Guinness Cottage Pie
500g beef mince
1 can Guinness Stout
2-3 bay leaves
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/4 celery bunch, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1/4 cup tomato paste (I didn't have any so I used 1/2 tomato sauce 1/2 HP sauce it was AWESOME)
Chicken or beef stock
1 whole star anise
Approx 7-10 large potatoes
Milk & butter
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt for seasoning
Chop vegetables. Heat some olive oil in a large pot or pan (I used my wok hehe) on medium heat and add onion, carrot celery, bay leaves and a pinch of salt. Cook until all vegetables are starting to soften and add garlic in. Toss until all vegetables are tender and starting to colour. Remove from pan and set aside. Peel potatoes and boil in a large pot of water until soft (10-15 mins).
Turn heat up to high and add more oil if needed. When pan is hot enough, add mince meat, break up and stir until browned. Add tomato paste (or tomato sauce and HP sauce), star anise, Guinness and chicken stock + fresh pepper (to taste). Star anise is my secret ingredient for a lot of meat dishes, it just adds so much depth to a dish and boosts the meatiness of meat (I know that sounds weird but it really does). You have to be careful not to let it overpower the dish as it can be very strong. I use it in so many of my dishes; my bolognese sauce, chicken casseroles and soy sauce chickens.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in your softened vegetables, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes. If your mixture is still watery, simmer with the lid off to thicken sauce. If you really need to you can add flour a tsp at a time to thicken the sauce but I didn't need to do this. When it is the desired consistency, spoon mixture into a large oven safe dish or smaller individual ramekins (try to fish out the bay leaves and star anise). Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
A was extremely happy with his dinner. It definitely appealed to his inner Brit and he enjoyed it with a ton of tomato sauce. He claimed it tasted just like how you would want a cottage pie to taste, which I consider a success since I've never made it before :)mi4p3utc87