Cottage pie is what you call shepherd’s pie when it’s made with beef instead of lamb, but if you think too long about it, you realize that the analogy doesn’t make any sense and that it should be cowherd’s pie, or maybe that cottage should actually be replaced with another form of dwelling that has as little to do with lamb as cottages do with cows. In any case, once you add ramen to the equation, it makes even less sense, except for that it’s a delicious combination.
- 1/2 T vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 11/2 lb ground beef (85–88% lean)
- 1 C frozen peas
- 1 large carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 T flour
- 2 C water
- 1 3-oz package ramen noodles
- 3-oz package tomato paste
- 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T olive oil
- + more oil for the pan
- 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 375° F. Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the onions and garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until almost cooked through, about 3–4 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add the peas and carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle everything with the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Add the water, the ramen-seasoning packet, tomato paste, pepper, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid thickens, about 7–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water until tender, about 2–3 minutes. Toss with the olive oil. Grease a baking dish or pie plate, pour the beef mixture into the prepared pan, and cover with the noodles. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until bubbling and golden, about 35 minutes.