Cottage Pie v Shepherd’s Pie: the former is made with beef and the latter, lamb. It makes sense really, doesn’t it?
Lamb = sheep = shepherd?
The cottage pie, however, predates shepherd’s pie by about a century and apparently came about sometime late in the 18th century, when wives in poorer households tried to make the Sunday roast go further by using the leftover meat and covering it with the newly introduced cheap crop, potato. The homes of the poor were known as cottages, hence the name “cottage pie”.
There is something so satisfying about the combination of hot mash and deliciously flavoured mince. I’ve taken it a step further here, combining two popular British favourites – mash and curry! The image below shows you the curried meat base.
The meat filling here is basically a very dry mince curry, just a little more tomato-ey than usual, given my penchant for tomato based ragu. Now I might have mentioned on the odd occasion or two that I tend to specialise in amuse-bouche recipes when I cater. This particular recipe is always a hit as an amuse-bouche for both the flavour and the presentation. I am currenty working on a book of amuse-bouche and canapés but as that’s not coming out for another year or so, I thought I’d share this fabulous “full size” recipe with you.
I’ve divided the recipe into 2 parts, the cooking of the mince and mash is part 1, with part 2 being the baking of the whole pie. In this post, the images are all for individual portions (image below) or served in little amuse-bouche portions. To make a big pie, you’ll need a deep baking dish measuring about 30cm x 22cm (12″ x 9″).
Handy Hints for Masala Cottage Pie
Fresh or frozen will do, I prefer frozen. The trick to keeping your peas looking as fresh as possible is to add them right at the end, in this case, right after you’ve turned the heat off. In fact, I do this whenever I use peas.
Up the green chilli as well as the chilli powder for a spicier result.
Omit the cardamom & cloves if you don’t want to accidentally bite into them or don’t want to hunt them out before assembly. The cinnamon should be easy enough to spot.
I know the ingredient list looks very long, doesn’t it? Don’t be put off by it, it really is just a list of spices, mainly. You could be lazy and substitute the coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli powder with the equivalent amount of curry powder, altogether.
A delightful twist on an old favourite, Masala Cottage Pie brings you 2 British favourites! Get all the ingredients, especially the dry spices ready before you start cooking.
Masala Cottage Pie
A delightful twist on an old favourite, Masala Cottage Pie brings you 2 British favourites!
Get all the ingredients, especially the dry spices ready before you start cooking.