A while back I made a recipe for what I called Shepherd’s Pie. It is a scrumptious mixture of ground beef and vegetables in a light tomato-ish sauce, topped with mashed potatoes and baked. Perfect, easy comfort food. I wrote a little story about how I fell in love with shepherd’s pie. I even included a picture of a sheep, because I had one hanging around and it seemed like the perfect time to use it. I posted it up on the blog, and started reading the comments. (I love comments, by the way. Leave me comments!) Anyway, in addition to all the sweet things everyone said to me about the pictures and the recipe and the story, more than one person gently told me that I had not in fact made Shepherd’s Pie. I had made Cottage Pie.
Well, as it turns out, that’s exactly what I did. Apparently Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb, and Cottage Pie is made with beef. Which now made me feel bad about the whole sheep picture thing, because I was unwittingly including a really cute picture of the, um, ingredients. Oh dear.
So long story short, here is a recipe for Cottage Pie, which uses a topping of very thin-sliced potatoes instead of the mashed version…and while I am probably the world’s biggest fan of mashed potatoes, I actually LOVE this version. The filling is the usual mixture of ground beef, carrots and peas, and the whole thing is just as delectable as its incorrectly named predecessor.
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 large carrots, cut into ¾ inch pieces
- Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 cup dark beer
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 large russet potato, sliced very thin
- Preheat oven to 400. In large skillet, heat one tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper and add tomato paste.
- Add meat and cook for 3 minutes, breaking up with wooden spoon. Add thyme and beer and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over top and stir. Add 1 cup of water and cook until slightly thickened, another two minutes. Stir in peas and then season to taste.
- Transfer to baking dish and top with overlapping potato slices. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are browned at the edges, about 40-45 minutes. Cool ten minutes before serving.