Friday 19 July 2013

My Lord Is My Strength and My Shield

This is my third Curtis Stone dish, Cottage Pie.. There is nothing extraordinary about this cottage pie, except it is much tastier than my own version. Cottage pie, also known as shepherd's pie, is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potatoes. During the 80s', shepherd's pie was a popular dish here to cook for pot luck parties. From birthday parties to housewarmings, you are bound to find shepherd's pies on the food table. In this recipe, parsnips is mixed with the potatoes but I didn't add them.  Parsnips from Australia are sold in some supermarkets here and I was too lazy to get them. I will definitely add in next time because this is going to be my cottage pie/shepherd's pie recipe.
It was great that I followed Curtis's method of mashing potatoes. In the video, warm milk with butter is poured last into the mashed potatoes. I find this method is easier to mash potatoes into fluffy and smooth creamy mash. No more small hidden lumps this time!

This is a wholesome meal for the family. I like the diced carrots and butternut squash cubes in the mince. My  version tends to be dry and tough, but not this one. I made this in a 9" x 5" casserole and 2 small ramekins and had this with side salad. .

Root Cottage Pie
Curtis Stone Feed Your family

450g Brushed potatoes, peeled, cut into 3cm chucnks(russet potatoes)
1 medium parsnip, peeled, cut into 1 cm disks(not added)
1 tbsp olive oil
500g beef mince
1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2cm cube
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cup beef stock
3/4 cups milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Melted butter, for brushing


  • Preheat oven to 190C. Place the chopped potatoes and parsnip in a large saucepan and fill with enough water to cover. Add salt and bring to the boil. Cook until both are tender and good for mashing, about 20 minutes. Strain in a colander and set colander over the hot saucepan to allow the vegetables to steam dry.
  • Working in batches, pass the potatoes and parsnip through a rice or food mill and into a large bowl. (alternatively use a potato masher).
  • Heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted and milk is hot but not scalding. Pour just enough of the warm milk and butter mixture into the bowl and whisk until the mash has a creamy consistency, discarding any remaining milk mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper,
  • Meanwhile, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat and cook the beef until browned and just cooked through, breaking up any large chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Strain the beef from the pan and reserve on the side. Return the pan to the heat.

  • Add the onion and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until translucent.

  • Add the carrots and thyme and cook for 1 minute, then add the pumpkin to the pan and cook for 4 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the vegetables, cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to scorch the tomato paste.
  • Add the beef back to the pan and stir well to mix, then add the beef stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook covered, stirring occasionally for 15-20 mins or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the mixture into 4 small individual baking dishes or ramekins and prepare the mash.
  • Place the mash into a pastry bag and pipe over the filling in a decorative pattern or spoon the mash over the filling and using a fork make cross hatch marks or swirrls. Brush the top of each cottage pie with melted butter and place on a baking tray and into the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 mins or until the tops are golden brown and the filling is heated through.'
  • Remove from the oven and allow the pies to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.

This post is linked to Cook like A Star, 'Curtis Stone' hosted by Zoe from Bake for happy kids, 
Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out and Grace from Life can be simple

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7


  1. Hi Lian, cottage pie is comfort food for my family. My hubby esp loves it.

  2. i love the end result of how the pie looks, pretty! and great to serve them in ramekins! never attempted shepherd's pie but if i do, will do it with chicken :)

    1. Hi Lena, is shepherd pie a popular party dish in Malaysia?

  3. Lian, ooohhh Curtis' version of cottage pie is indeed moist and yummy as seen in your pictures. Indeed by using his method of using milk and butter is definitely going to make your potato mash so soft and fluffy. I totally HEART this!! :)

    1. Hi Grace, glad I did this. Otherwise I am still making my dry version.

  4. This looks so connforty and yum. Here in Europe we have summer so will wait to do it when the weather gets colder.

    1. Wish we have the four seasons here :D Then we can cook,bake,shop according to the season. How wonderful!

  5. Just mouthwatering...looks delicious!

  6. Hi Lian,

    I never follow through a recipe whenever I cook a cottage pie. It is always different based on what is available and lots of "agak agak". Knowing this recipe is fantastic, I must follow this now for a consistent good result.


  7. Hello Zoe, my shepherd pie too was not from any recipes but on my estimation and it never turn out good and consistent. Now, I have charming Curtis to my rescue, hehe..


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