Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blue Cheese Cottage Pie: Comfort Food With a Twist!

Cottage Pie With Blue Cheese 
Baked up!





Or i needed to clean out my fridge, and i happened to have: potato, beef and blue cheese (leftover from burgers), and carrots that simply needed to go. Yes, that is correct, Cottage pie. i know that is is not exactly summer fare, but it was pretty chilly the night i made it, so it's ok. What is cottage pie? It is a dish made with beef and topped with mashed potatoes. See definition here. In many cases it is also topped with cheese.


In this version i used The fabulous Bayley Hazen Blue, a milder blue made in Vermont by Jasper Hill Farms. See substitutions for other ideas on how to clean you fridge with this pie. Har Har. Anyhow, enjoy.




The Recipe:
This made one Large Bowl of pie, fit for two.
one large potato
one carrot
one very small onion or half a medium onion
1/4 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup water
1 tsp better than bullion or bullion cube
1 1/2 tsp water
2 Tbs Butter
1/4 cup milk
2 0z  crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350*. Cut potato into large dices, boil in salt water till soft, about 10-15 minutes. cut carrot and onion to very small dice. Brown Ground beef over medium heat till half cooked, still pink inside. (This keeps the meat tender, it will cook through in the gravy and in the oven.) add garlic, thyme, cook about one minute. Add Diced carrots, broth or water, flour, whisk till mixed well. Cover and simmer for about ten minuets, enough time to prepare the crust.  Strain Potatoes, place back in pot. Add Butter, and milk, mash. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon simmering Beef into bowl (or bowls). cover with mashed potato, sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for about thirty minutes, or until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Substitutions:

Feel free to add more veggies to the beef sauce, typical additions are: mushrooms or celery, but you could also try kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, celery root, and varietal mushrooms.

Also, if you don't have Blue cheese (you should get some) or don't feel like being adventurous enough to try Cottage Pie with blue cheese, you can use cheddar. I give you permission. But you better make it a good cheddar! ok?

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