Not to be confused with Shepherd’s Pie, which is lamb-based, cottage pie uses ground beef. The substitution of mashed cauliflower, which replaces the traditional mashed potato topping, is not even that noticeable, and you still get the comfort food feel that meals like cottage pie offer. The filling is not as thick and creamy as some cottage pie fillings, due to the lack of flour or cornstarch as thickeners, but is just as tasty and satisfying. If you do dairy, you could add sour cream or something similar to the meat mixture to make it a bit creamier if you wanted to. Tomato paste is another common addition in some cottage pie recipes. The vegetable ingredients that you choose to use are completely up to you. That is the great thing about recipes like this, they are easily tailored to your personal preferences.
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup green peas
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/4 cup Red wine
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop cauliflower and steam until very tender. Blend with butter, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
Brown ground beef over medium heat. Removed beef from pan and all but 2 tbsp of the remaining liquid. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and peppers and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes. Return beef to pan with stock, wine, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, until mixture reaches desired consistency and is not too watery with stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a deep baking dish, spread beef mixture evenly. Spread cauliflower mash evenly over beef. Bake until edges begin to bubble consistently and then broil until top begins to brown slightly. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.