Cottage pie with pumpkin mash

This cottage pie with pumpkin mash is a hearty, filling meal that the whole family will enjoy.

Cottage pie with pumpkin mash
Chris Alack

SERVES 6

FOR THE BEEF FILLING

25g unsalted butter
1 tbsp good olive oil
2 slim carrots peeled and thinly sliced
2 sticks celery heart trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano or marjoram leaves or 1 tbsp soft thyme leaves
1kg good-quality minced beef
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
sea salt and black pepper

FOR THE MASH

1.2kg pumpkin flesh trimmed weight
2 tbsp olive oil
50g butter plus a knob for the top
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
3 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. For the beef filling, heat the butter and oil in a medium pan over a medium heat, add the vegetables and herbs and fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly coloured. Add the beef, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it changes colour. Add the remaining filling ingredients, bring to a simmer, then cook over a very low heat for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until nearly all the juices have been absorbed. Skim off any surface fat. Season the filling to taste and transfer it to a baking dish at least 2 litre capacity (for example measuring 20cm x 30cm). Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6 1⁄2.

2. For the mash, cut the prepped pumpkin into chunks, place in a large pan with a couple of centimetres of water and simmer over medium heat, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain in a sieve, press out the excess liquid, transfer to a large bowl and coarsely mash using a fork. Fold in the remaining mash ingredients one by one. Smooth the mash over the filling, sculpting the surface into rough peaks with a spoon.

3. Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Heat the grill to high, dot the pie with a little extra butter and pop under the grill briefly until the mash is golden at the tips.

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.