Chillies in adobo are a fantastic ingredient for adding smoky depth and spicy heat to dishes. Once hard to find, they're now readily available in most supermarkets.
¼ cup olive oil
1kg beef chuck
2 brown onions, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
200g chillies in adobo (or to taste, if you don't want it too spicy), roughly chopped
700ml tomato passata
1 tsp salt
1½ cups grated cheese
blanched green beans, to serve
For the mashed potato
1.5kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
¾ cup milk
75g butter, cubed
Heat your oven to 170C (150C fan-forced). Heat a large roasting tray over medium heat and add the olive oil. Brown the beef well on all sides, then stir in the onions, carrot and celery. Cook for a few minutes until the onion softens, then add the chillies in adobo, passata and salt. Add one cup of water, then cover with foil and bake for three hours.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the mashed potato. Place the potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place the saucepan on high heat and boil until the potatoes are tender (around 15 to 20 minutes). A small sharp knife should be able to be easily inserted and withdrawn from the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and return to the dry pot. Place over a low heat and mash well with the milk. Mix through the butter and beat well.
After three hours, remove the beef from the oven and increase the temperature to 200C (180C fan-forced). Shred the meat with two forks and stir it through the sauce. Scatter the beef and sauce mixture with grated cheese, then top with the mashed potato. With a fork, fluff the top of the mash to create a random, jagged texture. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the potato is golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, then serve with blanched green beans.
Adam's tip: The difference between shepherd's pie and cottage pie is very simple. If it's made with lamb, logically enough, it's shepherd's pie. If it's made with beef, it's cottage pie.
Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.