It’s the ultimate comfort food, perfect for cold winter weekends, but it comes with a surprise twist.
The cauliflower and pea mash topping is a variation of the usual mashed potato that usually accompanies a cottage pie. This version is lighter and healthier, and because it looks so fresh, it’s also got the wow factor!
Cottage pie is a classic winter dish that originated in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the eighteenth century and was so called as it was popular with the ordinary folk who lived in cottages.
It was a way to use up scraps of meat and vegetables, providing an economical way to feed several hungry mouths.
While the basic format of the humble cottage pie is more or less the same, it’s adapted to our modern-day tastes and provides a flavour-packed meal that’s delicious and affordable too.
We love that this recipe has evolved to include ingredients such as eggplant and Parmesan cheese that wouldn’t have been available originally, reflecting our changing tastes.
Let’s find out more about what goes into this hearty dish and what you can serve it with.
What do I need for this cottage pie recipe?
The signature ingredient for this dish is beef mince. We always recommend free-range beef for our recipes, as it’s the healthiest and tastiest way to eat meat. Why? Because it comes from animals who are free to roam on pastures, just as they would in the wild, eating only grass, which is the best and most natural diet for them.
While beef is already high in protein, vitamins and minerals, grass-fed or free-range beef goes the extra mile, providing more health-boosting omega-3 fatty acids but less overall total fat and higher quantities of vitamins A and E.
This dish also calls for a variety of vegetables, including carrots, tomatoes, peas and cauliflower, giving you some extra vitamins and minerals and making this a really easy way of ensuring your family gets their five a day!
And the addition of garlic, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock, mustard and Parmesan and Cheddar cheese give this dish a particularly rich and deep flavour profile.
What can I serve with this dish?
You can never have too many veggies, so we suggest that you serve this dish with lots of roasted vegetables — whatever you have to hand, though carrots, potatoes, parsnips, squash and zucchini make awesome roast veggies.
If you’ve got any leftovers, then we recommend you warm a portion in the microwave for an easy lunch the next day and serve with a green salad…simple!
- 750 gram Beef mince
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 large Brown onion (finely chopped)
- 2 clove Garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 medium Carrots (peeled, finely diced, 1cm)
- 1 small Eggplant (finely diced, 1cm)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Thyme leaves
- ¼ cup Tomato paste
- 400 gram Tomatoes can (diced)
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup Beef stock (250ml)
- 50 gram Baby spinach (+ extra leaves, to serve)
- 1 small Cauliflower head (cut into small florets)
- 1 cup Frozen peas (130g)
- 1/4 cup Milk (60ml)
- 1 tablespoon Wholegrain mustard
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese (65g, grated)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (25g, finely grated)
- Preheat oven to 200°C (180° fan-forced).
- In a large non-stick frying pan heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Cook mince in batches until browned. Set aside on a plate.
- Heat remaining oil in same pan over medium-high heat and cook onion, garlic, carrot and eggplant for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Return beef to pan, add thyme, tomato paste, tomatoes, Worcestershire and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir through spinach. Season to taste and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in separate microwave safe containers microwave cauliflower (4 to 5 minutes) and peas (2 to 3 minutes) on HIGH (100%) until tender. Drain. Roughly mash with milk, mustard and cheddar. Season.
- Lightly oil a 2-L (8-cup) capacity baking dish, add beef mixture and top with spoonfuls of cauliflower mash. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Serve with extra baby spinach leaves.
- Swap cauliflower for sweet potato for pie topping.
- Swap eggplant for zucchini.
- This recipe will freeze well in portions if you have any leftovers.
The best butcher in Melbourne for local free-range and grass-fed beef
Source your minced grass-fed beef for this recipe from Church Street Butcher, your local free-range butcher.
Come along and meet our staff at our store in Brighton, where you’ll find a selection of quality, free-range and locally sourced meats.
Or, for your convenience, you can also order online for delivery straight to your door.
Whichever way you choose to shop with us, know that you’ll be getting the freshest, most ethically produced and tastiest meat in the neighbourhood!