Cottage pie

Serves 5.

Step 1: Mince

  1. Dice the onion, carrot, and celery.
  2. Heat some (olive) oil in a large saucepana and add the diced veggies when hot.
  3. Crush the garlic and add it in.
  4. Add in the mince and fry until brown.
  5. Squeeze in some tomato puree and add some Worchestershire sauce.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over and stir it in. Also, if using stock cubes/power, crumble/sprinkle that in now too. Cook for another minute.
  7. Pour in a few glugs of red wine and use it to remove any fond from the bottom of the pan.
  8. If using liquid stock, pour that in. If you already added a stock cube, just pour in hot water.
  9. Add in the thyme and bay leaves. You can stir it in, it doesn't have to sit on the top.
  10. Leave it on medium heat, bubbling gently. If it's quite liquid, leave it uncovered so it can thicken a bit.

Step 2: Mash

  1. Fill a second saucepan with cold water.
  2. Peel the potatoes, placing them in the water.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins.
  4. Grate the cheese.
  5. Start pre-heating the oven to 200C fan.
  6. Spoon the mince into a dish and leave it to cool. This will make it easier to top with mash.
  7. Insert a paring knife into the potatoes. Once you no longer feel any resistance, drain the water and let the potatoes steam for a few mins in the saucepan.
  8. Add the milk and butter, and mash the potatoes.
  9. Spoon the mash onto the mince and make sure the surface is nice and craggly.
  10. Top with the cheese and bake in the oven until brown on top.