09 January 2012

Shepards Pie, er, Cottage Pie, er, Hot Pie?

A few months ago, I saw the best looking tiny pies topped with sliced potatoes in Martha Stewart's magazine.  When I dug out the recipe, I realized the filling was not what I had in mind, so I got creative! 

I made a traditional "Shepards Pie" filling, which is apparently truly "Cottage Pie", since I used ground beef instead of lamb.  (Gina explained all of these things to me during our Sunday cooking conversations!)  Then I decided to do the fancy sliced potato top instead of mashed potatoes and was informed it's now a "Hot Pie"! 

So I would love for all of you English folks to chime in as to WHAT this recipe should be named!

1 small onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4-5 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pound ground beef
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 cup red wine
1 cups beef stock
1+ teaspoon flour to thicken sauce if necessary
1 russet or red potato per dish, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saute pan, bring butter and oil to medium heat and add onions.  Allow to caramelize about 15 minutes.  When browned stir in brown sugar, vinegar, rosemary and worchestershire sauce.  Add ground beef and break into small chunks.  Cook until meat is mostly browned then add carrots, wine and stock.  Turn heat to simmer and cook about 15 minutes until carrots are just barely fork tender.  (You could also add frozen peas at this point, but I was fresh out!)

I added about a teaspoon of flour to thicken up the sauce at this point, but you may not want or need to do that, based on your preference.

Fill each ramekin 3/4 of the way full and fan out the potato on top into a nice pattern.  Brush with a bit of olive oil.  Place in oven and bake about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool about 8 minutes.

I served this dish with a green salad and some lovely parker house rolls that I had in the freezer!  Perfect English supper...if a bit un-traditional! 

Sorry about the lack of photos during the process...we had company, John cleaning our cacao bean crusher "Crankenstein", our daughter, Gina, on the phone and Pierre dancing around the kitchen!



  1. Yum! I am going to make these this week! So pretty, and I imagine so yummy, too!

  2. I love the fanned-out potato slice topping. Yummy looking recipe!