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Introduction

Here we make a family favourite cottage pie, the big question is what's the difference between a cottage and shepherd's pie, beef goes in the cottage pie & lamb for the shepherds. In modern cookery, we also use these names to create all kinds of wonderful flavours such as mutton with masala spices or even wild venison mince cooked with red wine & smoked bacon lardons. They can be topped with grated cheese or breadcrumbs for extra texture. The essence remains the same, beautiful home-cooked food at its best.

Method

Heat a heavy-based saucepan with the dripping or oil.

Add the mince & cook over high heat until nicely browned.

Add the thyme & diced vegetables & carry on cooking for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tomato puree & relish then the stock & simmer for 45 minutes.

Thicken with a little corn flour & season to taste.

Place the mince into an ovenproof pie dish & leave to one side to cool.

Note: this can be done in advance ready to top & bake when your guests arrive.

method for the mashed potato:

Make the mashed potato by boiling the potatoes in lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until tender then drain & mash until smooth then add the butter & a splash of milk.

Carefully spread or pipe the mashed potato over the mince to fully cover.

Scatter the breadcrumbs over the potato topping then grate a generous layer of cheese on top.

Bake in a preheated oven 200°C/180°C fan /gas 6 for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown & the mince piping hot.

to serve:

Serve with garden peas & f&co brown sauce.