2 Oct 2013

Cottage Pie with Roasted Vine Cherry Tomatoes - Recipe

Comfort food
Easy midweek family meals, made from a few quality ingredients, inexpensive and cooked from scratch - that's why we love cottage pie.

I'm a bit of a cheat when it comes to chopping vegetables into small pieces and use my trusted kitchen gadget. I like the way it effortlessly cuts the vegetables into precise cubes - it doesn't take much to please me. I thought it would be one of those gadgets which remained at the back of the cupboard collecting dust but it does get used on a fairly regular basis. My knife skills aren't the best and when I went on a course at the local college the lecturer always said I cut vegetables like a housewife which used to make me laugh, although he did have a point!

You will need:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
750g lean mince beef
2 tsp plain flour
300ml beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves

For the potato topping:

750g potatoes
30g butter
Vine cherry tomatoes

1. Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. To a large pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the vegetables until the onion becomes translucent and the vegetables begin to soften. Add the mince beef and cook for 5 minutes, add the tomato puree and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring to break up the mince.
2. Stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes, add the stock, Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes. Pour into a large casserole dish and cool.
3. Cook the potatoes, drain, add the butter to the pan and mash until smooth. Season.
4. Place dollops of potato onto the mince mixture and spread out to the edges. Place the vine cherry tomatoes on top.
5. Preheat the oven to 180oC and cook for 30 minutes until bubbling and brown.