Friday, 8 August 2014

Hearty Beef Cottage Pie topped with Buttery Mash

Sometimes life serves you up a big warm hug just when you need it doesn't it?

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend Craft Victoria's Craft & Design as a Career conference at Fed Square.

I caught up with ace sorts and was surrounded by amazing creative people.

It filled me to the brim.
I'd had a tough time as I talked about in my previous post and this was just the sort of pick-me-up I needed.

One of the things I am SOOOOOO excited about after yesterday is attending the Lost Trades Fair in Kyneton next year. Have you heard of it? Maybe you have!
I hadn't until yesterday but now I am super happy to have found out about it. Hoorah.

The Lost Trades Fair is an event celebrating the trades that are at risk of dying out.
Old school magnificence.
Creative arts that are functional yet exquisitely beautiful in their forms.
I hadn't heard of this before but it is RIGHT up my family's alley.
Already Lisa and Glen have gathered 80 people to share their skills. I can't wait!

Listening to the passion with which all of the speakers shared their stories was soul filling.
There are so many GOOD people out there doing great things.
Plugging away at their thing unheralded.
So good at what they do, yet so many of them unheard of.

There was a common thread amongst the speakers of getting to their creative success via a wonky path. Life doesn't take us on straight paths very often. But every bit of the wonky is an integral part in the puzzle. None of us would be the whole that we are without all the other bits we gathered on our wonky ways.

Going to an event like this is a great reminder that there is so much unseen good going on around us at any one time.
And yet we tend to hear only of the bad.

I'm really grateful to Craft Victoria and in particular to Gemma Jones for such an inspiring event.

For some reason yesterday I was craving a Cottage pie.
I had a little of my latest delivery of Naomi's amazing butter left & some gravy beef  from Warialda.
Cottage pie usually uses Mince but I think it is better with large pieces. Gravy beef is the perfect cut as when cooked slowly it becomes soft and unctuous.

This recipe is so so simple but tasted absolutely incredible. A testament to the fact that food can be a simple as simple can be but if you use amazing produce it will take it to a whole other level.
Total comfort food.


  • 1kg gravy beef, cut into large chunks
  • oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 carrots, peeled chopped roughly 
  • 1/2 bunch italian parsley chopped roughly
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Worcesteshire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • S & P
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 100g butter ( i told you it was buttery mash!)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
Heat a large non-stick pan to medium high. Add oil and pan & fry the gravy beef in small batches so as to brown and seal. Remove and set aside.
Add onion and fry till onion translucent.
Add garlic and fry for a minute or two. Add bay leaves, parlsey & carrot. Now add the flour and pop the beef back in the pan.
Stir well to coat.

Add Worcesteshire & Tomato paste. Stir and cook for a minute or two.
Add beef stock and S & P.
Bring to boil and immediately reduce heat to low.
Cover well and cook for 2 hours. ( you could do this in the oven - temp 170C).

Meanwhile peel & chop spuds into large chunks.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add potatoes.
Cook till soft.
Drain and mash lightly.
Now add the butter and mash until as smooth as possible (I do it this way as the butter melts well into the hot potatoes).

Add milk and almost use your masher to almost whisk the mash- this is how I get my mash super light and fluffy.

Heat the oven to 170C.

Add the cooked beef to an ovenproof casserole dish. Top with mashed potato and place into the oven until brown (about 20mins).

Serve piping hot.
Let's listen to this shall we?
My big two have been playing it loud at my place this week.
I reckon I was exactly their age when my mum listened to it about eleventy bazillion times as I played it our house too.
Some good things never change........


  1. Get in my belly #pregnancycraving

  2. ooh that pie looks divine. I miss living in a country with affordable beef!


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