This is really just a lazy cottage pie, the basic ingredients are the same, it’s just the execution that is slightly different. I use red skin potatoes but you could also use, butternut or sweet potato. If you have a pan that will go from the stove to the oven then make the dish straight into the pan it saves on cleaning up. The secret to the potato topping is a mixture of butter, salt, olive oil and crushed garlic you use to glaze them before baking.
Quick Fix Cottage Pie
Serves (In my house 2, base it on how much mince you would use per person)
– 1 large red onion, finely chopped
– 2 carrots, fine dice
– 500gms grass fed beef
– 2 tbs olive oil (4-6tbsp extra if you are using lean beef)
– 1 bay leaf
– 3-4 smallish sprigs thyme
– 150ml white wine (Beef/Veg stock if you don’t want wine)
– 1 can Italian plum tomatoes
– 1 tbsp tomato puree
– 2-3 red skin or general potato
Garlicky Potato Glaze
– 30gms butter
– 30mls olive oil
– 1 clove finely grated garlic
– 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C, I use the fan to help brown the potatoes quicker
Start by heating the olive oil in a heavy based pan. Once it is hot add the mince slowly so that the oil remains hot – scatter the mince don’t add one big piece. Don’t over stir the mince allow it to cook until it has developed some colour and gone brown, then turn it. Once the mince has been turned and begun to brown you can add the onions and carrot tot he mix. Allow the onions to cook till soften, now increase the heat and add the white wine. Allow the white wine to cook off before adding the roughly copped tomato and the bay leaf and thyme. You can add about 200mls water or stock at this point. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, before checking the liquid levels. The liquid should just cover the mince, this will result in a moist, but not watery result. Stir one last time. Remove from the stove.
Finely slice your potato into coin type shapes. Don’t go too thick, it will take too long to cook and the mince will dry out, or too thin, before the mince has cooked nicely the potato will start to break apart. About 0.5cm is about the right thickness. Layer the potato disks around the pan onto the hot mince, the disks should be resting on top of the mince and their top halves should be exposed and dry. In a bowl melt the butter then add the remaining ingredients to the glaze. Brush it onto the potato disks making sure to spread out all the garlic.
Bake in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes, the potatoes should be fork tender but crisp on top. If it dries out you can add more stock to it. If after 25-minutes your oven hasn’t browned it nicely, pop the grill on for a few minutes to finish it off.