Spicy Tomato Cottage Pie

Living abroad sometimes I feel the need for some home comforts – such as a nice simple cottage or shepherds pie.

But I like to spice things up now and again, and being me, cannot resist putting my own slant on things.

This spicy tomato cottage pie arose out of one of those “experiments” and I am pleased to say it was a triumph!

My Grandmothers Cottage Pie, bless her, was one of the blandest things I have ever tasted.

Her pies (rhubarb, apple or egg custards) were her specialty.

But she was far too attached to the oxo cube and Bisto gravy granules for my tastes when it came to stews or cottage pies etc.

I live in Spain and occasionally have a few locals over for dinner.

I could not resist putting a slightly Spanish twist in with the use of “Pimienton Dulce” (sweet paprika)… and then, having a few red chilies in the fridge still to use, I cast one of those in the pot as well!

Filling

1tbsp Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 1/4 Minced Beef or Quorn
14oz Can Tomatoes
8fl oz Beef or Vegetable Stock
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper
2 tsps Pimienton Dulce / Spanish Sweet Paprika
1 red chili (with or without seeds depending on your preferences)

Topping

1lb of Sweet Potato
Cheddar Cheese
1 small onion finely diced

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened but still al dente.
3. Add the mince and cook for 3 minutes to brown. Add Pimienton Dulce and mix well.
4. Add the tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaf, and 1 finely chopped red chili.
5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season. Spoon the meat into a dish, level out and place in the fridge whilst you create the mash (makes spreading the mash over much easier!)
6. Make the mash: steam or boil the sweet potatoes until soft. Drain, mash with the butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Take the meat out of the fridge and top with the mash. Sprinkle with onion and cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

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