When it comes to crowd-pleasing family dinners, you can't beat cottage pie. Make the mash with our favourite potatoes at the moment - Dutch Creams, and serve with lovely green peas for the full British experience.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1¼kg beef mince
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- large glass red wine (optional)
- 850ml beef stock
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- few thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
DUTCH CREAM POTATOES MASH
- 1.8kg potatoes, chopped
- 225ml milk
- 25g butter
- 200g strong cheddar, grated
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned
- Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins.
- Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly
- Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
- Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.
- Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.