This recipe is part of my Cheaper than a Ready Meal series.
Cottage pie is one of the most popular ready meals there is, and I’d understand why someone would think that you can’t do it cheaper in a short amount of time. But trust me, you can – we’ve just got to be clever about it! This is my 30-minute tweak on a traditional cottage pie and, I have to say, is my favourite recipe so far this month. It’s absolutely full of depth and flavour. Not to mention, like any good cottage pie (and not like the ready meal version!) you get that incredible crispy cheese to top everything off in the most stunning way. And, before you ask, yes, it’s cheaper – £2.20 per portion in comparison to the £2.50 ready meal! What’s not to love?Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 2 Potatoes, unpeeled, washed and chopped into 1cm chunks
- 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, grated
- 1/2 Carrot, grated
- 2 Sticks of Celery, grated
- 1 clove of Garlic, finely chopped
- 250g Lean Beef Mince
- 1 Beef Stock Cube
- 1 handful Frozen Peas
- 1 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
- 60g Mature Cheddar, grated
- Add the potato into a saucepan of salted boiling water and boil for 8 minutes, or until it’s nice and soft. Drain the water, keeping the potato in the pan, and leave it to steam away until it’s needed. Whilst the potato is boiling, you can get on with starting the quick ragu.
- Get an oven-proof frying pan on a high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil along with the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Fry for 3 minutes – because we grated it, it should soften nice and quickly.
- Add the beef mince and fry for a further 8 minutes, or until the it is nicely browned and beginning to crisp up. Stir through the stock cube and add enough boiling water to make it into a nice saucy consistency. Leave for another 5 minutes to allow all the flavours to mingle.
- Stir through the frozen peas and tomato ketchup. Using a fork, scuff up the potato into a kind of mash. Stir through the remaining olive oil to bring it together nicely. Distribute the potato evenly on top of the pan, and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.
- Put the pan under a hot grill for 8 minutes, or until the potato crispens up and the cheese goes nicely brown. You’re ready to go – enjoy!