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      In the Kitchen with Sandra – Italian Cottage Pie

      Mar. 17, 2013

      In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided to tweak a classic Irish recipe. The Cottage Pie – also known as Shepherd’s Pie, Pâté chinois, Cumberland Pie or Shepherdless Pie – dates back to 1791. Its name depended on the type of meat used. Here in Quebec, we use a layer of ground beef with a layer of corn and a layer of mashed potatoes. Coming from an Italian family, we of course had to add an Italian ingredient: tomato coulis. In the recipe below, I opted for sautéed mushrooms as the vegetable middle layer.

      Happy Saint Patrick’s Day and enjoy our Italian-inspired Cottage Pie.

      Italian Cottage Pie


      For the meat layer:
      1 tbsp oil
      1 lb lean ground beef
      1 small onion, cubed
      250 ml tomato coulis
      Salt and pepper to taste

      For the vegetable layer:
      1 tbsp. oil
      1 small onion sliced
      500 gr sliced mushrooms
      Salt and pepper to taste

      For the Crust:
      10 small to medium potatoes peeled and cubed
      1 cup milk
      2-3 tbsp butter
      Salt and pepper to taste

      Meat layer: In a frying pan, heat the oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the ground meat and cook thoroughly. Next add the tomato coulis and seasoning. Let it simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Let it cool and place in a baking dish as your first layer.

      Vegetable layer: In a frying pan heat the oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Season the mushrooms and place evenly on top of the meat layer.

      Crust: Boil the potato cubes until they break easily with a fork. Drain the liquid and begin mashing the potatoes with a hand masher. Add the butter and seasoning. Once the butter has melted, add the milk and continue mashing until the potatoes become creamy. This is the final layer for your pie.

      Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes or until the mashed potato crust is golden brown. Plate and enjoy! Many people will top this with ketchup. Go for it! For a change, try a hickory based barbeque sauce! Yummy!

      I welcome all comments and suggestions at

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