Cottage Pie is a classic English dish with many variations. It’s pure comfort food, consisting of beef, vegetables, and mashed potatoes. Ghosts in the Cottage pie, is simply traditional Cottage Pie with the potatoes made into mounds that look like ghosts, making it a fun dish to serve at the annual Halloween BOO-ffet, or as a warming nutritious dinner to serve to family before the trick-or-treating starts.
While this recipe can be made in about 30 minutes hands-on time with 30 additional minutes to bake, it can be made even faster by using frozen or refrigerated already prepared mashed potatoes or even leftovers. Rather than chopping the onion and browning it with the ground beef, 1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes can be stirred into the already browned ground beef along with the remaining ingredients, saving the time and tears of chopping.
If it isn’t Halloween, the potatoes may be spread across the entire casserole rather than making mounds to look like ghosts. Cheese can be sprinkled on the mashed potatoes, in which case it should be called “Cumberland Pie.” If ground lamb is used instead of ground beef, the casserole would, of course, be referred to as “Shepherd’s Pie.”
Ghosts in the Cottage Pie
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, pared and cut into thick slices
boiling salted water
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup dry milk, dissolved in 1 cup hottest tap water
salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped, or 1/4 cup dry onion flakes
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 10 3/4 ounce can condensed beef consommé
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 carrots, pared and sliced
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Additional frozen peas for ghost’s eyes
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.
- Drain well and place in the bowl of a mixer.
- Beat in the butter and enough of the milk to make the potatoes smooth and fluffy; add salt to taste.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat
- Add the soups, Worcestershire sauce, and carrot slices.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook 5 minutes
- Stir in the peas and transfer to a shallow 2-3 quart casserole dish.
- Drop mounds of mashed potatoes onto the beef mixture to resemble ghosts.
- Press two peas into each mound for eyes.
- Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes or until heated and bubbly.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 140
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 48% Protein 23% Carb. 29%
Nutrient Amount per % Daily
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 650 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 17 g
Vitamin A 76% Vitamin C 21% Calcium 0% Iron 11%