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We have been getting so many leeks in our winter vegetable boxes that I’m starting to feel a little ‘leek-ed’ out, if I’m honest! I thought I’d try something different from the usual, and this recipe turned out to be an amazing winner! You’ll find the original recipe here, but here’s how we made and adapted it.

Cottage Pie Filling

  • 600 g lean ground beef or 600 g cooked beef , shredded
  • 2 onions , peeled and diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ounce butter (25g)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon fresh mixed herbs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or similar
  • 250 ml beef stock (OR 250 ml red wine mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar. We went for the wine, since the alcohol boils off anyway)
  • salt
  • pepper

Cottage Pie Topping

  • 1 kg potato , cut into small even sized pieces
  • 2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced into rings
  • 2 ounces butter (50g)
  • 2 -4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces mature cheese, grated (100g)
  • salt
  • pepper

[pinit]

Directions:

  1. Fry the onions and carrots in the butter until they are soft.
  2. Add the minced/chopped beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion and carrot have browned and the minced beef has taken on some colour and is firm.
  3. Season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs. Stir in the flour, and mix well.
  4. Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the stock or wine and add it to the meat mixture, bringing it all to simmering point. Simmer until the stock has reduced by about a third, and take off the heat. Set aside whilst you make the topping.
  5. Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water then mash them well, adding half of the butter and all of the milk gradually. Season to taste. We don’t peel potatoes and carrots, because so much of the ‘good stuff’ is in the skin.
  6. Fry the leeks gently until soft and slightly coloured then stir the cooked leeks into the mashed potato mixture and give it all a good mix.
  7. Put the meat mixture into a large and deep well greased baking dish and spread the potato mixture on top; then sprinkle with the grated cheese. I put these into freezer containers, and left to cool, then put in the freezer.

To cook:

1. Transfer into ovenproof dish.
2. Defrost, then put into a pre-heated oven, 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.
3. Serve with an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables and a jug of gravy or eat as is.

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