Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(224 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins

Easy

Serves 10

This great-value family favourite freezes beautifully and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal600
  • fat34g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein37g
  • salt1.15g
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1¼kg beef mince
  • 2 onions, finely chopped

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 carrots, chopped

    Carrot

    ka-rot

    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped

    Celery

    sell-er-ee

    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • large glass red wine (optional)
  • 850ml beef stock
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • few thyme sprigs

    Thyme

    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 bay leaves

For the mash

  • 1.8kg potatoes, chopped

    Potato

    po-tate-oh

    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 225ml milk

    Milk

    mill-k

    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 25g butter

    Butter

    butt-err

    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 200g strong cheddar, grated

    Cheddar

    Ched-ah

    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned – you may need to do this in batches. Set aside as it browns. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.

  2. Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper.

  3. Spoon meat into 2 ovenproof dishes. Pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden. Or follow the steps (below) to freeze.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (255)

Kieropastel's picture
5

Not a fan of cottage pie but for this I make an exception! A hit with the whole family and great for freezing. I actually prefer it reheated as the flavour of the mince is even richer (I don't use wine as I have a toddler, but it's still really tasty without).

willmrpink's picture
5

cooked this a few times now and enjoyed everytime.

nummeny's picture
5

Best cottage pie i have ever made and my husband will rush home from work when he knows i am making this for dinner!

beefley's picture
5

Really good. Also added a tin of drained green lentils as I was a little short on beef, some chopped peppers, mushrooms and chorizo, and cooked it in a slow cooker for 7 hours. I only used 300 ml of stock otherwise there is too much liquid in the SC. Made swede & potato mash for the topping and finished it in the oven for 25 minutes with some grated cheese. Delicious!

scottyj1980's picture
5

The best cottage pie I've ever tasted! amazing have it at least 4 times a month.

egchicks's picture
5

Lovely rich savoury mince in a glossy gravy. The mash tasted luxurious even though it only had 20 odd grams of butter in it. The whole family loved it. I made the recipe as stated but only used 750g of minced beef and it was perfect for us.

surfnirvana's picture
5

Easy, delicious recipe. Adding the red wine gave it a real depth of flavour. Will definitely follow this one again. Great for my friends and family before watching the Rugby!!

kpotiriadis's picture

Excellent recipe, went down very well with the family

tteeddyy's picture

this is the most delicious recipe i have come across :-)quick and easy and unbelievably yummy

Murraymintish's picture

Loved this, will be a regular in our house

spindoctor's picture

I followed the recipe to the letter and made it for my brother who came to visit. He said it was the best Shepard pie he had ever tasted. I put what was left into 6 small foil trays bought from the Pound Shop.and froze them for another day. I think the cheesy mash was a nice touch. with the meat, veg, carbs, and dairy its a very well balanced meal.
Kudos to the good Food Team

betsyvriend's picture
5

Absolutely fantastic recipe. Foolproof. I chopped up some bacon and fried it with the mince and it added a wonderful savoury, smoky dimension to the mixture. I've never tasted a better cottage pie and it's not difficult either, just takes a bit of time. I followed all the instructions to the letter and it came out beautifully. Definitely a good idea to let the filling cool before you spread the mash on top as it makes things much easier. I'll definitely make this again and again.

JessOwen's picture
5

Lovely cottage pie, I did it with sweet potato mash & it was delicious!

bryonyabop's picture

I'm a rubbish cook but attempted this and was delicious, will be making this again

PhillyCP's picture
5

A great cottage pie recipe. I add a couple of tablespoons of Branston Pickle at the end for extra flavour.

kirconnel's picture

I added my own apple chutney. Great

nikkilaing's picture
5

Great cottage pie recipe loved by the whole family.

Berryl502578's picture
5

A great cottage pie, worth the time and freezes well. Served mine with green veg and crusty bread. Will make this one again.

walessam's picture

This is really tasty, takes a little bit of time chopping/prepping etc but it's well worth it, make a huge portion. Even my 4 year old loves it. It's definitely worth adding a very large glass of wine, I was worried I'd have too much liquid but all the wine absorbs into the mince and just need to be boiled down slightly. Lovely and juicy, very tasty, is now a firm favourite. You could get away with adding extra celery and carrots.

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