My favourite cottage pies were always my grandmother's, especially when she added a layered of baked beans. Wanting to put a twist on the classic recipe, I thought it would be better to mix the beans in with the mince so I could make the most of the baked bean sauce. At the same time I wanted to write a recipe which didn't require any other cooking once the pie is popped into the oven to bake and so wanted to add in some greens. Most people will know I have a slight affinity for bubble and squeak. I thought it would be great to make a version of this for the topping. Whilst I adore sprouts I actually think the best bubble and squeak is made using savoy cabbage sautéed in butter. Not to mention the fact it's easier to source all year round. By all means if you want to make this a proper cottage pie, do add grated cheese on top!
Hands-on Time 25 minutes
Cooking Time 60 minutes
1/2 Savoy cabbage
50g Unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp Olive oil
500g Beef, minced
1x tin Baked Beans
1x tin Tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp Fine salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4-5 Rosemary sprigs
2 Garlic cloves
2 tbsp Full-fat milk
Pepper for seasoning
Large frying pan
Shred the cabbage.
Add 25g of butter and 1/2 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and place over a medium heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the cabbage to the pan.
Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is tender and a vibrant green.
Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the cabbage to a bowl for later.
Peel and cube the carrots. Peel the onion and dice into similar sized pieces.
Return the frying pan, placing it again over a medium heat and add the tbsp of oil.
Add the carrots and onions and cook for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
Add the minced beef, breaking it up using a spatula. Cook for another 5 minutes until there is no pink meat visible.
Add the baked beans, tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
Strip the rosemary stalks of their leaves. Finely chop the leaves. This should give you approx. 1 tbsp of chopped rosemary. Add this to the pan and stir again.
Turn down the heat and leave to bubble away for 20 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
Taste for seasoning.
Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. Add them to a saucepan.
Peel the cloves of garlic and add to pan before covering everything with water.
Place over a high heat until the water is bubbling. Turn the heat down to a medium and leave to boil for 10 minutes.
Carefully tip the potatoes into a colander over a sink. Transfer them back into the saucepan (or you can use a bowl) and mash. Make sure you don’t leave any lumps.
Add the milk, 25g of butter, ½ tsp of salt, and black pepper.
Stir using a spatula and taste for seasoning.
Add the cabbage and give one final stir.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C(Fan)/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Transfer the meat into the baking dish and smooth out. Dollop the mashed potato on top and again spread so it’s evenly distributed.
Pop into the oven for 30 minutes until the top is crisp with golden patches.