7 Sep 2009, 12:00pm

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Cottage Pie

cottage pie done

Shepherd’s Pie (or cottage pie) is my ultimate comfort food. It’s got so many of my favorite things piled one on top of the other, and best of all – it’s so easy even *I* can make it. \(^O^)/ And I make a damn good cottage pie, if I can say so myself. Actually, all of it is thanks to Alton Brown and his fabulously simple but delicious recipe for shepherd’s pie. I just substitute ground beef for ground lamb to convert it into cottage pie. Though someday, I would like to make a true shepherd’s pie with lamb.

My friend Jen is my big enabler. She has cottage pie once a week, much to my extreme jealousy. Every time she mentions having cottage pie for dinner, it makes me crave the stuff. Unfortunately for me, oven usage is kind of a big deal in my household, since Japanese people just don’t bake. My oven is used as a storage device, not a cooking mechanism.

Last week, after hearing my friend mention cottage pie yet again, I was determined to make this stuff, oven or no! I decided to utilize my toaster oven to make a couple ‘mini’ pies stuffed into small meat loaf pans. I was apprehensive about putting the tiny oven to work like this, but I had to give it a try. And what do you know? SUCCESS!

See below the cut for the making-of. X)

cottage pie mash

Part of the fun is mashing up the potatoes!

cottage pie filling

The filling is super simple to make, so I was hoping to whip it all together using the ingredients I already had in my pantry. I contemplated substituting chicken bouillon for chicken stock…ketchup for tomato paste…soy sauce for Worcestershire sauce. But one thing I knew I absolutely had to have was fresh rosemary. There’s just no substituting this! I finally broke down and drove my lazy behind to the grocery store to pick up some rosemary (and the other ingredients I was missing).

cottage pie done 2

I made two at once. They came out pretty well, with a nice golden finish.

cottage pie done 3

Mmm… can’t wait to make it again! I really love Alton’s recipe. It’s much better than most cottage pies I’ve had at restaurants. ♥

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