Best food on a Winter’s Day…
My brother drove over for lunch today, an eighty mile round trip deserves a decent lunch in my opinion (Mother take note!) so today I knocked up a classic cottage pie served with a pile of fried savoy cabbage, curly kale, onions and pancetta.
You can’t go wrong with a decent pie, easy to make and even easier to cook they can house both the meat and the vegetables making life much easier. So what makes a decent cottage or shepherd’s Pie?
Well, good mince for starters, don’t go super cheap or you’ll end up spooning the grease off the top for ever. Onions, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. A touch of tomato puree, a rich gravy and you’re in like Flint. Carrots, peas, Lea & Perrins are all optional extras in my opinion but one thing must be achieved above all else…a crusty mashed potato topping.
Do not remove your cottage pie until the mash is nice and crusty, there should be a noticeable change in texture between the top and the bottom when you stick your serving spoon in it. If you must add cheese then add parmesan and gratinate. What you serve with it is up to you, I went for cabbage but mushy peas are a good alternative and embrace your peasant self with a jar of ketchup, mustard or brown sauce. It’s winter, who cares?