Cottage pie

Spice up this family favourite with a few drops of hot sauce. We’ve used beef mince but lamb will work just as well

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 700g/11/2lb floury potatoes, peeled and cut in even chunks
  • 150ml/1/4pt milk, heated
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 700g/11/2lb best mince
  • 300ml/1/2pt beef stock
  • 300ml/1/2pt red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 drops Tabasco, or to taste
  • 50g/2oz Cheddar cheese, grated

Cook the potatoes in lightly salted boiling water until tender. Drain and leave for a few minutes with a clean tea towel tucked over the potatoes to steam them a little (this makes them easier to mash). Roughly mash, then add the milk and butter and continue mashing until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6.

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and gently fry the onion over a low heat until softened but not browned. Remove and set aside.

Add the mince to the pan (you may need to do this in batches) and fry until browned.

Return the onions to the pan, pour over the stock and wine, add the parsley and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, with the lid off, until the sauce has reduced. Season with salt, black pepper and Tabasco.

Spoon into a baking dish, top with the mashed potato, leaving it slightly rough, then sprinkle over the grated cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, until heated through and the top is bubbling with melted cheese.