La Différence

La Différence
A passion for food

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Mini Cottage Pies with Duchess Potatoes

                                          Mini Cottage Pies with Duchesse Potatoes

I'm always looking for ideas to serve for picnics,  afternoon teas and canapé parties.  These little mini cottage pies certainly fit the bill. I made these the size of mince pies but  you can vary the size from one large pie to tiny canapé one bite treats. You can of course turn these into Mini Shepherd's Pies by using lamb instead of beef using exactly the same technique.

  I prefer to serve them warm and not straight from the oven ...if you can wait long enough to let them cool slightly.

A one pound of minced beef/lamb  mix should make around  24 small ( muffin sized)...  48 mini canapé sized cottage pies....or just 1 large 10" pie.

The pastry- 

 For the tart case you will need (10" loose bottomed flan tin)

200 gms / 7oz plain flour
60gms/2oz Butter
60gms/2oz Vegetable Shortening  (Trex)
pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp ice cold water to bind    


The pastry 

Place the flour, shortening & butter with a little salt in a mixing bowl
Rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
add 2 tbsp iced water and mix together to bring together into a may need to add the other tbsp if the dough is too dry.
Flatten the dough out slightly and wrap in cling film
Refrigerate for at least 30 mins.

For the 10" Pie
Flour your work surface  and roll out the pastry to fit the greased tin with a little overhang
Line with parchment then baking beans and bake at 190c/375f/gas 5 for around 20 mins.
Remove the parchment and baking beans and put back in the oven until the pastry is golden brown and the base cooked through.
Trim the pastry overhand with a sharp knife

For the small pie you will need a 12 hole muffin tray
Using a 3½"/9cm  round cutter, cut out 24 pastry rings
Place these into your greased muffin tin
Scrumple up a large piece of baking parchment and push the paper down into each well of the tray
Fill each well with baking beans 
Bake blind as above

For the  tiny canapé pies  use a 2½" /6.5cm round cutter and cut out 48 pastry rings to fit a small holed canapé tray  
Bake blind as above

For the filling:-

1lb/ 500g Lean Minced Beef
2 tsps oil 
1 large onion finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely diced
1 large carrot finely diced
1 dessertspoon Worcester Sauce
1 dessertspoon tomato puree
½tsp dried thyme
½ pt beef stock
2/3 teaspoons cornflour slaked in cold water
1 tsp salt...or to taste
Black pepper to taste


Heat a frying pan
Add 1tsp the oil and fry the mince until starting to brown,  place the meat into a saucepan
Now gently sweat the onion, celery & carrot in the frying pan using the other spoonful of oil to cook them in until tender
Place the vegetables in the pan with the meat adding everything else except the cornflour.
Simmer for around an hour...thicken with the cornflour.  the mix should be very thick...add a little more cornflour if it's too runny.

The Duchess Potatoes:-

1½- 2lbs  750gms/1Kg floury potatoes...I used King Edwards
white pepper
2 egg yolks
a little hot milk 


Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender.
Completely drain them...pop back in the pan. Place the lid back on
Leave for around 5/10minutes
Thoroughly mash them 
Add a little hot milk and the egg yolks and beat it all together quickly so that the egg yolk doesn't start to cook.
Season well with salt & white pepper
The mash should be of piping consistency..if it's too stiff add a little more hot milk
You will need to let the potato cool enough to be able to handle it

To Finish:

Fill the pastry cases 2/3rds full with the meat mixture
Then pipe swirls of potato on top as in my photograph
Bake in a hot oven until the potato starts to turn golden brown 
This should take around  8-10 minutes

Leave to cool slightly and serve.  




I love sharing my recipes with you all...please feel free to comment's great to get some feedback ♥