This is a basic recipe for a modern version of cottage pie. Many variations are possible depending on the meat used and what you have leftover and on hand. This version uses frozen beef. It seemed a good choice for dinner yesterday since winter is still around.
Pies containing meats were well known in Europe during the Middle Ages. A variety of meats were used including mutton, beef, prok, game, fish and poultry. Combinations of meats with game and small birds tucked in around the main meat were common. Hard boiled eggs, and nuts were often added. Fruits such as dates, raisins, and apples were added as well as cloves, cinnamon, ginger and other spices.
During the 18th Century a meat pie topped with potatoes instead of pastry became popular and was often called cottage pie. It made use of leftover meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy. Many people call any type of meat pie shepherd’s pie but cottage pie is usually topped with potatoes..
This recipe makes enough to feed four to six. It can be a complete meal or serve it with bread and a salad.
- ½ pound or more ground beef
- ¼ cup of diced onion
- 2 cups of water
- 2 teaspoons of beef bouillon
- 1 cup or more of vegetables, mixed
- 1 can of condensed tomato soup
- 3 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce or more
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- Mashed potatoes mixed with 1 egg
Heat the 2 cups of water in a large pot and add the beef. If frozen cook until thawed enough to cut up. If using leftover hamburgers or other beef chop and add. Ifr using raw hamburger crumble it into the water and boil until it is done. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper. Add the beef bouillon, onion and vegetables. Stir in the tomato soup and add more water if needed. Stir in the butter. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or more. You want a thick mixture.
If you have no leftover mashed potatoes, mix a 2 or 3 serving portion of instant mashed potatoes as directed on the package, use less water than called for. Add no milk. When the potatoes are cool mix in 1 or 2 beaten eggs. If using leftover mashed potatoes mix the eggs into them.
If the meat mixture seems too thin thicken it with a few tablespoons of flour in a small amount of cool water. Stir into the meat and vegetable mixture and cook until as thick as you want.
Pour or spoon the meat and vegetable mixture into a casserole dish or rectangular baking pan. Top evenly with the potatoes. Drop the potatoes by spoonfuls or spread over the top of the mixture.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until hot and the potatoes are lightly browned. Cool a few minutes before serving.
The amounts can be doubled.
Use leftover cooked vegetables or frozen. Carrots, celery, peas, corn, green beans, or almost any type of vegetable is good in this recipe.
If the meat is pork, tuna or chicken use a can of cream of mushroom soup instead of the tomato soup. Use chicken bouillon.
Left over boiled potatoes can be used. Peel, slice and layer them on top of the meat mixture. Dot with butter. Add cheese the last few minutes and bake until it melts.
Experiment with ingredients and seasonings. I thought about adding some cloves and nutmeg to this but thought my better half might not feel like his dinner being a lab experient.