It doesn't get more comforting than savory beef and hearty potatoes all baked into a cozy casserole. Cottage pie makes great use of leftover veggies and roasted potatoes, it's so easy to prepare and the whole family will be happy to eat it.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1 cup chopped Vidalia or sweet onion
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1½ pounds ground chuck (80% lean, 20% fat), room temperature
- 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and gently chopped
- 1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups beef stock, warmed
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 10 ounces frozen peas and carrots, thawed
- 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
- Leftover Sunny's Roasted Rosemary and Thyme Potatoes
- Chopped parsley, to garnish
1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the onion, bell pepper, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beef, thyme, paprika, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and season again with salt, and a few grinds of pepper.
2. Break up the beef while stirring and cook until the beef is browned, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt again, if needed. Sprinkle flour and stir to combine. Add the stock and cook until it thickens.
3. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spray an 8- by 8-inch dish with cooking spray.
4. Add the beef to a prepared baking dish. Add the peas and carrots, then the cheese in even layers over the beef, then add potatoes in rows. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until the potatoes deepen in color on the edges, another 10 minutes. Serve warm with a sprinkle of parsley.