K J’s Cottage Pie
When the temperature drops at the beginning of June one could be excused for seeking comfort food belonging to January. But I’m not one for mince and carrot cottage pie, I’m and ‘anything goes’ cottage pie maker writes Sandra Tate…
Having put in almost everything in the fridge into this one it seemed more than appropriate to cook it on Kamado Joe for his added ‘signature flavour’. That wonderful whiff of smokey Joe. First off we want none of that plain old mashed potato topping (husband has a pathological dislike of it and we can’t bear the moaning) so it’s a mix of potato, sweet potato with sliced leeks added 4 minutes before end of boiling time that I mashed with lots of butter, white pepper & salt (no milk! that makes it too smooth and sloppy).
For cottage pie, I like to use a black iron skillet so that once the meat sauce is cooked I can add the topping and transfer the pan to Kamado Joe and serve from it at the table. Get the charcoal up and running before you start and have it settled at 180°C-200°C, put the heat deflector below and grill rack over at high level.
For the base, dry fry 500g Aberdeen Angus minced beef until it has given up its aft and is browning – this will take several minutes over medium/high heat – then add a generous knob of butter and another leek, trimmed and sliced followed by 150g chestnut mushrooms, roughly torn into pieces, and a couple of carrots, chopped. For seasonings, add salt, pepper, a rounded tsp ground cumin, a tsp ground coriander and a good pinch of chilli powder, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce and a tbsp tomato purée. Stir this in with a tbsp of plain flour then pour in 250ml of beef stock. Stir together then cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally, fold in 100g young spinach leaves and fold in. They will wilt immediately and you are now ready to smooth down the base, remove from heat and top with the mash. For a final touch, I cut 100g of French goat’s cheese into dice which I scattered over the surface. Into Kamado Joe and ready once bubbling around the edges and colouring on the top, 20-30 minutes.
This should serve 4 with salad but there was little left after the two of us set about it. Superb, even if I do say so myself.