Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday – Week Seven – Prince Edward Island – Cottage Pie

Welcome to Week Seven of the Ten Canadian Provinces of New Recipe Tuesday! This week we explore the province of Prince Edward Island, the smallest of all the provinces. Located on the far East coast of Canada, its area is only 136 miles long and 6 to 36 miles wide. Up until 1995, the only way to get to PEI was by ferry. The opening of the Confederation Bridge now connects the island to New Brunswick. The toll is a whopping $45.00.

For my book loving folks, you may already know that Prince Edward Island was the home of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote about the province in her 1908 book Anne of Green Gables. The house that inspired the book is located in Cavendish, and today is a national historic site open to visitors.

A good portion of the island is rural and its rich soil makes it the perfect place to grow potatoes. It is by far their largest cash crop, with over 89,000 acres planted annually. It is also famously known for its fresh seafood, especially lobster.

When I went looking for a recipe, there were plenty of seafood soups and stews, but since no one in the house loves fish, I decided to focus on potato instead. What I discovered was a dish that has its roots in Ireland (another potato growing island). The dish is called Cottage Pie, and is essentially Shepherd’s Pie made with ground beef. I learned that for the dish to be a Shepherd’s Pie, it need to be made with lamb (makes sense).

pei-cottage-pie
Prince Edward Island Cottage Pie

I liked the many seasonings that were in this filling, and also the use of a tomato base. It is very different from the Irish versions I have had before and I really liked it. My son tasted it and said ‘no thanks’ and headed to the freezer for a frozen pizza. Oh well. He isn’t a vegetable fan and mashed potatoes aren’t his thing either. I can’t believe he is part Irish and doesn’t like potatoes! Where did I go wrong?

I give this one an A-, mostly because it has what I would consider to be too many ingredients and I am the only one eating it. Not a whole house winner. Looks like I will be eating this for lunch for the next few days. If you are looking for something a little different on a cold winter night, give this one a try. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list. You probably have most of it in your pantry already. And you just might like it as much as I did.

Thanks for stopping by. See you next time in Quebec!

Cottage Pie

Ingredients

For the Potato Topping:

  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered (about 2 lbs)
  • 4 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tbsp soft butter
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • ¼ cup grated cheese of choice (I used cheddar)
  • 1 egg yolk

For the Filling:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ large red pepper, chopped
  • ½ c. each frozen corn and frozen peas (or 1 cup mixed vegetables)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ c beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of each – ginger, cinnamon and coriander

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an 8”x8” baking dish and set aside.
  2. Place the potatoes and garlic in a pot of lightly salted, cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  3. Rice or mash the potatoes and garlic. Add the milk, butter nutmeg and cheese. Beat the egg yolk slightly, and then add to the potato mixture. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then ground beef; cook until the meat is browned. Add onions and peppers; cook until tender.
  5. Drain off the fat, return skillet to heat and add in the remaining vegetables, broth, tomatoes, seasonings and spices. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer mixture to baking dish and press it down. Top with the garlic mashed potatoes and lightly sprinkle paprika over top. Place the baking dish in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

pei-cottage-pie2
Cottage Pie
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