My kids and husband have always been fussy in their own individual ways, but one dish that nobody ever refuses is my cottage pie. The ingredients feed four people, but it's a very adaptable recipe if you need to feed more people.
The pie takes about 20 minutes to prepare and another 30 to cook at 180°/Gas 4.
Ingredients About 4 medium sized potatoes
1 or 2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 carrot, finely diced
500g minced beef
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml beef stock, or water
Peel the potatoes, cut each one into about 4 pieces and put into a pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer while you prepare the meat.
Heat the oil in another pan and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft, then add the celery and the carrot and cook for another minute or two.
Add the minced beef, stirring and cooking until brown.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree. Make sure the meat and vegetables are well coated before pouring in the stock or water.
Bring to the boil and turn down to cook gently for about five minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.
Spoon the meat, vegetables and any remaining juices into a suitable ovenproof dish.
Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, drain the water and return them to the pan to dry out over a low heat for a minute or two.
Turn off the heat, add a glug of milk and a knob of butter and mash, or beat, until soft and creamy.
Top the meat with the mashed potatoes, fork up nicely, or pipe if you're feeling artistic.
Put into the oven to cook for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes have browned on top.