Special Recipe

NOSTALGIC COTTAGE PIE (PASTICCIO DI CARNE E VERDURE)

This is one of the many dishes my mom taught me when I was a kid.

Learning how to make cottage pie is easy, it really is, with this cottage pie recipe.

I love this dish and made this way I would absolutely put this on a bar menu in a fine dining establishment.

Head to toe warming, it is nostalgic, delicious, and hearty and very much a comfort food classic.

Perfect for those cooler days and a great way to use up leftovers.  

  • Yield:4 individual pies or one 8 inch pie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Oven: 350° F

INGREDIENTS:

For The Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 4 ounces / 113 grams butter
  • 4 ounces / 118 milliliters heavy cream
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked pepper

For The Filling

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons / 10 milliliters extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound / 454 grams chuck, coarse ground
  • 3 tablespoons / 18 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 cup / 237 milliliters chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound / 227 grams fresh peas
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cracked pepper

For The Pie

  • 2 to 3 pinches paprika

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 350° F / 175° C

For The Mashed Potatoes

  • Wash, peel, and cut the potatoes into approximately equal size pieces. As you are cutting the potatoes have a 3-quart pot standing by with about 2-inches of water in it.As you cut each potato put the pieces into the pot. This will prevent any oxidation. When you are finished adjust the water level so that it is just covering the potatoes by about an eighth of an inch or 3 millimeters. Season with kosher salt to taste.

 

  • Place the pot on the stove over medium heat. This will allow the water to come up to the boiling point slowly. The potatoes are done when they can be cut with little resistance. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow to rest for 4 to 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to steam off thereby reducing excess moisture.

 

  • While the potatoes are resting in the colander cut the butter into 8 or 9 pieces. It doesn’t really matter, you just want the pieces small enough so that it will melt quickly. Add the butter and cream to the pot you cooked the potatoes in and place over a medium-high flame. Agitate the pot to swirl the butter and cream. Once the butter is mostly melted remove from heat and add the potatoes back into the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir with a spoon to mash. Once the potatoes are mixed well and starting to mash whisk them vigorously just to completely mash them. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then set aside.

For The Filling

  1. Add the onion and olive oil to a medium saute pan or skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the ground beef and break it up the stir it around to coat. Cook until done.
  2. Add the flour and stir to create a roux with the oil in the pan. Slowly pour in the stock and stir to dissolve any lumps. keep stirring and bring to a full boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the peas and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

 

For The Pies

  1. Divide the filling between 4 individual pie pans, to about a half inch or one centimeter from the top edge. Divide the mashed potatoes over the pies and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the tops of the potatoes with a few pinches of paprika and some finely cracked pepper.
  2. Arrange the individual pies on a parchment lined sheet pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the tops of the pies are beginning to brown slightly and the filling is bubbly, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes, then serve. This pairs really nicely with a mixed green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and nice glass of Merlot.

 

 

Notes

Regarding peas, if you are using frozen peas add them before you add the flour and stock.

That way they thaw.

Then increase the heat to high and allow 4 or 5 minutes to boil off any excess water. Then add the flour and stock, and continue as directed.

 

 

 

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