French Cottage Pie
I am not usually a fan of meat pie dishes, but this one is different, and proof that the French are better at food.
1 Pound boneless Beef Chuck, cubed
1 Onion, quartered
1-2 Carrots, trimmed, peeled
1-2 Celery Stalks, trimmed
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/4 Cup Chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
1-2 Bay Leaves
6 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 Pound Sausage, Removed from casing, scramble fried and cooked through
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper
2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled, quartered and cooked soft.
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Cream (or more milk)
3 Tablespoons soft Butter
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Gruyere Cheese
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
In a large stock pot or dutch oven add the cubed beef, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaves and water. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Skimming off any foam. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 1 1/2-2 hours.
Strain and reserve the stock. Transfer the cubed beef to a cutting board and roughly chop to add texture. Discard the vegetables.
(The recipe up to this point can be done a day ahead and kept in the fridge overnight)
To prepare the pie, butter a large deep casserole dish.
Prepare the filling heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, add the sausage and either cook through if not already done, or just heat it up. Add the roughly chopped cooked beef, roughly 1 cup of the stock from the beef, the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Once everything has simmered for several minutes, taste and adjust any flavors as needed. If the mixture looks dry add a little bit of extra stock. Slightly too much stock is better than too little.
Pour the meat filling into the prepared casserole dish, cover with foil and set in fridge while preparing the potatoes.
Pass the potatoes though a potato ricer, or mash well. With a wooden spoon mix in the milk, cream, and 3 tablespoons of butter. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the shredded Gruyere cheese.
Smooth the potato over top of the meat filling in the casserole dish. Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan Cheese over top of the potato layer.
When ready to heat and serve, preheat oven to 400°F and bake for roughly 30 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy and some sauce is bubbling at the edges.
Serve with bread and a nice green salad for a great meal.
I made these in large tart shells (roughly 4 inches wide) and froze them to have quick little tasty meals on hand. They thaw and heat, or heat from frozen pretty well so I am calling this a success.
What was cooking one year ago?