Today is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club. The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time. It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes. It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.
This month I was assigned Paulchen's Food Blog, written by Astrid. Astrid is an avid reader, cookbook collector, and cat lover in Vienna. Her blog is an eclectic collection of recipes. I found several that sounded really good. I'm still fully in soup-obsessed mode, so her Broccoli and Cream Carrot Soup really caught my eye. (I love how it uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream; definitely trying that one soon!) I am also very intrigued by her Chicken Tagine with Honey, Pears & Cinnamon. She also has some great desserts over there. The Chocolate Banana Decadence Cake she made for her brother looks amazing. But as soon as I saw a category called "Irish" I knew which direction I was heading! I love cooking according to the seasons and holidays and I have definitely been thinking about St. Patrick's Day lately. So I jumped at the chance to try Astrid's Irish Cottage Pie. It did not disappoint!
Irish Cottage Pie
1 tsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
2½ lbs. potatoes
2 tbsp flour
¾ cup stout beer
1¼ cups beef stock
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup matchstick carrots
¼ tsp dried thyme
Milk and butter
Sauté onion in olive oil until tender. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off any grease. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add beer and beef stock and bring to a boil.. When it starts to thicken, reduce heat. Add peas, carrots, and thyme and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.
Meanwhile, peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes very well until completely dry. Mash until smooth and free of any lumps. Add butter to the mashed potato, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add enough milk to make the mash very soft (heavy mash will not float properly on top of the ground beef mixture).
Pour beef mixture into a 9x9” casserole dish. Spread the potatoes on top of the meat and brush the tops of the potatoes with melted butter. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Makes 4-6 servings.
I didn't change very much about Astrid's recipe. I think I used more beef, just because I like using a nice even pound. Makes it easy. I also replaced some of the beef stock with stout beer just to make it a little more interesting. The beer taste wasn't overwhelming at all, just gave it a nice depth of flavor.
This was so good! It really hit the spot on a cold winter day. My five year old at all of hers without complaint (well, except for the onions, but she ate them anyway).
The beef mixture. Yum.
Comfort food at its best!
Thanks so much for a great recipe, Astrid!