Dinner,  Recipe

Alice’s Cottage Pie

Alice misses her home cooking and attempts a cottage pie at the beginning of The Giver of Stars. In true Alice fashion, I too attempted this pie and it didn’t come out as ‘golden’ as I had hoped but was tasty none the less! The mashed potato topping I used was taken from the  vintage cookbook and did not disappoint.  

Cottage Pie

Nerdy Fact: Cottage pies are usually made with beef, while a Shepard’s Pie is made with lamb. 

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 T parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T flour

Sauté the carrots and leeks in olive oil until tender. Remove from pot. Brown the beef. Drain and SAVE the drippings. Trust me. Add vegetables and seasonings. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Top with Duchess Potatoes (recipe below) and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Nerdy Tips

  • put sliced leeks in cold water to soak out any extra grit and make the onion flavor less sharp
  • use ground short ribs instead of ground chuck for an extra treat
  • save the drippings for the Yorkshire pudding

Duchess Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of The Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, 1942

  • 2 lb golden potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 4 T butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 T melted butter

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until soft; drain. Shake over low heat until white and mealy. Add hot milk, butter, salt and pepper and egg yolks. Beat hard until light and fluffy. Add to top of Cottage Pie and brush with the melted butter before baking.

Nerdy Tips

  • add a few cloves of garlic to the boiling water for a subtle flavoring; mash along with the potatoes for a less subtle kick!
  • putting the potatoes back into the hot pot after draining will evaporate excess water and make your potatoes more creamy.

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