I am always on the outlook for a meal that is filling and tasty. One that will make more than one meal for my spousal unit and me. This may be because I live in the land of 10,000 hot dish recipes or just because I love leftovers on days I work. I don’t know for sure but I love one dish meals and I thought I would share this one with you today before the cool days are just a memory.
The original recipe comes from Elana Amsterdam and while it is called a Shepherd’s Pie when you bake it with hamburger and not lamb it is called a Cottage Pie in Britain. So for Chloe, my British research buddy we shall call this Cottage Pie. If you want the original “paleo” version go here. It is a lovely recipe that provided me the yummy ingredients to work with for my adaptation. Mine is more traditional and carby.
Cottage Pie ala Kris
- 1 medium onion
- 3 carrots
- 3-4 stalks of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 quart of homemade chicken bone broth
- 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
- 1 pound of pasture raised pork cottage-style bacon, diced small
- 2-3 pounds of organic Yukon Gold potatoes
- Butter, salt, pepper and cream to taste
Set your oven for 300 degrees if you have time to let it bake slowly otherwise 350 degrees. Cut the vegetables in to large chunks and add to your blender with the chicken broth. Blend until all the pieces are in small chunks. You may need to add additional water and/or broth to make it work.
Pour that mixture in a 9×13 glass baking pan and to it add the uncooked ground beef. Mix it together with your fingers until the beef is thoroughly blended in to the vegetables and broth. Add salt and pepper to taste (I add 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt and about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper).
In another glass baking pan put the diced bacon and place both pans in the oven at low heat. Check the bacon in an hour and if it is browned nicely, and the fat is rendered, remove and drain the fat to use for sauteing other goodies. Drain the bacon on paper towels and then place in the pan with the hamburger and vegetables.
Meanwhile, put the whole potatoes in water and bring to a boil, cooking until they are easily pierced with a fork. As soon as they are cool enough to handle peel the skins off and mash the potatoes with a tablespoon or two of butter and some cream. If you want to shorten the potato cooking time peel and dice the whole lot, cook for 20 minutes and then mash with butter and cream.
In the meantime your hamburger, bacon and veggies have been simmering away in the oven. This allows for fabulous flavor development and it all melds very nicely. You have to be watchful as eventually the juice will all have cooked down and you want just a little liquid left when you add the mashed potatoes to the top. I often let it bake at low temperatures all afternoon checking it occasionally to see how it is doing. When you think it is done you can pull it out of the oven and keep covered until ready to eat.
As soon as there is just a little juiciness left pull it out of the oven, mixing it thoroughly with a spoon and distributing ingredients evenly. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading to cover the top and when you are about 45 minutes from meal time put it back in a 350 degree oven and warm it through. This will gently brown the topping and the hamburger/veggie mix will be bubbling hot. Remove from oven and let it cool for a few minutes before you cut and serve it.
Traditionally, Cottage Pie or Shepherd’s Pie is served with green peas and the color combination is nice. That said there is nothing particularly traditional about this recipe, so enjoy it with any green vegetable you and your family enjoy.