HUNTSHAM COTTAGE PIE
- 500 g Longhorn beef mince
- 1 medium/large onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 x 500g tin tomatoes
- 75-100ml inexpensive port
- 75-100ml Madeira
- Bunch of thyme
- Zest of half a lemon, taken off with a potato peeler in wide strips
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 250 g closed cap mushrooms
- Olive oil for frying (not extra virgin)
- Knob of butter for frying
- Seas alt and black pepper
- About 500g potatoes suitable for mashing – King Edward’s work well
- 100 ml full fat milk
- 50 g good unsalted butter
- Sea salt and ground white pepper
- Slice the onion finely. Heat the oil in a heavy pan, add the onions and cook slowly over gentle heat until they are soft and sweet. Remove the onions, increase the heat and add the mince. Keep stirring until the meat is taking on a caramel colour in places. After five minutes, add the finely chopped garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add back the cooked onion, the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, Madeira, port and lemon zest. Tie the thyme into a bunch with string and add to the pan attached to the saucepan handle. Season generously and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the liquid is well reduced.
- Slice the mushrooms and fry in the butter until brown. When the meat is cooked, add the mushrooms and remove the lemon zest and the thyme. Turn the mixture into a pie dish.
- Meanwhile peel and boil the potatoes in well-salted water. Drain and either mash or put through a ricer. Warm the milk and beat it in, followed by half the butter. Season well. Pile the potato on top of the meat, and fork it over to break up the surface and dot the remaining butter all over it. Put in a hot oven until the meat has heated through and the potato ‘thatch’ is brown and crusty.