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.
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. ;)
Add the ground beef and saute some more.
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.
The flour will dissolve, but it'll help thicken up the meat mixture while baking and form a nice, light gravy.
Pour the meat and vegetable mixture into a pan.
Add the mashed potatoes on top.
Sprinkle some paprika if you'd like for color.
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.
Oooh! Look at those lovely crunchy mashed potato peaks.
Oldest nephew came home just in time for freshly baked cottage pie.
"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! :)
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).