Food & Drink Magazine

Cottage Pie, Comfort Food for When It Finally Feels Like Fall.

By Slowdownandsavor
Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

I don't know about where you guys live, but where I live here in Baltimore, MD, it hadn't quite felt like fall for the majority of September and October. Seriously, not until yesterday did it feel moderately fall-ish. I swear Mother Earth didn't get the memo on September 22nd that autumn had arrived, because it was still reaching the high 80'sF every day. All I wanted was to put on my cozy sweaters and basic-as-hell boots, and frolic in the fallen, fiery leaves. But no. It had to be hot. And there were no leaves in which to frolic.

But yesterday, praise the heavens, the temperature never got over 62F, and oh boy, oh boy. It felt GOOD. And for the first time in a long time, I felt compelled to cook something that wasn't the standard issue tacos, or spaghetti.

Yeah, it's true. I've gotten really lazy in the kitchen ever since Genevieve was born, resorting to preparing boring food. It's no fault to her, but I tell you, by the end of the day when it's time for dinner, I'm exhausted. Caring for 3 kids, 2 of which are under 3 and one of which is constantly breastfeeding, is a rewarding yet intense job. Making sure the house is clean, laundry is done, shopping is complete, cats are fed and clean... it's a lot to be a stay-at-home mom. So I'm sorry to my family for falling back on easy meals that lack any imagination. But those meals saved my sanity for so long.

But while it saved my sanity, it didn't take long for me to feel a bit insane, and get bored. I lacked any desire to get in the kitchen at all, dreading the task I used to get excited for. Dinner used to be my zen. I would get in there, and fall into a groove where I could drown everything out, and create something awesome with my hands for my family. In my own little way, I considered my dinners to be gifts to those I love. Yeah, they may not always be great, but it was something I took pride in. But somewhere along the way, I lost that love and passion for food and for creating in general.

But yesterday, when that cool air hit my skin, when the briskness of the day wrapped around me and my cozy sweater, not only did a smile erupt on my face, but a renewed spark of creativity was ignited in my being. I was ready to cook and create and make. Yep, I got excited again.

Using my brand-spankin' new Samsung Smart Refrigerator featuring the Family Hub, I was able to find the PERFECT recipe for something perfectly comforting from AllRecipes.com, right there on the refrigerator door. We've had this fridge for about 2 weeks, and the novelty of having a tablet right there in the door has not worn off.

Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

Anyway, like I was saying, I found the perfect recipe for something perfectly comforting for my family for our first feels-like-fall day of the year. I had a sudden craving for shepherd's pie, but I didn't want to deal with lamb. I learned that the ground beef version of a shepherd's pie is known as a cottage pie, so that's what I set out to make. But none of the cottage pie recipes I looked through were up to what I wanted.

Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

I ended up using the AllRecipes.com app to find Larry Short's recipe for A Scotsman's Shepherd's Pie. What set it apart from everyone else's recipes was a Guinness gravy, and that was music to my ears. I loved the idea of including Guinness in this meal, and plus, my husband is on a Guinness kick these days, so we had some in the fridge already. How convenient!

I stuck pretty close to the recipe he posted to the site, but as is usually true for me, I strayed a bit off the beaten path and tweaked it a bit to our tastes.

Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

The result was something beautiful. I was really proud of this meal. I will be straight forward with you on this, it wasn't one of those meals that's quick and easy. I mean, it wasn't complicated, but I didn't stop doing something for nearly an hour. I really enjoyed the creation process, but it's something that you should know ahead of time. In case you were looking for something quick, this isn't that.

Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

The cottage pie was deep, like a warm hug, and savory. Each bite warmed me up from the inside out. The flavors were meaty, earthy, and it was really hearty. The meal was comforting to our souls. All of us enjoyed it, and Michael even went back for seconds. I will for sure make this again.

Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

This would be an awesome meal to make for a Meal Train or to make ahead and freeze.

If you decide to make my take on a Cottage Pie, let me know! I'd love to hear about it.
Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.
Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

Comforting and delicious, this cottage pie will become your new go-to cool weather dinner. It's satisfying and hearty. The Guinness gravy adds some earthy depth while the smoked paprika adds some sweet smoke. It's an awesome meal to be sure.

I am in no way whatsoever sponsored or affiliated with Samsung, AllRecipes.com or Guinness. I just love all of these things. They have no idea who I am, but I stand by them.
Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.
Cottage Pie, comfort food for when it finally feels like fall.

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