topping: large potatoes, cut into chunks
45 ml fat milk
30 ml chicken or vegetable stock
5 ml salt
5 ml pepper

Method: (Meat filling)
Heat olive oil in a pot.
Add garlic and onion, and stir-fry for a minute or two.
Add mince, stir constantly and allow to brown.
Add carrots and toss to mix well.
Stir in remaining ingredients except herbs.

Bring to the boil.


Boil potatoes until soft.
Drain and mash with milk and stock to achieve desired consistency.
Season well.
Spoon mashed potato onto mince mixture. (This is slightly easier to do if the mince has cooled a bit)
Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake in preheated 180°C oven for about 20 minutes.
Grill to brown if necessary.

Serve with rice, steamed vegetables and salad.
Note: I sprinkled a little grated Cheddar cheese on top of the potato before browning it.


  1. Oh yum! What a perfect cold weather dish! It's not too hot here to enjoy such a lovely casserole.

  2. Yum!

    This looks like something I could fix and leave in the fridge for Bill to heat before I get home from work.


  3. ehmm...ostrich mince?! I am still laughing at the idea of walking in to my local butcher and asking for that!
    Cottage or Shepherd's pie is also a staple here, real comfort food in the winter.I also add any leftover cooked veg to the mix and sometimes add some mashed parsnip to the potatoe for a different taste.

  4. Dedene, this dish would warm you from the inside out! Hugs Jo

  5. Definitely Jeanne, it keeps very well. In fact, my husband always eats it the day after on toast or with fresh vegetables. Hugs Jo

  6. Oh Peggy, LOL. I forget, Ostrich and other game (venison) is very popular in South Africa. And very healthy. I feel quite sad when I see herds of ostriches in the paddocks down the Cape. BTW my husband will NOT eat ostrich meat; he had the minced beef variety. Mmm I like the idea of adding parsnips to the potato. That vegetable is not too availbable in South Africa. I remember eating it in West Africa. Will have to hunt it down; possibly find it at Woolworths! Thanks for popping in Hugs Jo


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