Thursday, September 09, 2010

English Cottage Pie with Ground Beef, Peas, and Carrots

Cottage Pie 1

Mmm. I love pie, whether it be the kind with a flaky crust or the kind with a mashed potato crust. And lil' sis loves mashed potatoes, whether it be from real potatoes or from a box. She even prefers gravy from a package. I know!

After washing the dishes and digging through my fridge to see what I had to use up, I realized that I had bought a bunch of food over the weekend to cook for lil' sis, except that she decided to leave early. Since I was feeling stir-crazy, I decided I would cook it all and surprise her that evening. I made Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes with gravy from a packet (I know!), Feta Cheeseburgers (or rather I did the meat mixture and figured I'd shape them into patties at her place), Macaroni and Cheese with Beef and Tomatoes, and this English Cottage Pie. I've always called it Shepherd's pie, but apparently that requires minced lamb. We, Americans, don't really differentiate though, but I do try to be accurate when I can.

Cottage Pie 2

English Cottage Pie with Ground Beef, Peas, and Carrots

For an 8x8-inch, or 9x6-inch pan, you'll need:
Mashed potatoes from about 3 or 4 potatoes
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 large carrot, small dice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tblsp flour

Optional: Paprika to sprinkle on top

Make the mashed potatoes. About three or four potatoes should be sufficient. Set aside.

I forgot to take photos of the sauteing of the onion, so I'll just borrow the image from my Spicy Mac and Cheese with Chicken recipe, not that you can't figure out how to saute an onion on your own. ;)

Spicy Macaroni and Cheese with Chicken 3

Add the ground beef and saute some more.

Cottage Pie 3

Sprinkle 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp thyme. Then add the carrots and peas. Stir until evenly mixed. Then sprinkle 2 tblsp flour on top. Stir again.

Cottage Pie 4

The flour will dissolve, but it'll help thicken up the meat mixture while baking and form a nice, light gravy.

Cottage Pie 5

Pour the meat and vegetable mixture into a pan.

Cottage Pie 6

Add the mashed potatoes on top.

Cottage Pie 7

Sprinkle some paprika if you'd like for color.

Cottage Pie 8

At this point, I covered the cottage pie and drove down to surprise lil' sis. I showed up around dinner time and Abby furiously barked at the door. Oldest nephew's childhood friend let me in and I popped up in the kitchen behind lil' sis.

"Are you hungry?" I asked.

To which, she squealed and quickly opened the various plastic containers and started digging in.

I took a fork and swirled some patterns into the cottage pie. Then baked it in the oven at 375 degrees for half an hour.

Cottage Pie 9

Oooh! Look at those lovely crunchy mashed potato peaks.

Cottage Pie 10

Oldest nephew came home just in time for freshly baked cottage pie.

Cottage Pie 11

"When can you move in?" oldest nephew asked. Ha!

That's why you're my favorite nephew, I told him.

No, he's not, lil' sis corrected. Second-youngest nephew is! Bwahaha!

But oldest nephew will be if I'm his favorite auntie! :)

Similar pies:
English Cottage Pie with Ground Beef and Mushrooms
Pate Chinois (Canadian "Chinese" Cottage Pie)

1 year ago today, Navajo frybread at Ted's Taco - Mancos - Colorado.
2 years ago today, no turtle doves, agapanthus, desert rose, gardenia, and jasmine.
3 years ago today, 1 of 7 random things about me meme: I hardly ever make my own nuoc mam cham (Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce).


  1. 1. i was soooooooo going to correct you and say that's it's SHEPHERD'S PIE but then you mentioned the minced lamb and well. yeah. we americans don't really differentiate. :)

    2. is there an application i can fill out to be your younger sister too? cus seriously, you're like the best Big Sister with all your cooking.

    3. this has nothing to do with your post but i just wanted to add: i'm super excited about your visit!

  2. Bah. I want some of that! I have to go make this asap!

  3. Oh yes, you mustn't call it shepherd's pie if it's not made with lamb mince.

    In a pub I asked for shepherd's pie and got the reply, "We don't have that today."
    Me: But what is she eating?
    Landlady: Cottage pie, love.
    Me: Can I have that, please?
    Landlady: Of course, love, but you do know it's made with beef mince instead of lamb?

    The British can be really difficult when you don't correctly name something ... i.e. if you're in Dorset, it's a Dorset cream tea and not a Devonshire cream tea, not unless you're in Devonshire, despite them all being tea with scones with jam and cream (and do you want clotted cream, love?).

  4. Lan,
    Shepherd = sheep = lamb. Umm, yeah, that only occurred to me recently too.

    You are my little sis too!

    I'm excited too! Can't wait to see what you have planned. It's more than a month away though!

    Did you make it? Right away? Some readers have been known to do that. Just sayin'

    I love that anecdote so much! Especially, how "authentic" it sounds with your use of love. :P And why can't you just ask for a cream tea? Oh I do miss clotted cream.

  5. I had Shepherd's Pie last night and it was soooo good but I wanted to make it myself and ta-da!

    I feel like the stars have aligned and led me to this blog or something. Ever since day 1 that I found this blog of yours.....I even remember that I cried as I was so moved by what I felt seeing and reading all the foods that were once just in my fingertips. I even emailed you about my sappy story (short version).

    There will be meat pie (psssh, Sherpherd's Pie or Cottage Pie or Minced Meat Pie....same thing)!

  6. Kitty,
    I liked that email! I only recently made the connection when you referred to Oklahoma in one of your comments. Otherwise, unless you tell me, if your blog name and your real name are different, I really have no idea who's who. It was actually nice when I realized who you were since so many people who email me rarely comment so I don't know if they're still reading.


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