It has been a while since I broke out the mini pie maker and made some pies! I have never actually made cottage pie before, much less mini cottage pies, but it was amazingly simple, and came together in less than 45 minutes. I had some pre-sized pie crusts in the freezer, which definitely helped things along quite a bit.
My picky kids devoured these! They are filled with ground beef, celery, onion, carrots, mushrooms, and seasonings. Held together in a pan gravy that consists of a bit of red wine, water, beef bouillon, and a corn starch slurry. If I would have had enough beef stock I would have made extra gravy to pour over the top of these, but they were great without. I just put a dollop of butter on top of each one, and that was perfect!
If you do not have a mini pie maker, you can feel free to modify this to make a regular sized pie. Same methods!
Start by dicing up some onion, carrots, and celery. Put in a pan with about 1/2 – 3/4 lb of ground beef. Season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic salt, and onion powder. Also toss in about 1/2 tsp of thyme and marjoram.
If you don’t have your mashed potatoes already made, start the water now.
You can also throw in some mushrooms if you like them!
Add some frozen peas. Add some garlic. When that is all cooked and delicious, spoon out some of the excess fat. Add 1/3 cup red wine, and cook for 2 minutes. Now add 1 cup of water and a beef bouillon cube, packet, or teaspoon. Whatever form you prefer. You can also use beef stock in place of the water/bouillon combo. Let that cook for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
Boil those potatoes! WE need mashed potatoes for this!
Next mix up a corn starch slurry. I used about 2 TBSP of corn starch and enough water to make it pourable. Pour this into your beef mixture and stir until it thickens. If you think it needs to be thicker, add more slurry, if it is too thick, add more water/broth.
Now take your pre-sized pie crusts and place them into a COLD mini-pie maker. I KNOW that the directions probably say to do it hot, but I have much better results when I start it up cold. Of course, for the second batch this wasn’t possible, but we made due. Press them down with the tool that comes with it. Don’t turn it on yet.
If your potatoes aren’t mashed yet, do so. I like to do mine with about 2 oz cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sour cream, and enough milk to make them soft. Do not forget the salt. Potatoes need to be liberally salted. There is nothing worse than bland mashed potatoes! When they are ready and mashed and seasoned, put them in a large ziploc and cut the tip off the end.
Now fill with the beef mixture.
Top by piping on the mashed potatoes and give it a sprinkle of paprika.
NOW turn on your pie maker and close the lid. Cook for 10-15 minutes, checking near the end, and take them out when the crust is golden brown and the potatoes have developed a bit of a crust.
Now doesn’t that look yummy! My kids LOVED these. I did too. I cannot wait to try a variation of this with left-over roast beef dinner, complete with scratch gravy to go on the top. Can you see me drooling from there? I hope not!
Almost clean plate! Complete meal in one mini pie! Can you hear him saying “Cheese!” Do not look at my messy kitchen in the background. That is just how it goes after cooking dinner in my house.
Another happy customer. Vegetables and all! No smile can be gotten out of him lately when the camera comes out though. He is my silly faced guy.