Cottage pie jacket potatoes! This filling dinner recipe is cheap and easy to make in the microwave – perfect for students!
1 onion, finely chopped
250g/9oz beef mince
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
2 large baking potatoes (around 325g/11½oz each), washed well
50g/1¾oz Cheddar, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the onion, beef and herbs in a large saucepan over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Add the tomatoes, crumble in the stock cube, then refill the tomato can with cold water and pour into the pan. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat slightly and cook for 20–25 minutes, stirring regularly, until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick.
Meanwhile, prick the potatoes a couple of times with a fork and place on a microwavable plate. Cook the potatoes in the microwave on high for 10–12 minutes, then carefully turn over and cook for a further 4–5 minutes, or until soft. Check by poking a skewer or knife through the centre. Leave to stand until cool enough to handle.
Cut the potatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the insides into a bowl. Mix the potato flesh with half the cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Put the potato skins, cut side up, in a microwaveable flameproof baking dish.
Spoon half the cooked mince into the potatoes. (Freeze the rest or chill and eat the next day with pasta or on toast.) Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Cook on high again in the microwave for 3–4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the mince and potatoes are hot. For a crispy topping, place under a preheated hot grill for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown.