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Homely cottage pie recipe

Homely cottage pie recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pie

Use milk and butter when mashing the potatoes.

County Waterford, Ireland

35 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • Drizzle olive oil
  • 675g (1.5 lb) of minced beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 2 tblspns ketchup
  • 100ml of beef gravy or Oxo
  • seasoning

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Fry the onion until golden in colour. Then add the mince and cook for 10 mins. Add the carrot and mushrooms and gently fry. Stir in the ketchup and stock/gravy, season if needed.
  2. Add the micx to a large greased oven proof dish and spread out evenly. Cover with mashed potatoes, using a fork poke the potato all over.
  3. Bake in an oven for 20 minutes. To Serve, portion and serve with garden peas.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

I cooked this recipe today. At first I was sceptical to how it would taste due to the lack of herbs. However on tasting it I thought it was rather good. The only amendments I would make to this recipe is to dice the carrot and not grate and maybe the inclusion of a few drops of worcestershire sauce. Overall a very cheap and tasty recipe. Better than a packet mix. Will definately cook again.-02 Jun 2013

Traditional British Beef Cottage Pie

This recipe is one of the most enduring food memories from my childhood. Not just from home but at my grandparents&rsquo house, school dinners, friend houses.

It is essentially a really simple dish of beef mince, vegetables in a gravy all topped with mashed potato. Then baked in the oven to crisp up the mash.

References to it date back to the 18th Century but they have always been rustic dishes.

Traditionally they were a way to use up leftover roasted meat, but have become a frugal recipe using minced meat.

Whilst it passes a resemblance to the much more famous Shepherds Pie, there is a difference!

For most Brits, a Cottage Pie contains beef, a Shepherd&rsquos pie contains lamb. As a result, the sauce and consequently the flavours are often fundamentally different!

This is a rare recipe for 4, I always make two as this saves fantastically.

You can cover and freeze for up to 3 months, or just store in the fridge and cook up to 5 days later.

The Best Cottage Pie

A very homely and comforting meal that makes an extremely tasty supper! Delicious!!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g lean minced beef
  • sea salt & pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 large onion (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled & finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200 ml Guinness
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 1 kg potatoes (peeled and cut into even sizes)
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g mature cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 large egg (yolk only)
  • 50 g Parmesan cheese (for the topping)


  • Step 1 Heat half of the oil in a heavy based large pan on a medium heat. Season the mince and fry half until brown all over. Put into a colander aside to drain the fat from the meat, repeat with the remaining mince.
  • Step 2 Add the remainder of the olive oil to a large pan and place on a medium heat. When hot fry the onions, garlic, carrots and thyme for 8-10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the browned mince and tomato puree, stir constantly for 4-5 minutes.
  • Step 3 Add the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce and boil until the liquid has been reduced by half. Pour in the stock and return to the boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
  • Step 4 Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C/Gas mark 6. Meanwhile, add the potatoes to a pan of salted water bring the pan to the boil and cook until tender. Dry out the potatoes in a hot pan for 15-20 seconds. Pass the potatoes through a potatoes ricer or mash smoothly, mix in the butter, cheese and egg yolk. Season to taste.
  • Step 5 Spoon the mince mixture into a 1.5 litre oven proof dish. Spoon the mashed potato on top and rough the surface with a folk. Grate some Parmesan cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until bubbling and golden brown. Enjoy!


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So, having covered the topping, let us talk about the mince or bolognese filling. As you know, I don’t like to complicate dishes and feel that a simple basic filling that is just really tasty, is all that is needed. In all honesty, the tastiness of this dish totally boils down to the quality of the mincemeat used, just buy the best quality you can possibly afford as it makes all the difference. My local butcher has a mincemeat Monday special where there is a rather decent sized discount on steak mince, so check out your local butchery as they may run a similar special (plus you will be supporting local stores, double win!).

  • 500g (18oz) extra-lean steak mince
  • 400ml (14fl oz) beef or vegetable stock
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 500g (18oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 400g (14oz) root vegetables (eg, celeriac, carrot, turnip,
  • parsnip), peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2tbsp reduced-fat crème fraîche or olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.

Brown the mince in a non-stick frying pan and drain off any fat. Add the stock and tomato purée and season. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 mins, adding a little extra stock if necessary.

Mix the cornflour with 2tbsp water to form a smooth paste, then add to the mince and stir until thickened. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.

While the mince is simmering, boil the potatoes and root veg for around 20 mins, until tender. Drain and mash with the crème fraîche or olive oil.

Pile the mash on top of the mince and cook in the oven for 20 mins, until the top is crisp and golden. Serve with red cabbage and green beans.

Recipe: The Ivy’s Shepherd’s Pie


  • 1kg each of good-quality lamb and beef mince
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Three large onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • Two cloves garlic, crushed
  • A good handful of thyme
  • 25g flour
  • 50g tomato purée
  • 150ml red wine
  • 50ml Worcester sauce
  • 1 litre dark-meat stock
  • 8 servings of firm mashed potato with butter, but no cream added


Season the meat. Heat the oil in a frying pan until it is very hot and brown the meat in small batches. Drain in a colander to remove the fat.

Heat more oil in a cast-iron pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and thyme until they are very soft (10–15 minutes), but not coloured.

Add the meat, dust with flour. Add tomato purée. Cook for a few minutes, stirring.

Add the wine, Worcester sauce and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 40 minutes.

At this stage, strain off about 200ml of the sauce to serve with the pie. Continue to simmer the meat until the liquid has almost evaporated.

Check the seasoning transfer to a large ovenproof serving dish and allow to cool, then top with the mashed potato.

Furrow with a fork. A little Parmesan can be grated over with a microplane, if wished.

Finally, bake at 200˚C (180˚ fan) / 400˚F/gas mark 6 for 35–40 minutes, until the top is brown and crispy.

Traditional Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash

Serves 4 to 6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth

Traditional Cottage Pie with Cheesy Mash

Cottage pie, like its opposite lamb number, Shepherd’s pie, was the ingenious idea of housewives many years ago, in order to create another warm and comforting meal usually from the Sunday Lunch left-overs! Cooked beef or lamb were diced or shredded and sometimes the vegetables were added to the meat mixture – such as peas or carrots. My cottage pie recipe uses swede with the mashed potato topping for an extra “secret” five-a-day veggie added to the meal!


4/6 baking potatoes
1 large white onion
2 stick celery, chopped
2 carrot, peeled, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smushed
500g mince beef (i usually go 15% fat for flavour)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
500ml rich beef stock
250ml dark ale (original guinness is good for this one, something dark and punchy. i often use mcmullen stronghart, a 7% bitter)
4 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves

for the mash
4/6 baking potatoes
200g strong cheddar, grated (more if you like, i won't judge)
splash of milk
knob of butter


  1. preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C
  2. here's your choice, you can either make traditional mash the normal way, or, you can follow this mash method and blow your mind. your choice, but let's get funky with it. go extra. put the potatoes in an hour before you start cooking.
  3. heat a bit of oil in a pan and fry your onions until soft, chuck in the celery, carrots and garlic and gently soften. after 15 mins and once they are beginning to take colour throw in the mince and brown.
  4. tip in your beer, stock, chopped tomatoes, worcestershire sauce and bay leaves, and bring to a light bubble. reduce slightly to a good gentle heat and leave for the sauce to reduce for around 40 mins. i usually taste every 10 mins and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. 5 mins before your meaty mixture is done, get your perfect potatoes out of the oven and scoop out the insides, mix the potato with the milk, butter, and cheese, a little salt and pepper, until you have a smooth mash.
  6. remove the bay leaves from the meat and spoon into an oven proof dish. chuck on your mash however you want to do it, pipe it, spoon it, stroke it, fork it. chuck your dish in the oven for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are going golden.