This weeks recipe is a doozy. I’m really craving ‘comfort food’ now the Melbourne winter is creeping it’s way in. The sort of food you’d see on the menu of a good ol’ fashioned English pub. I do miss some of the London pubs. Two of our favourite in the South West (amongst others) were ‘The Ship’ and ‘The White Hart’, both right on the banks of the Thames. In summer we would sit there all day and bask in the sun whilst sipping on an ice-cold Pimms. All my friends over in the UK are currently enjoying the Spring sunshine (from what I can see on Facebook), lucky ducks! Technically it’s not even winter yet so I’ve got to embrace everything I love about this chilly season… and comfort food is one of them!
This recipe was partly inspired by my brother. I went up to sunny Sydney a month or two ago for a little break to visit him, as well as some close Sydneysider’ friends. The first night I arrived he made a cottage pie for dinner and it was sensational! He used his slow cooker to roast the meat until it was tender and falling apart. This was way healthier than using cheap mince, and more economical as well – bonus! Slow-cookers are inexpensive, and a ‘must have’ for all those hearty winter dishes.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and I’m craving a lovely comforting meal for the weekend. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and you can whip-up the most incredible cottage pie of all time! Y-u-m. Because winter makes you crave all things naughty, we made some with pastry as well. These were perfect to wrap up and freeze for nights when we just can’t be bothered doing ANY cooking. With pies as tasty as these in the freezer, I don’t think we’ll be doing much cooking over the next few nights… tee-hee.
Can anybody recommend any other delicious slow cooker recipes?
Highly recommend you make these THIS weekend!
Slow Cooked Cottage Pie
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, trimmed, finely chopped
1kg beef (blade steak)
4 tbs plain flour
500ml red wine
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
1. In a slow cooker, add a little olive oil and arrange all meat on the base of the pot. Add the red wine and garlic and let cook on low heat overnight, or for at least 4 hours on the higher setting (the longer the better). Once cooked, skim any excess fat off the top.
2. When the meat is cooked, heat some olive oil in a frypan and brown the onions. When they’re nicely coloured add carrot and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until everything looks well browned.
3. Add all the vegetables to the meat in the slowcooker and turn it up to the highest heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until combined. Add Worcestershire sauce and let cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return to the pan with the butter. Use a potato masher until smooth. Add milk and stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C. Spoon meat mixture into individual ramekins or one large dish. If you wish to use pastry as well (I couldn’t resist), line the ramekins/baking dish/tin and fill 3/4 full. Add the mash potatoes on top and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until mashed potato is golden brown. Serve immediately.