A Cottage Pie
The warmth from my oven spills into the living room…not hard to do as this is a cottage. After I let my four legged companions outside and breathe in the damp cool morning air, I come back inside….cinnamon, sugar, butter…my house smells happy!
In a bit, my wood woman is coming to deliver another cord of wood…warmth for the winter…and Angel is coming to help move and stack it. Over cups of coffee and pieces of pie, she has become such a good friend.
Then on to the day’s baking. Today it will be something to mark the change of season…a cottage pie…something warm and comforting as the days grow shorter and the nights longer. The savory taste of fall—I look forward to this time like a visit with an old friend…picking up threads of conversations and needles for knitting.
Stay warm my friends!
- 1.5 pounds ground beef
- 2 teaspoons thyme (dry is just fine---or 1 tablespoon fresh leaves)
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 2 gratings nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped small
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 2.5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup stock (vegetable, beef, or chicken)
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper
- Heat up a big frying pan over medium high heat and add the meat and seasonings and cook until the meat no longer looks pink. You can break it up a bit as you are cooking it.
- Add the vegetables and cook for 5-7 minutes longer.
- Stir in the tomato paste and stir and cook for a few minutes more.
- Add the stock, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- In another pot, cover the potatoes with water, plus 1 teaspoon salt and boil until they are tender about 20 minutes. Drain well and put them back into the pot with the butter and 2/3 cup of the cheese, and thyme.
- Mash until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Spoon the meat mixture into a deep dish pie pan or a large baking dish. Cover with the potato mixture and sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese over the top.
- Bake for another 30 minutes.