Once upon a midnight dreary, our chefs pondered, weak and weary, / Over many cottage pies, forgotten recipe lore / While Chef Dave nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came some tapping, / As of hungry customers gently rapping, rapping at the kitchen door. / “Cottage pie for the customer,” he muttered “tapping at my kitchen door – with beef, carrots, peas, and spooky ghosts galore. / Only this and nothing more.” (What, you thought it would be the raven? We've only got limited space here, dear customer. Have a happy and spooky Halloween!)
Peel and cut potato into 1" dice. Bring a medium pot with potato and enough lightly salted water to cover to a boil.
Peel, trim, and halve carrot lengthwise. Cut halves into ¼" half-moons.
Stem and mince thyme.
Mash the Potato
Once boiling, cook potato until fork-tender, 15-18 minutes.
Drain in a colander and return to pot.
Add cheese, 2 Tbsp. milk, butter, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper and mash until smooth. If needed, add additional milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.
While potatoes cook, brown beef.
Brown the Beef
Place a medium pan (or cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Pan should be 8" in diameter.
Add ground beef to hot pan and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until no pink remains, 6-8 minutes.
Transfer beef to a plate. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Make the Filling
Return pan used to brown meat to medium heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil.
Add carrot, peas, thyme, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper and stir occasionally until lightly charred, 5-6 minutes.
Add beef and any accumulated juices, miso, and ½ cup water to pan. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes.
Pipe the Ghosts
Place mashed potato in piping bag. Cut a small hole on an angle in bag.
Squeezing from the top, swirl potatoes on top of filling into ghost shapes. If you're feeling extra spooky, give them some eyes with peas and a mouth with a carrot. Boooo!