Amma’s cottage pie recipe was one of her Saturday night ‘English food’ recipes, this meant it contained no trace of chillies. For curry lovers like my father Amma’s cottage pie seemed inedible but as kids we loved the lack of spice and the idea of a meal that did not include curry and rice. Much like lasagna, mousakka or macaroni and cheese, Amma’s cottage pie was a layered dish. This seemingly bland dish is a simple yet tasty one made by layering mashed potatoes, mince and tomatoes and topped with cheese.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hours
Yield: Serves 6
Ingredients for the mashed potatoes
- 2 kg potatoes
- 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
- half a cup milk
- half teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon of white pepper powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- water for boiling potatoes
Ingredients for the mince
- 1 kg lamb mince (or meat of choice)
- 1 medium onion sliced fine
- 4 cloves garlic, slivered
- ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5 or 6 ripe medium sized tomatoes or 15 cocktail tomatoes
- half cup grated mozzarella cheese
- half teaspoon buttter or margarine
- 1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Boil potatoes for 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked soft.
- 2. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the mince component of the dish. Heat a pot or pan on medium heat. Add oil. Add onions. Fry onion until slightly brown. (similar to Amma’s mince curry recipe – except without chillies or spices) Add the garlic slivers.
- 3. Once the garlic is slightly brown, add the mince. Mix until the mince is broken down into smaller pieces not clumps.
- 4. Add black pepper and salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the mice has browned. Don’t add any water – the mince should be dry and have a fried appearance.
- 5. Remove from heat. Prepare the mashed potatoes.
- 6. Drain the water from the potatoes. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add butter or margarine; use a potatoe masher to smash the potatoes. Add nutmeg, white pepper, salt and baking powder. Use a spoon to combine all ingredients. Add milk. Mix until a fluffy, batter like mixture forms. Set aside.
- 7. Preheat the oven.
- 8. Prepare the tomatoes.
- 9. Wash the slice tomatoes thin. Set aside tomatoes slices for the top layer.
- 10. Start to layer the cottage pie. Use a pie or deep baking pan. Spread with margarine butter to prevent the bottom layer from sticking to the pan.
- 11. Add spoonfuls of mashed potatoes. Smooth flat to form the base of the cottage pie
- . 12. Add a layer of mince. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes. Repeat the process until all ingredients are used up .When you get to the last layer of mash. Place the cottage pie in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the mash layer appears slightly brown.
13. Remove from oven. Top with cheese then finish with a layer of tomatoes. Place the cottage pie in the oven once more for an additional 10 minutes or until the tomatoes appear grilled.
14. Remove from the oven. Serve warm.