Cottage Pie is a variant on Shepherd's Pie, an extremely common meal in the UK. The main difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd's Pie is the type of meat involved. For Shepherd's Pie ground lamb is used (hence the shepherd) whereas ground beef is used for Cottage Pie.
This dish is very popular not only for its wonderful flavor, but also for the fact that it is extremely cheap and simple to make. This is the way I always make Cottage Pie.
- Start by halving the potatoes and boiling them until soft. Leave the skins on, it adds flavor. Drain, add milk and a stick of butter then mash.
- Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Turn the heat to medium low and add the diced shallot to the meat. Occasionally stir for the next 5 minutes. Drain the fat.
- Add the white wine, tarragon and parsley to the meat and simmer until the excess liquid has evaporated.
- Add the tomato sauce and diced tomato to the meat and simmer until the excess liquid has evaporated. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Place the meat in the bottom of a casserole dish.
- Drain and place the peas over the top of the meat.
- Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the peas.
- Put a little Parmesan cheese over the potatoes and put the entire dish in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes.