Monday, March 25, 2013

Cottage Pie in Twice Baked Jacket Potato

During my years in the UK, I learnt how to cook lots of British & Irish dishes.  Cottage pie was one of the first dishes that I learnt from British people.

Cottage pie is a simple weekday evening meal for the busy British family.  For housewives, they can prepare it in their limited spare moments from child care and housework, and for professional couples, either husband or wife (whichever one comes home before the other after the long day at work) can cook it for their partner and family without extra effort.  It is still a hearty and filling dish and everyone's favourite.

Though cottage pie was originally one of Britain's clever cooking inventions in ensure no waste of the leftovers from roast beef, nowadays most people cook it with raw meat. For your information, the term for cottage pie is to cook with beef and a similar dish cooked with lamb is to be called shepherd's pie.

In this blog, I am introducing a variation of cottage pie which is cooked in a twice baked jacket potato and served with gravy.

Ingredients for 2 people
(jacket potatoes)
2 large russet potatoes
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon milk

olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped finely
1 small carrot, peeled, chopped finely
1/4 green bell pepper, seeded, membrane removed, then chopped finely
3 brown mushrooms, the end of stems removed, chopped finely
3 OXO beef stock cubes, diluted in 2 1/2 cups of hot water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1/2 nutmeg, grated
salt & black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 oz grated Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon pale dry sherry or brandy
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Wash the potatoes and lightly pat-dry with kitchen paper.  Wrap the potatoes individually with a kitchen paper and cook in the microwave at 1000W for 8 minutes (flip them over once during cooking in the microwave).

Remove the kitchen paper and place the potatoes on an ovenable tray, turning the potatoes over, so the top side in the microwave becomes the bottom side in the oven.  Cook in a preheated oven at 400F for 20 minutes or until tender when tested with a skewer.

While baking the potatoes, heat a little amount of olive oil in a frying pan (if you are cooking more fatty beef in a non-stick frying pan, you can omit the oil) add the meat and cook for 6 - 7 minutes or until no longer red and any excess water has come out of the meat.  Drain through kitchen paper, discard the mysterious water and set aside.

Clean the frying pan with paper and heat some more olive oil.  Add the onion and cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until becomes soft, then add the garlic, carrot, bell pepper and mushroom and cook for a further 3- 4 minutes until the volume of the vegetables reduces by half.

Return the beef, add the beef stock and bring to a boil.  Add the tomato paste, Lee & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and grated nutmeg.  Season with salt and black pepper, then cook for 7 - 8 minutes or until the liquid has reduced a bit and slightly thickened.

Add the parsley, mix well, then remove from the heat and strain the filling through a colander to separate from the stock.  Reserve the stock for the gravy.

When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and, while they are still hot, wearing a pair of oven gloves,vertically cut them in half. With a spoon, scrape off the flesh to a mixing bowl being careful to not break the potato skins.

Add the butter and milk to the potato flesh and mash well to make a creamy mashed potato.

Fill the potato skins with the beef filling and cover with the mashed potato.  Sprinkle the cheese all over the jacket potatoes and bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and browns.

While baking the jacket potatoes, put the stock separated from the filling in a small pan and place on a medium heat.  Bring to a boil, season with salt and black pepper if necessary, then add the sherry or brandy.  Reduce the heat to simmer and, stirring well, gradually add the flour to thicken the gravy.  Increase the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute.

Serve the jacket potatoes hot with the gravy.

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Below is the Japanese version of the recipe.  If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese with pictures covering every step, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

<材料 3~4人分>















Before you go, click the ranking banners below 
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Many thanks and see you soon! 
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