Recipe – Cottage Pie

It’s that time of year when you want something properly wholesome and warming for your family dinner. You can’t beat a Shepherd’s Pie (made with minced lamb) or a Cottage Pie (made with beef) like this. Serves 4-6.

You will need:

  • 750g minced beef
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 2 red onions (or swap for a large leek)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • Tomato purée squirt (from a tube!)
  • 1.5kg potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • Handful grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Prep the potatoes: peel and cut into halves or quarters, rinse and put in cold water in a large pot. Put on the hob but don’t turn them on yet.

Roughly chop the onions and dice the carrots. Heat oil in a large frying pan, preferably with a lid. Add the onions and brown slightly. Add the mince. Don’t just lob a slab of mince in there, if you take a bit of time and pull it apart as you add it, you’ll find it ends up having a much more even texture.


Once the beef has browned at the base but is still red on top, add salt, pepper and the mixed herbs, plus the squeeze of purée. Stir  well and make sure the rest of the beef browns.

Sprinkle over the flour and mix in so all the beef is coated. Then add the stock, the carrots and the peas. Stir well, cover and simmer on a medium heat. Stir occasionally.


Turn on the potatoes, bring to the boil and simmer until they start to fall apart when you stick a knife in them. At this point, everything is ready. 

Add the butter to the potatoes, together with some salt and pepper. Then mash with a masher. Pour the filling into an oven dish, stir so all the gravy makes it to the corners, then add the mash. The best way is to use two dessert spoons and add gradually. Leave it rough on top, don’t smooth it down.

You can top with grated cheese if you like, or for extra crunch sprinkle over crushed plain crisps or tortilla chips. You can add cheese to this too!


Bake for 35 minutes or until the mash is golden with some crispy bits. Serve with fresh veg like green beans or broccoli and cauliflower.

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