I like the notion of a cottage pie, or shepherds pie, but what I really had a taste for was some flaky crust with my pie. By adding a bottom crust, and keeping the mashed potato top, we enjoyed the best of both. This crust is unusual in that there is no added liquid; it is simply flour and butter, with a dash of salt, and some grated cheese for fun.
1. Start the mashed potatoes.
Slice 3 potatoes into chunks; boil in salted water.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the filling:
- 1/2 pound good quality ground meat (I used ground sirloin), or omit the meat and make it vegetarian by adding an additional cup or so of vegies
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 carrots, chopped small
- 2 c. chopped or grated vegetables, such as celery, green beans, peas, cabbage, zucchini, kale, green peppers (I used napa cabbage, grated zucchini, frozen peas, chopped parsley and some left over green beans)
- salt and lots of pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Add and brown the ground meat. Stir in the carrots and let them cook for a few minutes, then add the remaining vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and a dash or two of Worcestershire. Taste, and season some more. Keep over a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. While the filling is heating, prepare the crust:
Pastry bottom crust
Combine all of the ingredients using a pastry cutter or food processor. Press into the bottom of a deep pie-size dish.
- 2 c. flour (I used 1/2 of whole wheat flour)
- 2/3 c. butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4. c. grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
4. Mash the potatoes
Make these as usual, and then stir in a 1/2 cup grated cheddar.
5. Layer the pie
Spoon the filling over the crust; then spread on the potatoes, leaving little peaks so that they’ll brown nicely.
450 degrees for 10 minutes, then 325 degrees for 45 minutes.
Of course, if you have a craving for crust and really want to misbehave, you could put the same filling in a Cornish pasty…by its nature unhealthy!