RECIPES & STORIES
"It's the Simple things in Life"
Serves 4 adults and 4 kids
This family heirloom pie recipe was passed down from my husband Steve’s grandmother, Lulu, who lived in Portsmouth, England. Steve grew up with this dish and our family still enjoys it today. Thanks to his mum June, who sent this recipe* to me, I am able to prepare it for our family and share with you. I love this dish for a number of reasons. While it’s satisfying for the adults and older kids, it’s also great for little kids who are just learning to handle a spoon. Everything in the dish is bite size and the sticky nature of mashed potatoes allows the children to have the satisfaction of feeding themselves - with the added bonus that more of the meal ends up in their mouths than on the floor!
Because this dish can be prepared ahead of time, and also frozen and saved for future meals, it's great for busy parents.
Cottage Pie is the perfect bake for spontaneous gathering of friends and family at the house and you can serve this nourishing home made, family style meal and still be a part of the party.
Just pop the pie in the oven as guests arrive and enjoy a glass a wine with them as you catch up. Simple dimple!
6 medium sized potatoes or 4 cups diced into ½ inch cubes
1 ounce of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of salt
4 ounces of sharp grated cheddar cheese
6 cherry tomatoes
1lb ground beef or 1 pound frozen corn (if making a vegetarian dish)
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 finely chopped onions
1 – 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes *
1 pound of mixed frozen veggies (peas, carrots, cauliflower)
2 Massel Stock Cubes*
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of sea salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
½ teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
To make the mashed potatoes: bring 8 cups of water to a boil and throw in the diced potatoes. Bring back to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Reserve 1 cup of water from the boiled potatoes and set aside. Add to the drained potatoes salt, butter, and reserved water (if needed) and mash together. Set aside to cool while you prepare the pie filling.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium fry or skillet pan, heat olive oil over med/hight heat and saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and golden in color; about 10 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, boil up some water and dissolved the stock cubes in half a cup of boiling water. Add the ground beef to the pan of stir-fried onions and cook until the meat browns. Once the meat is cooked through, add the stock, mixed frozen veggies, a can of diced tomatoes and seasoning; garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and Herbs de Provence. Bring pan to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer pie filling to ovenproof 13 inch x 9-inch dish. Allow the pie filling to cool for 10 minutes.
With a spatula or spoon spread the Mashed Potato Topping evenly over the top of the pie filling, sprinkle with grated cheese, paprika and decorate each corner of the pie with three halved cherry tomatoes, creating a three petal flower effect.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and allow the pie to rest for 5 minutes before bringing it to the table.
A side salad would go well with this pie, but because there are already a lot of veggies in the pie filling, it’s really not necessary.
The simplest and easiest dessert to follow this meal up with is simple vanilla ice cream with berries.
Mario Batali, who grew up in a family that highly valued their time to eat together, beautifully stated in "Molto Mario, Simple Family Meals"; 'Eating together makes you confident and responsible-'. He believes his discipline as a child to be dressed for dinner, ready and seated at the table with his family, helped him appreciate the gifts of cooking and the joy of sharing food together. Mario’s spectacular success in the world of cooking is a testament to the power of these family traditions.
I’m so happy to share our family recipe for this home cooked meal. I hope it will help make entertaining and eating together a little bit easier and a lot more fun for you in this fast paced world.
As the Brits say, "CHEERS!"
*If you prefer your tomatoes to come in a glass jar, you can substitute one can of diced tomatoes for 2 cups of Bionature Organic Strained Tomatoes.
* I have tweaked the original recipe slightly by substituting 2 freshly grate carrots and 1 pound of frozen peas for 1 pound of mixed frozen veggies, which includes the carrots and the peas. As a busy mom it makes my life really easy to have this one pack of veggies in the freezer, ready to be used in this recipe.