Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Spicy Cottage Pie with Nutmeg Brussels Sprouts

Spicy Cottage Pie with Nutmeg Brussels SproutsCottage Pie in its most basic form is of course minced or ground beef, topped with mashed potato. Usually, however, there will be some vegetables added to the beef. Carrots, peas and onions are popular additions of this type. This Cottage Pie is a little bit more spicy, however, designed to provide a little more heat on a cold Winter's night and I hope that it is something which you will be prepared to try. This is a recipe for two people.


1lb minced/ground beef
1 pint fresh beef stock
1/2lb potatoes
1 small carrot (diced)
1 small onion (very finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (very finely chopped)
1 small red chilli pepper (de-seeded and very finely chopped)
20 mini Brussels sprouts or ten larger ones
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


The beef should be browned in a dry, non-stick pan, before the carrots, onions, garlic, chilli and heated beef stock are added. The mix should be seasoned to taste with salt and freshly black pepper. It should then be simmered for half an hour.

When the beef is simmering, the potatoes should be peeled and chopped and added to a pot of salted, boiling water and simmered for twenty to twenty-five minutes until soft. They should then be drained and mashed with a little butter.

The beef, vegetables and remaining stock should then be placed in to a casserole dish. The potato should first be spooned evenly on top and then smoothed out carefully with a knife. The Cottage Pie should then be placed in to the oven - pre-heated to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6 - for twenty-five to thirty minutes. It can be browned under the grill for a couple of minutes, prior to serving, if desired.

The small sprouts that I have used here should be simmered in salted water for around eight minutes. larger sprouts will take ten to twelve minutes. It is important not to overcook the sprouts, as this will cause them to turn mushy and most unappealing. They should then be drained and swirled in a little butter and the nutmeg before being served with a portion of Cottage Pie.

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