Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes

Well, as promised I said I’d post a picture of the results of my Cottage Pie and Roasted Veg. In the end two pounds/a kilo of mince beef and the roast veg fed three adults and seven children. It was a miracle of the loaves and fishes but the veg really did stretch it out.

The Blow-ins

My friend had looked after my crew for the afternoon and to ease the burden I told her and her three boys to come over for their dinner so she wouldn’t have to cook that evening. She has been my friend since I was knee high to a grasshopper and being blow-ins in Waterford we are always looking out for each other. It means that I can’t get above my station, as they say – she knows my seed and breed and I hers.  It also means she’s not fussy about what I put in front of her but we had all clean plates and that keeps everyone happy.

Cottage Pie


2lbs mince beef

a jar of tomato chutney or relish

a tin of tomatoes 

one tablespoon of tomato puree

six of seven diced carrots 

two onions chopped 

two cloves of garlic

a good glug of Worchester sauce 

500mls of beef stock

3 lbs or 1 1/2 kilos of potatoes – again I used South East Produce here. 


Soften the onions in a tablespoon of oil on a medium heat for about 5 minutes add the garlic for a minute and then add the carrots and saute for five to ten minutes. 

Turn up the heat and add the minced beef breaking it down as you fry it off, browning all the minced beef. I then add the tomatoes, chutney, Worchester sauce, stock and puree. 

Mix it through and turn down the heat to a low simmer and cover for about forty minutes. 

Peel and steam the potatoes until soft and ready for mashing. All I add then is butter and salt and pepper. I have whipped and egg through the mashed potato and also some people add mayonnaise. Its to your own taste.

Put your mince into an oven proof dish and cover completely with mashed potato. 


I made this the day before so all I did then was preheat the oven to 180 and pop in the pie for 30 to 40 minutes. 

I peeled and chopped the carrots into chunky batons. I also added sweet potato chunks and a red onion. I covered these with oil and salt and pepper and popped into the same oven. They also take between 30 to 40 minutes.


Cottage Pie Or Shepherds Pie

As an aside, I was asked is this not a shepherds pie but apparently the difference between a shepherds pie and a cottage pie is the meat used. A shepherds pie has minced lamb, so hence shepherds pie. Cottage Pie is made with minced beef. I have made this using half minced pork and half beef. You could use turkey mince even. My all time favourite is beef. You could also top with mashed sweet potato if you like.

It is yum any of these ways,


The Butchers Wife xx

PS the picture is not the greatest but I was under time pressure as there were a lot of hungry children looking at me.