November 11, 2010

Cottage Pie

Looks a little soupy...

So apparently I have a problem reducing sauces properly (see this disaster) as my cottage pie was definitely not the proper cottage pie/shepherd's pie consistency.

This recipe is from the November 2010 issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food (which Marshal Mike calls a comic book because of its tiny size). And here's a fun fact that Martha taught me - did you know that a traditional shepherd's pie is made with lamb and a cottage pie is made with ground beef? I certainly didn't. But because Martha Stewart said it, it must be the truth.

So honestly the best thing about this dish is I got to break out my mandoline (thanks, UNF!) to slice the potato. So fun!

I will include the recipe below because I can't find it online and you will see that it has you add a cup of water near the end. When I make this again, I think I will try only adding 1/2 cup or so, because not only was the resulting dish soupy, I felt like the flavor was diluted, too. Although MM and his cousin, Tom, had no problems going back for seconds. The crispy potatoes, while not helpful at all at mopping up juices, were delicious!

Cottage Pie
From Everyday Food
I just noticed that the recipe says it serves 6 - that is totally not true. Maybe 6 dieting girls, but definitely not 6 normal people. There were 3 of us and we had one leftover portion.
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 1/4 hours

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
2 large carrots, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste (I would be tempted to up this amount)
1 pound ground beef or lamb
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup dark (porter) beer (I had a hard time finding a porter beer and ended up with Kona Pipeline Porter and it really surprised me! It was delicious!)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 large russet potato (3/4 pound), very thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Add meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 3 minutes. Add thyme and beer and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 cup water and cook until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with potatoes, overlapping slices. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until potatoes are browned around the edges and tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. (To store, let cool completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate, up to 3 days. Reheat, covered, in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.)

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