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Heartwarming cottage pie

In this changeable weather it's good to have a back-up recipe for all extremes - a heatwave or a cold spell. In England we're always prepared for this kind of weather and a cottage pie is the perfect accompaniment when the skies turn grey. You've probaby got most of these ingredients in your cupboard already so it's nice and easy to prepare and guaranteed to warm you up - body and soul.


500g / 1lb lean beef mince

1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
200g / 8oz chestnut mushrooms, wiped and chopped
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water and chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato puree (or 2 tomatoes finely chopped)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp Marigold stock powder
500ml / 16 fl oz vegetable stock
salt and pepper
750g / 1.5lb potatoes and swede - peeled, cooked and mashed with
50g / 2oz butter
125ml / 4 fl oz milk


Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and mushrooms until soft.

Add the mince and cook until brown. Stir frequently to stop it catching.

Drain most of the oil from the pan before stirring in the flour. Cook until most of the remaining fat has been absorbed, then add the tomatoes (or puree), sun-dried tomatoes and the water they've soaked in, Worcestershire Sauce, stock powder and stock.

Stir well, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4-5, 180-190°C, 350-375°F. Place the filling into an oven-proof pie dish and spread the mashed potato and swede mix on top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown.


Serve with peas, carrots and steamed broccoli on the side.


You can serve Cottage Pie either in a large, family-sized pie dish, or more pub-like in individual pie dishes. - Fly at a Smile-Price