So, after looking at lots of other recipes I realised none of them remotely represented how I would make a cottage pie. When cooking a recipe I tend to just take out the things I don’t like, and all my recipes were quite bare in ingredients to begin with. You can alter this and add more vegetables or take out things you don’t like / substitute. But the filling is a basic recipe for those wanting some inspiration. Others may like different things, please let me know what are your suggestions, and then I can try them. I calculated the cost and it was around £6.70. This meal would serve between 5-8 people (depending on portion sizes) and if you put it with a side. I recommend a salad or chips as an accompaniment in order to help it go further and for diversity. But again, each to their own.
For the topping
200g sweet potato
Cracked black pepper (optional)
A splash of milk (optional)
30g butter (optional, just a small spoonful)
For the Filling
500g extra lean beef mince (Can use quorn/fattier meat, break up as you put in pan)
2 onions (I used two white, but you can have one red and one white or whatever you prefer/have lying around)
1 Carrot (Topped, tailed and peeled; to be grated into the pan)
100g mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1 oxo cube/beef stock
1 can (400g roughly) baked beans
1 can (400g roughly) chopped tomatoes
Handful of Porridge Oats
2 garlic cloves or 1tsp lazy garlic
Squirt of tomato Ketchup
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
A over proof dish to put the pie (Or lots of little ones)
A pan to boil the potatoes
A pan to cook the filling in
A silicone spoon / wooden (depending on your preference)
A masher, a knife and a peeler, grater, chopping board
Peel the sweet potatoe(s) and the potatoes and then chop them into roughly the same sizes. Then place them in a pan of boiling water and leave to simmer away happily for 35-40 minutes. (You need the water to cover the potatoes just)
Meanwhile, cut your onions into small pieces (Or bigger if you prefer). Then place the pan onto a medium heat and spray with FryLight (or oil). Place the onions in the pan, and let them cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they start to brown. Then add the beef mince, making sure to break it up as you put it in. Add the porridge oats now, making sure to stir them into the mince as they soak up the flavour. At this point you can add garlic, or in my case, lazy garlic and then leave it to cook, stirring occasionally until the mince is browned.
While the mince is cooking, chop the mushrooms and top/tail the carrot and grate the sides. Add the oxo cube at this stage or if using beef stock later when adding the chopped tomatoes. Once the mince is nearly browned, add the mushrooms and grater in the carrot. Stir in and leave for 1-2 minutes then add the chopped tomatoes. At this point you can add the squirt of tomato ketchup and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. As an optional extra you can add herbs such as mixed herbs, or basil to taste. Stir in all the above, then add the baked beans and mix in.
The potato and sweet should hopefully be done by now. Tip: Try prodding one with a knife or fork and it allow easy entry, if not leave them for a little bit longer. Drain potatoes once cooked, and then add the splash of milk, knob of butter and start mashing with a potato masher. Once mashed add the cracked pepper and mix in.
Pour the filling into the baking dish then spoon on the mashed potatoes. Try using a fork to create a nice pattern and smooth out the mash all over the dish. (Optional extra: You can add cheese at this point to the top) Once happy with the dish you can put in the oven on Gas Mark 4 for 35-40 minutes (or until golden / the potato has some crisp to it) then take out and serve. Enjoy.
This dish can be frozen up to 3 months so if there is too much or any left feel free to pop it in the freezer. You can add peas as an extra health boost. This dish serves 5-8 people depending on if you serve with a side dish. I’d put either salad or chips as an accompaniment but your preferences may be different. You can vary it to taste or what you have in, but this how I made it on Friday. The cost of this was also I calculated to be about £6.00 with the mince costing £4.00 (so if you were to use cheaper meat/reduced/quorn/on offer mince) you could make it even cheaper.) So per person this is quite inexpensive.