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Inside Out German Cottage Pie

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Inside Out German Cottage Pie is a delicious and comforting dish that combines the elements of a traditional cottage pie with a German twist. This recipe features a savory ground beef filling with onions, tomatoes, and spices, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and a sprinkle of cheese. Perfect for a cozy family dinner, this dish is sure to satisfy and delight. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of making Inside Out German Cottage Pie, provide helpful cooking notes, and offer variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste, plus extra for potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Potatoes

  1. Boil the Potatoes:
    • Place the peeled and chopped potatoes in a large pot of salted water.
    • Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Mash the Potatoes:
    • Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
    • Add the butter, a splash of vegetable oil, salt, and pepper to taste.
    • Mash until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Beef Filling

  1. Cook the Ground Beef:
    • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
    • Add the ground beef and cook until browned and cooked through, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
  2. Add the Onion:
    • Add the diced onion to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season the Beef:
    • Stir in the smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the Tomatoes and Dill:
    • Add the undrained can of diced tomatoes and the dried dill to the skillet.
    • Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
    • Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.

Step 3: Assemble the Cottage Pie

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Grease the Baking Dish:
    • Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with vegetable oil.
  3. Layer the Beef Filling:
    • Spread the beef mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  4. Top with Mashed Potatoes:
    • Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef filling, smoothing them into an even layer.
  5. Add Cheese:
    • Sprinkle the Parmesan or Romano cheese evenly over the top of the mashed potatoes.

Step 4: Bake the Cottage Pie

  1. Bake:
    • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  2. Cool Slightly:
    • Let the cottage pie cool for a few minutes before serving.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Serve:
    • Serve the Inside Out German Cottage Pie hot, with a side of green beans, salad, or your favorite vegetables.

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Mashing Potatoes: For extra creamy mashed potatoes, you can add a splash of milk or cream while mashing.
  • Cheese: Freshly grated cheese melts better and has more flavor than pre-grated cheese.

Variations:

  • Vegetarian Version:
    • Replace the ground beef with a plant-based ground meat substitute or extra vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini.
  • Spicy German Cottage Pie:
    • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño to the beef mixture for a spicy kick.
  • Cheesy Cottage Pie:
    • Mix 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes for extra cheesiness.
  • Herbed Cottage Pie:
    • Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, thyme, or chives to the mashed potatoes for added flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use a different type of potato?

Yes, you can use Yukon Gold or red potatoes instead of Russet potatoes. The texture and flavor may vary slightly.

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2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover cottage pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

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3. Can I freeze the cottage pie?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled but unbaked cottage pie. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking.

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4. What can I serve with Inside Out German Cottage Pie?

This dish pairs well with green beans, a simple green salad, roasted carrots, or steamed broccoli.

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5. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the cottage pie ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Add a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.

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Inside Out German Cottage Pie is a hearty and flavorful dish that’s perfect for any occasion. With its savory ground beef filling, creamy mashed potatoes, and cheesy topping, this cottage pie is sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re making it for a cozy dinner at home or a special gathering, this recipe is easy to follow and full of delicious flavors. Give this Inside Out German Cottage Pie recipe a try and enjoy a comforting and satisfying meal. Happy cooking!