Read that title and tell me you didn’t dribble a little bit? Honestly?
We’re big on supped-up versions of the classics round here. There’s Alex’s indulgent three cheese, pork and beef lasagne. My ‘most decadent bacon sarnie ever‘. And this roast-risotto mash-up. So, it felt only fair that the humble cottage pie got the Plates and Places treatment.
Instead of mince, the beef is slow-cooked braising steak, laden with garlic and wine and a little bit of spice, and the mashed-potato lid has been replaced with my favourite style of spud, Dauphinois, which to those unfamiliar, is thinly sliced potato doused in cream and cheese. There are some carrots and leeks in there too, but don’t look at them and they won’t look at you.
5 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
150ml double cream
100g cheddar, grated
400g braising steak
1 large glass red wine
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 stock cubes
Sautee the onion and garlic in a hot pan for a few minutes. You don’t want to cook them, just make them a bit softer. Then, chuck into your slow cooker or a casserole dish destined for the oven.
Next, brown the beef and then add to the pot with Worstershire sauce, wine and stock cube. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours on low, then remove the lid and add a pint of water along with the carrot and leek. Leave the lid off and cook for another 1-2 hours, depending on how effective your slow-cooker or casserole dish is. You might want to add another stock cube (I always do), if the liquor needs ‘meating’ up a bit.
When the beef is falling apart and the liquid is mostly absorbed, ladle it into a lasagne dish.
Boil the potato slices for a few minutes, so they’re soft but not disintegrating. Then, arrange them across the top to form a lid, making sure they overlap with each other and there are no gaps.
Pour over the cream and then cover with the cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes and then switch to the grill setting for 5-10 so you get a nice golden and slightly crisp top.
Sprinkle with black pepper and serve (with greens).