Cottage pie with cinnamon and mace and a buttermilk cobbler top.

On Saturday evening, freshly back from Christmas in Devon I had Abigail over for some dinner and Doctor Who and a post-Christmas catch up. (We opted for The Android Invasion, to satisfy Abigail’s Harry Sullivan craving!)

I flicked through my cookbooks and found this tasty recipe in The Great British Bake-Off Winter Cookbook and thought I’d give it a go. I tend to make Shepherd’s Pie rather than Cottage Pie, so I thought it would make a nice change. The cobbler topping make the recipe interesting too. One slight problem is that the cooking time was slightly too long, and so the cobbler topping was a bit too browned and a little dry on top. Well, to be honest, I think it was a case of the oven being a bit too hot. Still, next time, I will cook it for 25 minutes, rather than the suggested 35.

Serves 6 (I scaled it right down to serve 2 and still had enough left over to make some mini-Cornish pasties for New Year’s Eve!)

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1kg of beef mince
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 blades of mace (I used a teaspoon of ground mace, as I couldn’t find the un-ground stuff. That seemed to work.)
200g of chopped tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of tomato purée
2 teaspoons of caster sugar
2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar
200ml of beef stock
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
3 tablespoons of fresh coriander
Salt and black pepper

For the Cobbler topping:

250g of plain flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 medium eggs, beaten
200ml of buttermilk

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onions start to colour and soften. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the minced beef, increase the heat, and stir until browned all over, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.

Add the cinnamon, mace, tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, vinegar and stock. Season well with salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Simmer, over a medium heat, for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Pre-heat the oven to 200.

Whilst the meat mixture is cooking, make the cobbler topping. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl to make a soft dough, season well with salt and pepper, and leave to one side until needed.

Remove the cinnamon stick, and the whole mace (if using) from the cooked meat mixture and then transfer to an ovenproof dish. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander.

Dollop the cobbler mixture all over the top. Place in the oven for cook for 30-35 minutes, until bubbling hot and the cobbler is golden brown.




About neilche

Hi. My name's Neil. I live in Brighton with my flatmate (also Neil) and I work as a Librarian at a local college. I like cooking, eating and socialising with friends. Which is what prompted me to start this blog. I cycle everywhere around town - it helps to work off the calories!
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