Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(211 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins


Serves 10
This great-value family favourite freezes beautifully and is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition per serving

  • kcalories600
  • fat34g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein37g
  • salt1.15g
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  • 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



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

  • 3 carrots, chopped



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

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped



    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


    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



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

  • 225ml milk



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

  • 25g butter



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

  • 200g strong cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg

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  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 (250)

clep89's picture

This recipe is a firm favourite!
I halved the quantities to make just fill one smallish dish. I left out the celery, bay leaves and used dried thym.
I used cantal cheese for the mash and it was lovely and gooey!

juliagoolia1's picture
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Best cottage pie i've tasted, i don't normally like my own cooking but couldn't get enough of it ! This will now be a regular in my house :-)

ouchorocks's picture
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cgibson1989's picture

its fantastic, well worth spending £3.50 for piping bags come with nozzle. mash was devine. my fiance is elergic too milk so soya milk was just as tasty. definatly making again.

golfinpapa's picture

Forgive my lack of knowledge here, but what is beef mince?

cgibson1989's picture

you can get lamb mince, turkey mince, beef mince etc. so it should say on the box it comes in what type of mine it is thats been minced

scotlandstar's picture

Ground beef

roulstone02's picture

Fabulous Cottage Pie, just the best! Try it!

iseveryusernametaken's picture

I made this today and although it took quite a while it was well worth it! Absolutely delicious and my 3 and 1 year old completely cleaned their plates! This will be a regular from now on.

cjrose75's picture

I was missing a few ingredients (carrot celery nutmeg) and used dry thyme instead of fresh and it still turned out great! Addition of cheese is a tasty twist to the mash and the gravy is just divine! Even my fussy eater son loves it. A big hit in my house.

AlyBongooo's picture

Made this for myself and my parents and we all loved it. Best cottage pie by far. It takes a little while to make, but it's totally worth it.

kmartin82's picture

This is the best cottage pie I have ever made, it does take a bit longer but is definately worth it. My son is 2 years old so I made the mash from potatoes and sweet potato combined together (any way to cram more veg in!). Absolutely delicious and freezes a treat.

littlejones's picture
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I made this recipe for the first time at the weekend for family visiting. We all loved it, it was absolutely delicious. It does take longer than a usual cottage pie, but it's worth it. The gravy was rich and lovely, the meat was really juicy and the cheddar in the mash made it extra tasty. The only change we made was to use dried thyme rather than fresh, which was still very nice. I will be making again, highly recommended!

kellyolivia's picture

This recipe is delicious loved by all the family ;)

carolannehawkins's picture
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As a Expat living in Thailand. I use to make shepherds pie but finding Lamb here is near impossible.
So I've had to turn to beef mince instead.
This cottage pie is delicious. Again I was unable to find celery so I added frozen peas.
I also added a leek which I sautéed in butter for 3 minutes then added to the boiling potatoes for the last 5 minutes. Then mashed them together with the cheese.

janinechapman's picture
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A firm favourite family supper in our house, its even better when you can freeze one for the following week!

ciaraheffron's picture

Takes a long time to prepare, but well worth it! Have made it a few times request!

dayley's picture

Made as per recipe and was delicious. Split into three and froze two.
Ate the other two and they were even tastier.

becbec1000's picture
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My husband and children loved the recipe. A big success.

wimmer's picture
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PS I agree with Ted. You don't have to like celery, you won't even taste it in the finished dish but it adds essential depth of flavour which is why it is in most sauces/stocks etc.


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