My face must always register disappointment when people say they can’t invite me to dinner because they just wouldn’t know what to cook for me. But the fact is that I just love anything that anyone cooks for me as long as the end result is not a runny egg yolk (my food hell is a runny egg yolk).
In fact, my desert island dish would probably be my comfort food indulgence: a steaming hot dish of cottage or shepherd’s pie – with a side of beetroot. It’s a dish that’s anathema to my Spanish friends. A whole lot of pure de patatas layered on top of minced meat? What’s all that about? (I daren’t even start explaining Stovies…)
The difference between cottage and shepherd’s pie is in the meat. Shepherd’s uses lamb and cottage, beef. Both do actually resemble a thatched cottage when in a glass oven dish with the brown meat base and the pale straw thatch.
So it was with some excitement that I worked on a Spanish version featuring chorizo and Sherry. It was so spectacular that I have to share it with you. So without further ado, here it is – my Spanish cottage pie recipe…
You will need:
- 1 kilo of minced pork shoulder*
- 500 grams of minced chorizo
- Large onion chopped
- 3 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 x tablespoon of tomato puree
- As much Oloroso as you can afford to add
- Chopped parsley
- Enough mashed potatoes – made with butter only – to cover the dish you plan to serve it in.
(*My butcher in town, Paco, regularly minces chorizo and pork for my albondigas but for the cottage pie, he used a larger setting as well as a fattier cut of pork such as shoulder. At home you could pulse cooking chorizo and cubed pork in your magi mix to achieve the same result.)
How to make the dish:
- Start by adding 2 tbs of olive oil to a wide and heavy based pan or casserole dish and immediately add the onion. The onion will start to cook as the oil heats. Cook for 10 minutes or so until the onions are translucent and sweet.
- Add the meats and resist stirring until you think they are about to burn.
- Stir a little to allow for other parts of the mixture to brown. Repeat until all the meat mixture has browned.
- Sprinkle in the smoked paprika and stir. Add the thyme, chopped fresh parsley and the tomato puree.
- Add at least a large wine glass of Oloroso, let it bubble and then add enough water to just about cover the meat mixture.
- Simmer of at least an hour until the liquid has reduced. Add some more water during cooking if it reduces too soon. (What you are looking to achieve is a caramelised look – dark brown and tender when you taste. Normally I find there is enough salt in the chorizo to work but it depends on your chorizo so do add salt to taste. If you feel that your mixture is too liquid-y, thicken with a bit of cornflour mixed with cold water.)
- At this stage you can keep the mixture overnight to improve (everything with added wine and herbs tastes better the next day).
- Transfer into a serving oven-proof dish and top with the butter-y mash.
- Bake in oven at 170 degrees until the potato mixture crisps on top.
Other nice to knows…
- Serves: 4
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Calories: 330 calories per helping
Like my Spanish cottage pie recipe and looking for something to go with it? Serve alongside a crispy salad or just beetroot and an extremely large glass of Oloroso.