Cottage Pie with leftover Roast Beef

23 Apr

There has been a really noticeable drop in temperature here in Perth this week, its bbrrrrrrrrrr at night and not so warm during the day either. As much as I adore the heat the cold does have its advantages .. food advantages like hot brothy noodle soups, steaming hot dinners, drinking chocolate, hot ports .. non food advantages like snuggling up in hoodies on the couch watching movies and not feeling guilty about spending a whole day inside!

Yesterday we had a lovely Sunday Roast beef with roast potatoes and gravy, not a patch on an Irish Mammy dinner but good enough to warm us up!
I was at a loss for what to do with the leftover roast beef as during my childhood there might be enough left over to have toasted roast beef sambos on Sunday evening with tomato,mayo and a steaming cup of tea or in fact, as was usual, there might only be a bone that even the dog would reject for lack of meat. We are a big family and although 6/7ths  female we can eat!!

As my primary school teacher taught me “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” so I decided to try one of my favourite comfort foods using the beef instead of the usual mince .. Cottage Pie .. it turned out really well and actually I think the texture is nicer than making it with mince.  I still have some more left so I might try my hand at a curry with the rest tomorrow … any other suggestions?

Cottage Pie

1 large onion finely chopped
2 carrotts finely chopped
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Handful of frozen peas (its not Irish comfort food without frozen peas)
500g left over roast beef in small cubes
stock/leftover gravy/meat juices + water = 350 ml
splash of red wine (make sure to thoroughly taste test the wine!!!)
grated parmesan 
4 large potatoes cooked, mashed with butter
as in my case I only had 2 spuds left so I added in some pumpkin to the required amount. Butternut squash or sweet potato would also suffice and cauliflower can make a great topping for pies if you’re watching your carb intake.

Preheat oven to 180
Splash of oil + knob of butter in a saucepan on a low/med heat .. fry the onion, carrotts, celery and garlic until soft and transparent, not brown
Add in the meat and half the stock, turning up heat to a simmer
To thicken the sauce either add a tablespoon of cornflour to the remaining stock and stir in
I used Bisto as I came across it in a shop here last week and got very excited!
The sauce needs to be quick viscous so add more if needed
Add in the red wine, don’t be tempted to add too much as it can overpower so if unsure of amounts measure 3 tablespoons
Throw in the peas
Leave meaty sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes before assembling in an oven proof dish
I like to add the topping in a rather haphazard manner of lumps and peaks as then all the pointy sticky uppy bits get lovely and crispy and browned.

In the oven for 35 min or until its all browned ..

Sprinkle generously with grated parmesan, back in the over for 5 min or until all melted (if you prefer you can add parmesan to the mash along with the butter but I like melty cheese)

Eat with steamed veggies, baked beans or tomato ketchup for a childish treat


SJ x


5 Responses to “Cottage Pie with leftover Roast Beef”

  1. carolanneskitchen April 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    This sounds amazing and perfect for this chilly weather! I do love cuddling up on the couch too in a hoodie with some comforting ‘mammy’ food! Enjoy the curry xx

  2. Clodagh May 14, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Mrs O Boyle would be so proud of you…

    • Sarah-Jane May 21, 2012 at 4:16 am #

      Really?? All I remember making in school was a Christmas Cake! Had you known my Granny Toner you’d know where the frugal-ness comes from!!

  3. Aoife Hurley May 31, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Sounds totally yummy and it will b tried once there is actually some left overs !!! … Nothing can beat the comfort foods / couch n cheesy movies :)x

    • Sarah-Jane June 1, 2012 at 3:10 am #

      Leftovers was a concept I only discovered when I left home ha! There’s nothing either gravy or cheese sauce can’t improve 😉 first day of winter here today so lots of comfort food & couch days ahead 🙂 x

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