Comfy Cottage Pie – Speedy Brit Comfort Food
We’ve made this classic dish not just faster, but easier, too – there is very little prep and we pressure cooked the meat and potatoes at the same time!
The short, gray, rainy days of fall and winter are perfectly matched with British comfort food, in my opinion.
I was born in the United Kingdom and, although my family left when I was still a baby, I remember it through my mother’s stories. Smiles and sunshine were in short supply in Great Britain, according to her. Her English neighbors called her the “happy American” because she would smile when she would run into them . Sun was such a commodity, she recalled to me once, that the minute it peeked from behind the fog mothers tossed their children into the strollers and carriages and whisked them outside to absorb every last drop.
Cottage Pie is traditionally made with left-over meat and veggies, but always topped with potatoes. It’s sensational taste and flexibility has turned it into a dish worthy of being made from scratch. Most add a dash of ketchup with the meat, and my mother did in hers. I decided to to sub the ketchup with tomato paste and a dash of apple cider vinegar. You can add frozen peas, or green beans. Got mushrooms? Toss those in, too. A leek? Replace the onion in the recipe with it. Cottage pie, is more of a process than an actual recipe.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||steamer basket||10-12 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- Serves: 6-8
- Serving size: ⅛th
- Calories: 403.3
- Fat: 27.5g
- Carbohydrates: 22.3g
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 357.7mg
- Fiber: 3.4g
- Protein: 17.8g
- Cholesterol: 85.2mg
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large yellow onion,roughly diced medium
- 1½ pounds (700g) ground beef or lamb
- 2 large carrots, roughly diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (if using salt-free stock)
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup stock, any kind
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1½ pounds (700g or about 4 medium) potatoes, sliced into 2" pieces
- ½ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the cooker over medium heat and add onion saute until onion is soft.
- Push the onion aside and drop in the ground meat- break it up with a spatula and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Then, chuck in the carrots, tomato paste, Worcestershire Sauce (if using), salt, pepper, thyme sprig and stock. Mix well.
- Lower the steamer basket with the sliced potatoes onto the meat.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 10-12 minutes at high pressure.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (200C).
- Remove the steamer basket from the pressure cooker and toss a cup of frozen peas into the pressure cooker and mix-into the meat. Remove the thyme sprig and let the cooker stand un-covered while you work on the potatoes.
- Tumble the potatoes into a small mixing bowl. Pull on the corners of the potato skins (with fingers or tongs) and peel off the potato skin and discard.
- Splash the potatoes with milk and sprinkle with salt. Then mash until fluffy.
- Pour the contents of the pressure cooker into a prepared deep oven-safe dish (about 10x13" or 25x35cm).
- Using a fork, plop fork-fulls of potatoes over the meat mixture starting at the edge of the dish and working your way into the center. Then squash with the back of the fork into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of chopped butter and slide into the oven.
- Bake, UN-covered for 20 minutes - or until the peaks of the potatoes have browned.
- Let casserole stand for 5 minutes before serving.
- How to make perfect cottage pie, The Guardian