Steak Cottage Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash


3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 pounds grass-fed beef chuck, cubed
1 tablespoon Montreal steak seasoning or chophouse seasoning
1⁄2 cup plus 1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
fresh ground black pepper
11⁄2 cups carrot, diced
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1⁄2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 to 5 sage leaves, chopped
Beef broth, to cover (about 1 – 11⁄2 cups)
Salt, to taste
1 cup frozen peas

For the mash:
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1⁄2 pound parsnips, peeled, roughly chopped, and rough core removed
6 tablespoons butter, plus extra for topping
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Combine the flour, steak seasoning and several grinds of black pepper in a bag and shake to cover the steak cubes. Set aside. In a deep-sided skillet, sauté the carrots and onion in the butter over medium-high heat until softened. Add the garlic, cook for another 1 – 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. Fry the meat (in batches) until browned, adding more butter if necessary. Remove and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the wine, making sure to scrape up all of the crispy bits. Simmer until reduced by a little more than half. Add 11⁄2 tablespoons of butter. When melted and bubbling, add 1 heaping tablespoon of flour, lower the heat to medium and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Return the vegetables and meat to the pan, along with the herbs and beef broth. Add a pinch of salt, some more black pepper and simmer on the stovetop until thickened.

Add the peas and stir to distribute. Transfer to a 21⁄2 quart round covered casserole or four 6-inch ramekins or oven safe handled soup bowls. Bake, covered, at 350 until the meat is tender, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Taste and adjust for seasoning (salt, pepper).

Meanwhile, make the mashed parsnips and potatoes. Boil the potatoes and parsnips in well-salted water until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash with a potato masher. (Don’t use an immersion blender or the potatoes will get gummy.) Add the butter, cream and salt to taste.

Transfer to a plastic freezer bag, and cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe the potatoes over the beef stew and dot with a bit more butter. Return to the oven and broil until the mash begins to brown. To serve, garnish with chopped parsley. Serves 6 to 8.

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