Leftovers: cottage pie

Cottage pie

I’m going bite-sized today. That’s bite-sized in terms of the blog post, not in terms of food. I rarely go bite-sized when it comes to dinner. Unless we’re talking elephant, or in this case very large bull, size bites.

When the nights close in we seem to become unaccountably busy, at both work and play. And sometimes, just sometimes, I may not have the time, or energy, to cook a proper dinner. Thank goodness for leftovers.

This is where being something of a glutton comes in handy. I always make too much food. I really can’t be bothered with halving recipes for 4-6 people just because there are only two of us eating. And besides, you never know who might pop round for dinner.

Cottage pie post dinner
Half eaten pie

And so our wee fridge fills up very quickly with all manner of food. This weekend yielded some left over ragu and a third of a jar of mustard. I found some potatoes that had been lurking in a box on the floor nearby for a couple of weeks. Time for some cottage pie-ing.

Like any slow cooked food, the beef ragu (or chilli, stew, curry, whatever) benefits from a day or more in the fridge. Maturing. Which is why leftovers are ideal. They’ve usually been left hanging round for at least a day or two.

Plonk your beef in an oven-proof dish. Boil and mash some spuds, add a few spoonfuls of mustard, beat them smooth with a wooden spoon and smear them over the beef. Whack everything in the oven for an hour at 180-200oC and you have a hearty dish fit for a king. Or queen.

6 Responses to “Leftovers: cottage pie”

  1. Paul

    Lush, pure and simple! Left overs are often better than the meal they came from :^D

  2. kyleen

    This looks delicious! And the more food the better: leftovers like this cottage pie taste amazing, I’m sure.

  3. Susan

    Your beef ragu looks ACE. You’re right, the best thing to do with leftovers is to use them to create something entirely new and equally delicious.

  4. The Grubworm

    @Paul – thanks, simple works so well with leftovers, i mean, you’ve already done the hard work, right?

    @kyleen – thanks! it did taste pretty good. While writing the post I was struck with the idea of doing something like this with leftover curry and maybe some garam masala in the mash instead of mustard…

    @Susan – why thank you!

  5. shuhan

    “While writing the post I was struck with the idea of doing something like this with leftover curry and maybe some garam masala in the mash instead of mustard…”

    I actually have done it before, but quite intentionally, not as leftovers, but now that sounds like such a brilliant idea i don’t know why i’ve not thought of doing that yet. It’s here’; I called it my Indian style shepherd’s pie:

    http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/2011/03/masala-kheema-shepherds-pie.html

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