It’s got wine, it’s got Worcestershire sauce, it’s got cheesy mash on top. Basically this cottage pie, has it all!
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1kg of good quality minced beef
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of plain flour
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
large glass red wine
500ml beef stock
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
For the mash
1.5kg of potatoes, peeled and chopped
200g cheddar cheese, grated
freshly grated nutmeg
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook, covered, on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs.
Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
Meanwhile, make the mashed potato. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220oC and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.