Cottage Pie with grass-fed beef.

A comfort food staple at our house is beef cottage pie (a Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with lamb).

Use leftover (I make them in big batches to have leftovers) or make fresh mashed potatoes.

Cottage Pie by Chantal Ireland

1  yellow or white onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil and butter for sautéing
1 or 2lbs. lean ground beef, grass-fed if available
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce (gluten free brand if you want)
Dried chilli flakes or chilli oil to taste (I go for mild warmth)
1/2c red wine, beer, or broth
2-3 tbsp. arrowroot powder (for gluten free version) or flour

1/2c bread crumbs
1/2c cheese (I use parmesan or cheddar)
6-8c mashed potatoes (how ever you like them)

Optional toppings; gravy and peas.

Dice the onion into small pieces, sauté in butter and olive oil over medium heat until it’s clear, add a few cloves of minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. Add one or two pounds lean ground beef depending on how large of pie you want, and cook through. Add more salt and pepper and your favourite seasonings for beef, I use a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and some chilli oil. Simmer a few minutes, then deglaze the pan using about half a cup of beer, red wine, or broth. Simmer until it reduces by half, sprinkle in a few tablespoons of arrowroot powder or flour. Stir until it forms a thick gravy that binds the meat together.

I’ve used two ways to assemble it. Either butter, then spread a thin layer of breadcrumbs into the bottom of a pie dish, pat the potatoes in to form a bottom crust, fill the dish with the beef mixture, and add a layer of potatoes on top; or, skip the bottom crust and layer the beef under a potato top. Leave it rustic with rough peaks, cover with breadcrumbs and grated cheese or not, and bake at 350º for about 30-40 minutes depending on dish size. 

When it's bubbling out the sides or browned slightly on top, it's ready. Let rest for five - ten minutes before serving. I serve it topped with peas (boiled a few minutes, tossed with butter, salt and pepper) and leftover gravy. (Save and freeze gravy for this next time you make some).

Both versions are pictured, bottom crust, or potato on top only. Use individual dishes, a pie dish, or any oven safe dish. If you're going to freeze it for eating later, freeze it after assembled, before you bake it. Bake from frozen, I pop it in to bring it up to temp with the oven. Check it at 45 min.

Filled Cottage Pie by Chantal Ireland
Cottage pie assembly Chantal Ireland