<grin> Here's a similar / completely different (dairy free) cottage pie for you, Laurie :)
Fair warning... I cook by eyeball ;)
- Cubed beef, fatty (chuck roast US / Braising steak UK)...enough to cover bottom of pot
- White onion / Purple Onion chopped... Enough to make a solid later over beef
- Garlic... A few cloves
- Water or beef stock
- White Button / Crimini mushrooms whole small or halved... Enough to cover or half cover
- Baby Carrots (or thick chopped large carrots)... 1/3 cover
- Cabernet (I usually end up using about half a bottle, but my pot is about 11")
- Flour, preferably high gluten flour for extra binding, but any kind will do.
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Sear beef in pan with salt until it's got a good nice browning, add onions & garlic & continue cooking, until onions are translucent. Dust liberally with flour until well coated, and continue to stir a few minutes on high heat until flour turns golden. Pour over wine to deglaze the pan (scrape up all the browned parts stuck to the bottom!) & simmer until nearly dry / remove the alcohol. Add mushrooms & carrots. Add water/beef stock to cover, and stir vigorously for a minute or three to ascertain no lumps & how thick sauce will be. Should take on a silken quality from the beef fat / flour roux. Add a little extra water/wine/or beef stock to make on the thin side depending on personal taste. Dust with rosemary. Lower heat & let simmer for a couple/few hours (meat & veg tender, sauce thickened to desire). Transfer to baking dish(es), leaving room to spoon over Leaky Potatoes to create solid layer
Bake now @ 200-220C // 400-425F... Or chill for up to 2 days & bake later. If freezing, good for apx 3mo, & defrost before baking.
Leaky Potato Topping
- A few pounds of russet potatoes, peeled/boiled
- Chicken stock (for the mashing)
- Several leeks (or a whole bunch of ramps -baby leeks- in season!) both white & green parts, chopped, rinsed, sautéed in olive oil until soft
= mash leeks or ramps into potatoes with chicken stock. If using ramps will turn vibrant dark green, if leeks, golden yellow green.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste
Happy (Ranching) Family // aka not exactly chili stew :p
I make this one out of leftovers, usually, but will also just snitch a pound off from other stuff I'm making & throw in freezer to make on purpose later once I've got the beef, pork, & chicken. Proportions are about Equal Parts, or whatever you happen to have on hand. Yeah. Measuring. Cough.
- Hickory smoked bacon, chopped (streaky bacon, UK, bacon-bacon stateside ;))
- Pork Shoulder, chopped,
- A couple bones from grilled Ribeye/ Porterhouse Steaks & any steak meat going begging
- Chicken Stock
* optional... Any leftover grilled chicken
- Red/ Orange/ Yellow/ Green sweet peppers. A big ole bag of babies, or about 2-3 each of big ones for 8-12 peppers... Rough dice / small chop. (Save out a big handful for garnish if you're feeling fancy)
* For heat, feel free to add a couple chipotle, habenero, etc.
- About equal weight white onions
- A few big cans of fire roasted tomatoes (ha, I have the weight! 800grams per can)
- A stalk or three of celery
- About a whole head of garlic, smashed
- Hickory smoked salt (or regular salt & a dash of liquid smoke)
- Cocoa Powder, about a palm full, or a few ounces of nice dark chocolate
* instead of cocoa powder, a bottle of beer. Or, hey, both.
- Flour for thickening
- White rice & bean of choice (pinto, black, chick, cannelini, w/e) to serve stew on top of
Brown the meats & season w/smoked salt. If you want thick chili like stew, dust with flour. For more soup, skip. Add everything else, with enough chicken stock to cover. Cook a couple hours. Voila. Serve straight or ladled on top of rice & beans