Winter. The days are cold and the nights are long. The sun shines, but it is weak and the shadows are long. The busyness of the holiday season* is past and as the earth sleeps in preparation for the spring, we also slow down; we rest, refresh, reflect and renew.
Though we try to eat well all year, our winter food choices tend to be especially nourishing both for the body and soul – with slow simmered stocks and broths, good fats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and warming drinks. The foods many people think of as ‘Comfort Foods’.
One of those warming, winter comfort foods is Cottage Pie. Though it isn’t a food I grew up with, it is part of a culture I have adopted and is now one of my favorite winter-time foods. If you aren’t familiar with Cottage Pie, think Shepard’s Pie – only with beef, instead of lamb. Then some snowy winter day, try out this recipe and let me know what you think.
2 Tbs butter
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
4 oz mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs flour
1 cup beef stock
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
slat and pepper to taste
4 medium potatoes, cubed
Melt the butter in a deep frying pan or wide saucepan. Crumble in the beef and fry until browned. Add the onion, carrots and mushrooms, and cook until slightly softened. Add the flour and cook about 10 minutes more. Add the beef stock, worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain thoroughly and mash, adding the remaining butter and enough milk to obtain a creamy consistency.
Spoon meat mixture into oven-proof dish. Top with mashed potatoes and fluff the surface with a fork. Bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival
*Obviously I’m in the Northern Hemisphere. If you are not, carry on enjoying your summer!