Cottage Pie, not be to confused with its lamb counterpart, shepherds' pie (that's literally the only difference, the protein) was most likely a staple in your parents' or grandparents' dinner rotation.
We've taken the humble cottage pie and elevated it with Marble Score 3+ Black Onyx beef, shiraz and mushrooms. The intramuscular fat content in the beef renders down beautifully adding richness to the filling allowing the fat to exalt the accompanying flavours.
While we've used black onyx beef for this recipe, any high marble score grainfed beef or a wagyu cut will add these same amazing flavors.
Aside from some hands-off simmering this recipe is quick to prepare, easy and simple to make. By starting with some hard hitting flavours with lots of depth, we're simply reducing them down into a flavour base worth writing home about and intensifying the experience.
Start off by dicing your beef into stewing pieces approximately 1cm x 1cm thick, a consistent cut will ensure your meat cooks evenly. We trim any hard fat and obvious sinew that's too thick to render, but leave all other fats on as they simply melt away into the gravy.
Dusting your beef pieces in flour before searing will slowly thicken your gravy during the cook.
While we have used bolar blade for this recipe you are able to use gravy beef (boneless osso bucco), chuck steak or rump.
By building a traditional onion and carrot mixture as the base for your gravy, you're setting yourself up for success. The key to adding the red wine to this base, is to ensure that the mixture is brought to a boil and kept at a raging simmer for at least 1 minute. This cooks off the tangy, alcoholic flavours of the wine and leaves you with a rich flavour.
Mashing potatoes is pretty straightforward, we've all done it a few hundred times. A little known trick is to start heating your water from cold, with the potatoes already in - This will bring the potatoes up to heat evenly with the water, stopping the outside of the potato cooking faster that the inside. This will help prevent uncooked lumps of potato through your mash or loosing yield to the cooking water.
Brushing your potato with a slight layer of butter will encourage the tips to crispen, teasing the potato with a fork allows more raised surfaces exposed to the heat to get those brown, crispy edges we know and love.
Now that the tips are out of the way - let's get to the recipe!
Red Wine Mushroom Cottage Pie
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan, set to medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, add your flour and season with salt and pepper. Lightly toss your beef in the flour-mixture and set aside.
Working in batches, begin to sear your beef mixture in the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan, as the meat will begin to stew. Cook until brown on each sides (approx. 30 seconds per side). Remove each batch from the pot, set aside to be re introduce later in the process.
Return the pan to low heat, put the other two tbsp olive oil in the pan, add onions, carrots, cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 10 mins.
Add minced garlic increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then add mushrooms and cook for a further five minutes or until the mushroom start releasing their moisture.
Pour over a large glass of red wine and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the beef stock. Top with a few thyme leaves.
Now re-introduce the beef to the pot and bring back to a gentle simmer. Note, because the beef is coated in flower it will start thickening the gravy fairly quickly. This means you will have to make sure you stir the mixture every 10 min or so or it will catch and burn on the base of the pot.
Simmer and cook for 60 - 90 minutes or until the beef is tender. If the sauce becomes too thick just adjust with some water. Remember you want the gravy a bit thicker than your average casserole so it holds a little firmer in the pie. Turn heat off and let cool slightly.
Add the potatoes to a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook until fork tender and drain.
Mash the potatoes, adding butter and beating the mixture together. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan-forced.
Add your filling mixture into a pie dish, ensuring it is spread evenly. (make sure the dish you use will have about an inch of space above the filling. Otherwise the pie will over flow when you add the potato top.) Top with the potato mixture, using a spatula or butter knife to spread. Note: Spoon on in small batches so you don't press the potato into the filling. (if you have a piping bag and nozzle and are confident with it. you can make the topping pop that little bit more on this step)
Score the potato mixture with a fork, and lightly brush with butter (optional). Be as rustic or as fancy are you like with the topping. there are no overly wrong ways to do this, have fun with it and make it your own.
Bake for 30 minutes or until you are happy with colour.