Emeril Lagasse’s Cookbook Sneak Peak: English Cottage Pie with Root Vegetables

September 22, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

I had the pleasure of partnering with Shawnie Kelley, the talented woman behind the Insiders’ Guide To Columbus and the fun food blog Manges! Mangi! You should check out the event she’s organized for tomorrow night, Fete Blanc–a pop-up picnic for 350 people all dressed in white!

Shawnie introduced me to this Emeril cookbook, so we decided to partner up–she did all the cooking and I did all the photography, then we both ate all the food.

We started out with this English Cottage Pie. As she was busy cooking, I said “This looks a lot like a Shepard’s Pie” and she responded that a Shepard’s Pie is made with lamb, hence the shepard, and that all other pies of the sort can be called Cottage Pie. So most of you who had thought they made a Shepard’s Pie but used ground beef, you were wrong! It’s a Cottage Pie. I am also guilty of this, but who cares: Americans aren’t exactly known for keeping to tradition.

Shawnie has this brilliant little device for getting the skin off of garlic. (It’s that tube looking thing above.) You just roll this Garlic Peeler around with the garlic inside and voila! No more peel. I love gadgets like this that are small but immensely helpful at doing tasks I hate.

She also has that potato ricer (with handles, above) that I thought could really come in handy. But I’m sure I’d be lazy and use a spoon to mash them instead.

You might notice that Shawnie also likes the color orange–there was orange food, orange dishes, orange towels, I was in orange heaven. It’s my favorite color (notice the orange cake banner image?)

So, even though I didn’t eat this cottage pie, the spices smelled incredible coming out of the oven, and Shawnie could hardly wait until it cooled down to take a bite. She was very happy with the result. I think this is a crowd-pleaser recipe. There’s nothing scary or adventurous about it, it’s just good, hearty food, perfect for a cold winter day.

The finished result is below. It looks nice plated, more like a lasagna than a big soupy mess, which is what mine usually look like. I can’t be in a pet household without taking pictures of the pets. It would be rude, right? See, kitty loved the cottage pie, too!

You can find more recipe tests from Emeril’s cookbook Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders in the 2 previous posts (quiche and soup), on Shawnie’s blog, and on The Secret Ingredient’s Facebook Page.

English Cottage Pie With Root Vegetables

5 tblsp unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
2 tblsp vegetable oil
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for cooking the potatoes
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 c. minced garlic
1 1/2 c. diced turnip
1 1/2 c. diced carrot
2 tblsp tomato paste
2 tblsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tblsp dried thyme
1 tblsp dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tblsp plus 1 tsp dry mustard
1 3/4 c. beef stock or canned low-sodium beef broth
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
3 lbs Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 c shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Grease a 3-quart baking dish with a small amount of butter and set aside.
Heat 1 tblsp of the butter and 1 tblsp of the oil in a deep 5 quart saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground beef, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 1/4 tsp of the black pepper. Cook the meat until browned, breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon, 10-12 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat and add 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring until soft and lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the turnip, parsnip, carrot, and 1/4 tsp of the remaining salt and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Return the beef to the pan and add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring for another minute. Add the dried herbs, bay leaf, mustard, stock, and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat so that the sauce barely simmers, cover and continue to cook, stirring once midway, for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove the bay leaf, and season with 1/2 tsp of the remaining salt and the remaining 1/2 tsp black pepper. Cover and set aside.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.

Place the potatoes in a saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by at least 1 inch. Bring the water to a gentle boil, season with salt, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately drain the potatoes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into the same pot (or mash until smooth using a potato masher) and return the pot to the stove over low heat. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons of butter, the half-and-half, white pepper, nutmeg, and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Stir to mix well and cook until heated through.

Transfer the meat mixture to the prepared baking dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the meat mixture and, using the back of the spoon, smooth the top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the mashed potatoes. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake until browned and bubbly on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

8-10 servings


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