aka Carol's concoction
“You're never too old to learn” and today I learned that Cottage Pie and Shepherds Pie are actually not exactly the same thing. It may be a case of splitting hairs here, but a Cottage Pie is a Shepherds Pie made with beef or pork and a Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb. Voila. You live and learn. I know, your life will never be the same again. (UPDATE: Please read the comments for the real difference between the two - thank you Frances!)
BUT since meeting the wonderful Carol and Dave, my Pie now contains a super special ingredient, and that is Haggis. Before meeting them I had also never heard of a place called Eccles Fechan – no spelling mistake, it's really “fechan” called that! I am currently reading Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, Jamie's Great Britain, and he mentions the place in his book too. We're putting Eccles Fechan on the fechan map! I just love saying it!!
Okay, back to the (fech..) recipe (hee hee). You can use your favorite Cottage Pie or Shepherds Pie recipe and just add a tin or half a tin of Haggis to it. Carol says that she freezes the other half of the contents of the tin and that it freezes just fine. The whole tin makes a large portion, but the leftovers were also fabulous.
I felt the recipe could do with added tomatoes, so when I warmed up the leftovers I added a tin of tomatoes to the mince haggis mix and we really liked it. I'll add it to the original mix next time. Some people add tomato paste to the meat mix – also a very good idea. I topped the leftover mashed potato topping with cheese and that was to die for. More calories yes, but deevine.
I used less beef stock as I wanted the pie to be firmer, but more stock gives more gravy which is also really good. You can add the flour to thicken the extra stock if desired. Go easy on the salt as stock often contains loads of salt.
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
500g minced beef or lamb
250ml-500ml beef stock
1 tbsp flour, optional
4 carrots, chopped in a small dice or grated
1-2 tbsp Worcester sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tin of tomatoes, optional
382g can of Haggis (use ½ to whole tin)
1kg potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tbsp butter
250ml / 1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.
2. Saute the onion in the oil till softened. Add the minced meat and cook for about 5min, breaking up any lumps. Drain off any excess fat. Sprinkle the flour if using and cook for a minute before adding the stock.
3. Add the carrots and tomatoes (if using), along with the Worcester sauce and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in salted water till done. Drain, add the butter and milk and mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
5. Add the Haggis to the meat and warm through. Place the meat mix in a pie or casserole dish, spread the mashed potatoes on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. I dot butter on top before putting in the oven or sometimes I sprinkle it with grated cheese.