20 March 2009

Cottage Pie

I had 1/2 a bowl of leftover mince beef from dinner cooked the night before. It was mince beef with onions, corn kernels with a soy base marinade. A quick meal where I literally took what was available in my pantry and fridge and threw it together as a dish to have with some steam rice.

Looking at that bowl of beef just a moment ago, I didn't really want to reheat it up and have it again just like that. The one thing I did think of, was to turn that beef into a Shepherd's pie. Well... Shepherd's pie was originally made with leftovers... isn't it ?? Actually since I'm using beef.. technically it would be called a 'cottage pie'.. (quickly adjusts title).

I wasn't too sure how the bowl of mince beef .. which has a distinct Asian marinade .. would work within a westernised dish of shepherd's pie. Well... there's only one way to find out.. :)

Shepherd's Pie Cottage Pie


  • 700g of minced beef (in my case.. last night's leftovers, which happen to have corn kernnels)
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped in ~1cm cubes)
  • 1 brown onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 can of tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried herbs ... I had some Thyme available
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas (defrosted & rehydrated with water)

  • 3-4 large potatoes - suitable for making mash (skin removed, quartered)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg yoke (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cheese - enough to cover the top (i used a mixture of Parmesan and cheddar)

In a dutch oven pot, add olive oil then garlic, onions and carrots. Once the onions start to brown, add in the beef. As mine was already cooked beef from the fridge, I just had to let it re-heat up. If using raw beef, stir the contents around until the beef has browned. Add in the can tomatoes, beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season generously with salt & pepper. I also added in about 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 30 mins.

Meanwhile, in large saucepan bring some water with about 1 tablespoon of salt to boil. Add in the potatoes and let the potatoes cook for about 20 mins. Drain the potatoes and mash with some milk and butter. I added an egg yoke in, cause I found it actually did make my mash potatoes taste a bit more creamier (ie. not so powdery) and also because I had quite a few leftover in my fridge (the casualties of my last souffle expedition).

Pour the beef base into a deep dish, then top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with cheese. Place in an preheated oven of about 180C, and cook until the cheese has melted and the tops start to brown. This should take about 15 mins. Serve as is, or with some fresh green leafy salad.

For the record, this actually turned out pretty tasty. P couldn't tell at all I had used left over beef, which had been from an Asian dish for the pie. :)


  1. what do you mean, "...literally...threw it together..." ? Doesn't make sense at all. Sad, really. Far too many people use "literally" and have no idea of its use. Calls into question the rest of your "writing".

  2. Hi Dizzy5...  apologies if my post has offended you in anyway..  However, I would just like to say that this "writing" is a journal of my cooking experiences and is also my online recipe repository.  I'm not writing for the  Miles Franklin Award, or any other literary prize.

    In my post (which is now over 2 yrs ago).. i wanted to convey that i had took everything that was leftover in my fridge and pantry and made a meal out of it.  In a literal sense though.  Which in some ways was true, as i had gathered all the different kinds of leftovers I had, put it into a pan and stir-fried it all together.  

    I would also like to add that from a google search on the definition of the word 'literally' came back with the following results:

    1) In a literal manner or sense; exactly: "the driver took it literally when asked to go straight over the traffic circle".
    2) Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.

    Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have in regards to my recipes or posts.

    btw.. please don't take my reply too personally or literally :)


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