The first signs of fall are appearing - Starbucks is now serving their signature pumpkin spice latte, the leaves are turning from verdant green to golden yellow and some of you might have experienced your first chilly night. Comfort foods will begin working their way into our recipe rotation and this 30 minute cottage pie is a crowd pleaser. This is also a great freezer meal that you can prepare in advance and save for another day. I love this recipe because its quick and accessible, most of the ingredients are currently in your pantry or readily available.
30 Minute Cottage Pie
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 fat)
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Fill a small saucepan with water and add the potatoes. Heat the pan over medium high heat and cook until fork tender. Once cooked, drain the liquid and add potatoes back to the pan. Begin smashing the potatoes using a potato smasher. Add butter, salt and pepper. Mixture should lumpy but cohesive. Set aside.
Step 3: Meanwhile, add a tablespoon of oil to a saute pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Push the ground meat to the outsides of the pan and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook the onion, garlic and carrot until fragrant, about a minute. Mix the vegetables with the meat and continue cooking for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to the pan, scraping the brown bits from the bottom. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the peas and mix until combined. Taste mixture and adjust seasoning as necessary.
Step 4: Pour the meat mixture into a baking pan. Top with mashed potatoes and spread over the top evenly. Bake the cottage pie for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly before serving.