Comforting Double-Potato Cottage Pie

It’s a really cold and wet last day of the year. Super rainy days like today are when I crave something warm and comforting to eat.

Cottage Pie Slice

And nothing, perhaps, is more comforting than a nice steaming plate full of cottage pie.

Cottage pie is essentially a hearty meaty filling topped off with mashed potato. My cottage pie is a little special because I use both regular white and sweet potato. I think the double-potato mash tastes a lot more interesting than ordinary mash, and I’d like to think it’s healthier because of the sweet potatoes.

Other healthy substitutions include replacing half the butter for olive oil in the mash, and tossing in some chickpeas to add bulk to the filling.

 

INGREDIENTS

For the mash:
500g Russet potatoes
500g sweet potatoes
25g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp chives, chopped (or substitute with 1 tbsp onion powder)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, minced fine or crushed (opt.)

For the filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
500g minced chicken
1 (14 oz) can chickpeas (opt.)
2 heaped tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth (or 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 500 ml hot water)
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp thyme leaves

To sprinkle on top before baking:
Olive oil
Worcestershire sauce

Thyme leaves, to garnish

Serves 6-8 generously.

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks about 2″ across. Place the cut potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil until soft. (About 15 minutes.)

Boiling potatoes

Step 2: Place the butter in a large bowl so that the hot mash can melt it. Mash the potatoes into the bowl, using a masher, a ricer (which I have), or a large fork.

Ricing potatoes

Add the rest of the mash ingredients. Try your best to get fresh thyme (or whatever your favourite herb is) because it really makes a huge difference to your mash and pie. I included plenty of chives as well because I love that they taste like onion without giving you bad breath.

Herbs

Stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Set aside your finished mash.

Mashed potatoes

Step 3: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F).

Step 4: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, then saute the onions, carrots and celery for about 10 minutes with a pinch of salt. Toss in the garlic and continue sauteing for another 3 minutes. Add in the minced chicken and cook until all the meat is no longer raw.

Cooking chicken

Step 5: Sift in the flour and stir it in. Then, add in the chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. (You should get a nice moist filling, but if you do want more sauce, just add more water or stock.) Taste and adjust for seasoning before removing from the stove.

Step 6: In a large oven-proof dish, spread the cooked chicken filling over the bottom evenly.

Filling

Then spread the mashed potatoes over top. (Try and make swirly patterns in the mash so it looks more interesting.) Sprinkle some olive oil and Worcestershire sauce over the top of the pie.

Before baking

Bake the pie for 20 minutes just to brown the mash slightly and heat everything up. Garnish the pie with fresh thyme leaves and serve warm.

Cottage Pie

 

You can make and assemble this pie well in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just maybe add another 15 minutes to the baking time so that all the filling and mash can be heated up thoroughly.

And as with most of my recipes, this cottage pie is open to substitutions galore! Hate sweet potatoes? Just make a normal mash with Russet potatoes. Or if you want to completely low-carb, mash up boiled cauliflowers in place of the potatoes. Not quite the same as mashed potatoes, but a pretty good substitution still.

Replace chicken with beef if you’d like. Or replace all the meat with more veggies for a vegetarian variation. Whatever you please!

This substantial cottage pie was my last meal of 2012, and it made for a nice, filling family dinner. I hope you’ve had a great 2012, and see you very soon in the new year!



Leave a Reply