Friday, April 20, 2007

Fish & Quips: Cottage Pie


I love English desserts. When I think of English food, it's not blandness that springs to mind (of course, Finnish cuisine is the only one inferior to the English, so my opinion shouldn't count for very much), but an abundance of hearty, unfussy sweets, laden with fruits and especially berries - take a look at summer pudding as a prime example. Not to mention trifles, and fools, and crumbles. (I've even tried to make my own clotted cream, with, erm, interesting results.) Oh, and custards. Homemade custard is so good... In fact, I think I've solved my what about Sunday's dessert problem, or rather, replaced it with its opposite: how to choose from all of those...

Cottage Pie

With all this love for English desserts, it may be a bit of a surprise that the dish I'm presenting for the English food isn't a joke-event, hosted by Sam of Becks & Posh, is a savory one, and it's not even an English breakfast (mmm, fried tomatoes and rashers and eggs and baked beans). And there's nothing funny about cottage pie other than the name - that the lamb version is a shepherd's pie is quite understandable, if you overlook the fact that it is in fact not the least pie-like, but rather a casserole. A layer-deficient casserole. But what's so cottage-y about beef mince?

Cottage Pie

Anyway, we all know how I like my casseroles, and the weather is obliging me by being very English (pouring rain and 10°C), so we're going to tuck into this hearty and comforting dish RIGHT NOW.

Cottage Pie

I don't really have a recipe for you: I made a mince sauce out of finely chopped onions, celery and carrots, half a package of bacon and about 800 g of minced beef, a can of crushed tomatoes and a squeeze of tomato puree, a bay leaf, some beef stock, and salt and pepper. (I let the sauce simmer gently for about half an hour, while preparing the mash topping and heating the oven.)

Then made a mash out of four medium-large potatoes and two parsnips by boiling them, peeled and cut into chunks, in salted water and mashing them together with an, ahem, generous amount of butter and some finely grated cheddar (not exactly kosher, but good), seasoning with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg.

Transferred the meat sauce to a large ovenproof casserole (plus some portion-sized ones) and topped with the mashed root veg, dotted the whole thing with butter, and baked at 175°C until it got a nice color, about 45 minutes.

And, erm. If you fill your baking dishes very full, make sure to have a piece of foil or something at the bottom of your oven catching drips.

Just saying.

12 comments:

oliivia said...

Yum, yum and yum... After reading your post I'll have to make either one of the two pies again, soon! I've always wondered about the pie in the name; I mean, REALLY, the thing has not one thing common with any pie?! Maybe someone out there can shed a litte light on the etymology of the name of this dish...?

Village Vegan said...

That looks scrummy indeed! I think today it's a bit to warm to bake something like that, but I can't wait to try a (vegetarian) version of cottage pie soon. Mmm.

Sam said...

Hi there - I am popping by to thank you so much for your beautiful entry and for helping me prove English food is not a joke. The village vegan might be interested to note there is a vegetarian version called Red Dragon Pie". I used to make it with aduki beans.

Cheers,

Sam

Ivonne said...

What an incredible dish and photo! I love your blog. Very well done!

deinin said...

Oliivia, it's always puzzled me, too. But then, as long as it's good I don't suppose it matters very much what it's called.

Village Vegan - definitely a recipe for a cold and rainy day, this. I was just thinking that it might be worth trying with some sort of eggplant concoction. Of course that would be a bit carb-heavy, but probably yummy. Or beans, like Sam suggests.

Sam, thanks for organizing this! I'll look forward to looking through all the entries.

Ivonne - thank you!

Homesick Texan said...

I've never understood why they're called pies either, but it doesn't matter because it looks so delicious! Yum!

Mookomatic said...

I wonder if it's called a 'cottage pie' because its meant to evoke images of rural country life on the cottage? I guess it's the kind of food more normal people working in the countryside would have eaten to use up their leftover cooked meat.

Just a guess....

But as a Brit I find it's still hard to get a decent version of this pie even in the UK - the only resort is to make it yourself!

Health News said...

I really appreciate the blog since the first time do I saw it. Now they have reached another milestone which lead us to report about it, and I think it's a great new... as the content of the text.

Ideas de negocios said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me

price per head call center said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with us. You have made some valuable points which are very useful for all readers

rickson denature said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, but I am firmly convinced of this and love to learn more about the subject. If possible, acquire knowledge, would you update your blog with more information? It is very helpful to me
artikel obat kutil pada kelamin
penyebab kutil di kemaluan wanita
cara menghilangkan kutil pada kemaluan pria
apakah penderita sifilis bisa sembuh
obat untuk gejala wasir
kutil pada kemaluan laki-laki
obat kanker usus
obat kanker payudara tradisional
obat kanker kandung kemih
penyakit sifilis bagi wanita
cara obat tradisional penyakit sifilis
obat herbal mujarab untuk sipilis
obat wasir cara alami
obat wasir berdarah herbal
obat wasir cepat sembuh

sigit denature said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with us. You have made some valuable points which are very useful for all readers
obat kanker ampuh
obat kanker usus besar dan rektal
obat kanker lambung
obat ampuh keluar nanah
keluar nanah pada kemaluan pria
keluar nanah pada kemaluan wanita
kumpulan obat kutil di kelamin
cara menghilangkan kutil di selangkangan
mengenal penyakit kutil kelamin
pengobatan ambeien
pencegahan ambeien
obat wasir dan pengertian nya
pengobatan sifilis atau raja singa
obat sipilis pria
penyakit sifilis bagi wanita