Student Cooking: Easy Cottage / Shepherd’s Pie

preparing food

As part of a new series, I’ll be showing you how to make some quick and simple meals with a new recipe each month,giving you step-by-step guides on how to cook anything from a simple homemade dish to something more exotic.

This month it’s the Cottage Pie, hearty and British (just like me), and is full of Midlands charm; packed with flavour with lashings of gravy!

People often ask me, what’s the difference between a Shepherd’s Pie and a Cottage Pie?
Well, the answer is quite clever, yet so simple. Shepard’s watch their flock of sheep, so a Shepherd’s Pie is made of lamb, Cottage Pie is beef, because well, you eat it in a cottage…

Cottage-PieEasy Cottage / Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: EASY!
Cost per serving: £1.20 or less

All prices taken from Tesco

500g of fresh minced beef, or lamb
£2/£3 approx.

Colman’s Cottage/Shepherd’s Pie mix
50p per sachet

1 chopped onion
16p (loose, per onion)

1 to 2 diced carrots
16p (loose)

Around 4-5 potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into halves
White potatoes £2 for large bag. Alternatively use baking potatoes at £1 for four and cut into quarters.

300 ml (1/2 pint) of cold water
Vegetable Oil

1. Peel, chop or dice potatoes, onions and carrots. Place potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water, and leave to boil on around gas mark 3/4 for 20 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees / gas mark 4.

2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling heat oil in a frying pan and cook the minced beef until brown.

3. Once browned, add the onions and carrots to the pan and cook until brown / soft.

4. Add the sauce packet to the frying pan, with 300ml of cold water, stir and leave until thick like gravy.

5. Drain potatoes when they are soft, and mash them using a dollop of butter and a splash of milk.

6. Now that the mince, onions and carrots are thick in the gravy mixture, spoon this into an oven dish, spreading evenly.

7. Top the mince with mash to cover the mince completely, and run a fork over the mash to create ‘bumps’ in the mash, to look a bit like a farmer’s field!

8. Place on the middle shelf of the oven for around 20-25 minutes or until the mash is crispy and golden brown.

Made too much? Simple! Just allow the Shepherd’s pie to cool, then place in your freezer. To re-heat, place in oven at 160 degrees for around 30 minutes, or until piping hot.


Ryan Johns

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