Julie’s cottage pie

Cottage pies vary enormously from the delicious to the frankly tasteless. This recipe looks as if it will end up a bit too tasty, but for some reason it doesn’t!

¼ lb. of ordinary mince per person, plus an extra ¼ lb.
Half a coarsely chopped onion per person
Beef stock (cube and water)
A good dollop of Bovril
A good sprinkle of Worcester sauce
Quite a bit of mustard and salt
A good dollop of tomato ketchup
A few shakes of gravy browning (Tescos now has it)
Chopped up garlic cloves

Fry the onions until browning at the edges, then add the mince and stir around until it goes brown. Sprinkle over a level dessertspoonful of flour per ¼ lb. and stir in over a gentle heat for a minute. Slowly add a little stock until it looks the right thickish constituency and then all the other ingredients. The gravy browning is essential as it gives the mince a lovely deep colour – be careful not to overdo!

Cook for an hour in a moderately hot oven at least a day before. It improves immeasurably when left to absorb the flavours before re-heating.

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