Introduction: Rustic Cottage Pie
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 large carrots, diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground beef or lamb
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup dark (porter) beer or beef broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen green beans
2 large russet potato, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add onion carrots, garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Add meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 3 minutes. Add thyme, Worcestershire sauce and beer(or beef broth) and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. (At this point, I poured out access oil - leaving about tablespoon). Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add 1/2-3/4 cup water, stir and cook until mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in peas and green beans and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish.
Thinly slice the potatoes using a mandolin or a sharp knife. In a medium bowl, combine potato slices with salt, pepper, fresh thyme and olive oil, gently toss to season the potatoes Top the meat mixture with potatoes, overlapping slices. Bake until potatoes are browned around edges and tender when pierced with a knife, 40 minutes. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes or until the potatoes crisp. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
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