Today’s Friends with Recipes recipe comes from Ruthy (AKA: Omeletta). Ruthy has perhaps one of the best jobs ever: recipe tester. How cool is that?! I like to imagine her lounging in a reclining deck chair outside a large manor house being fed various delicious concoctions by good looking wait staff. I’m sure that’s exactly what she does. (PS: For the record, I am happy to fulfil this position for any wealthy manor house owners who have an opening . . . )
I love recipes that have a story behind them. The story as to why this New Yorker has a killer cottage pie recipe is a love story (the best kind of story!). Both recipe and story are below from the lovely Ruthy!
In 2002, when I was 19 years old, I packed a backpack, cashed $800 in traveller’s checks, and moved across the ocean to Dublin, Ireland, where I didn’t know a single person. To this day I have no idea why customs let me through, since I had no job and was honest when I told them I would be looking for one. But let me through they did, and I spent a glorious summer making new friends and travelling the country. Oh, and meeting the man who would eventually become my husband.
Fifteen years later, that same Irishman and I live in New York City with our two small children. He runs a craft beer bar in the city, and I do freelance work for cookbook publishers as well as run my own recipe newsletter for busy people, called Percolate.
Like most families, we stay busy. However, as anyone who has experience working in the hospitality industry can attest, “busy” in the restaurant life takes on a whole new meaning. His work hours can be erratic, so we tend to carve out our family time in snippets. It’s not unusual to for my husband and I to go on a “date night” at 3pm on a Monday, since that’s his quietest day at work.
That’s why simple, quick recipes like this cottage pie are so perfect for our family. Irish food may not be written about as swooningly as French or Italian, but it is big on comfort, simple, and, when done right, creates layers of flavor. This cottage pie is relatively quick to make, warming to the heart, and freezes fabulously, which makes it a perfect meal to give away. It goes from plain ingredients to something delicious in just a short space of time. Make it this weekend and enjoy with the ones you love!
Ruth's Cottage PiePrint Recipe
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup frozen or fresh shelled peas
- 1 lb [500g] ground beef
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 2 teaspoon powdered garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup [60ml] milk
- ¾ [75g] cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil.
Add the potatoes and cook until they break apart easily with a fork.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering.
Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and carrots have softened.
Add the peas and stir to combine.
Add the ground beef to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally to crumble, until the beef has browned.
Preheat the oven to 350*F (175*C)
Add the Worcestershire sauce, powdered mustard, garlic and salt. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper as necessary.
When the potatoes have cooked, drain the water. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
Spoon the beef mixture into a 1 ½ quart oven-proof baking dish, then evenly spread the potatoes on top.
Place in the oven and bake, 20 minutes or until the top of the mashed potatoes have browned. Remove and serve hot.
Hi! I’m Ruthy, aka “Omeletta”. I’m a recipe developer/editor/tester, and I freaking love food. I create simple recipes and meal plans for busy people who want to make the most of what’s in their fridge, but who don’t have hours to spend in the kitchen.