When it comes to shopping for groceries we all want to be sure that the food products we are buying are not only tasty but come with a some assurance of their quality and provenance. In the UK that assurance comes in the form of the Red Tractor logo which can be found in a huge variety of produce, from vegetables to dairy, meat and drinks. This little sign is a stamp of approval that the food in your shopping trolley has been produced to the highest standards and has been responsibly sourced.
When it comes to recipes using Red Tractor assured products the options are, of course, endless. But I decided to create a suitably British recipe with all the items I picked up this weekend – Cottage Pie. This is not your average cottage pie though – this is the pimped up all-singing and dancing version. I have taken my inspiration from Tom Kerridge to create my pie with braising steak instead of mince – add a rich ale gravy and a Stilton mash topping and you have a dish fit for the Queen. This is proper Sunday meal family fare – filling, incredibly tasty and crowd pleasing.
Cottage pie with Stilton Mash
Serves 4-5, generously
900g | 1lb Red Tractor braising steak, cut into small cubes
6 tbsp Red Tractor plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
rapeseed (canola) oil for frying
500ml | 2 cups hot beef stock
250ml | 1 cup dark ale
3 Red Tractor onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large Red Tractor carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
2 star anise
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
7 large Red Tractor floury potatoes such as Maris Piper, peeled and cubed
125ml | 1/2 cup Red Tractor whole milk, or more, as needed
50g | 2 tbsp Red Tractor butter
100g | 3.5oz Red Tractor Stilton cheese, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper
buttered peas and green beans, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300F).
- Put the flour into a large plate and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the beef cubes and toss until they are lightly coated in flour.
- Heat a generous glug of rapeseed oil in a large casserole dish (I used my Le Creuset). Add the beef, in batches if necessary, and brown the cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Add a splash of the stock to deglaze the casserole and scrape any sticky brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Pour any liquid from the pan in with the beef.
- Add more oil to the casserole and fry the onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder, cumin, garlic, carrots and celery and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, stock and ale.
- Add the cinnamon stick, star anise and the browned beef. Bring to the boil, cover the casserole and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours – checking after 1 hour to give the stew a little stir.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the stew to a large, deep, ovenproof dish to cool slightly. Check the seasoning and sprinkle with the thyme.
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pot and bring to the boil. Lower heat to a rolling simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Drain and return to the pot. Add the butter and milk and mash together until smooth. Add a splash more milk if the mash is too dry. Taste and season.
- Transfer the mash to a large piping bag and pipe over the stew. Sprinkle with the crumbled cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and cook for about 25 minutes until the mash starts to colour a little and the middle is very hot.
- Leave the pie to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve with buttered peas and steamed green beans on the side.
Red Tractor are also hosting weekly competitions on their Facebook & Twitter to win more prizes, including £100 Aldi Voucher, £50 Cooperative vouchers, meat goody bags and much more. Be sure to check them out!