Luxury Cottage pie
900g (approx 2lb) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium egg, beaten
25g (approx 1oz) butter
3-4 tbsps milk
700g (approx 1½lb) beef mince
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tbsps plain flour
150ml (approx ¼pt) red wine
300ml (approx ½pt) beef stock
1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsps fresh chopped thyme
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
I've just discovered A Country Kitchen by Co Kilkenny cookery teacher Anne Neary (paperback, available online from www. ryelandhousecookery.com, €26 incl P&P, and selected book-shops). Anne has nearly 20 years' experience of running her cookery school, and a love of the country and its produce make this a book with an authentic voice. Here's the perfect comfort food to ease the family into the New Year. Serves six.
1Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan oven/340°F/Gas Mark 6. Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling, lightly salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, return to the pan and mash well. Add the egg, butter and milk, then mash again until smooth and fluffy. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
2Heat a pan until hot, then add the minced beef and cook, stirring, for about five minutes until browned. Add the chopped onions and carrots and cook for another three minutes until they start to soften.
3Sprinkle the flour over the cooked mince and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine, stock, tomatoes, thyme and Worcestershire sauce. Stir the mixture while bringing it to the boil. Season then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4Transfer the minced meat mixture to a large ovenproof dish and spoon the mashed potatoes on top; spread them out and fluff up using a fork. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes until golden.