Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(156 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 10

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

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
600
protein
37g
carbs
40g
fat
34g
saturates
16g
fibre
4g
sugar
7g
salt
1.15g

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼kg beef mince
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, 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
  • 2 bay leaves

For the mash

  • 1.8kg potatoes, chopped
  • 225ml milk
  • 25g butter
  • 200g strong cheddar, grated
  • freshly grated nutmeg

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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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2010

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Comments

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foodyfoodfood's picture
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Never had so many compliments for a cottage pie I've made, I also added a few gravy granules to the sauce to thicken it a touch more, and some peas! Not a scrap was left!

102011503's picture
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5 stars from my whole family. Used dried thyme and didn't add the red wine. Ate half straight away sprinkling cheese on top and froze other half. Frozen half was even tastier and I didn't even both with the cheese topping, even though I usually love cheesy toppings. Great comfort food recipe.

8926emma's picture
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This is so easy to make and tastes lovely. I also stirred in a tablespoon of horseradish sauce into the mash which was yummy. you will not find a tastier cottage pie than this one!!

lady-joanna's picture
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Gorgeous meal made this for my friend and our parents everybody loved it and kept wanting more.

abikinsey's picture
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High praise for a classic family meal. Does take a while, but good food is worth waiting for!!

grindlay54's picture
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Just made this and it was absolutely delicious! Really easy to make, took a bit of time cutting everything up and the pre oven cooking (longer than I thought) - but really worth the effort. Will definitely make this again, just have to make sure I start earlier in the evening!!

chrisaldridge167's picture
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A little time consuming, but simple to follow and a runaway success with the whole family, my fussy 5 and 7 year olds included. Would definitely recommend.

jaqmartin's picture
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Wow - very lovely. I used sliced baby new potatoes on top and added some parmesan. Delicious. Going to make it again this Sunday - best bit is you get to finish the bottle of wine off afterwards.

katiefreeman's picture
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This meal went down a treat! Recommend this recipe it's beautiful :)

cshobbs's picture
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I only needed portions for 3, so used about one third of the quantities.Substituted sweet peppers for onion and omitted celery.
Needed 35 mins to get a golden top. I think it was Excellent, but my fussy son said it was acceptable but not brilliant.

cupcakerose's picture
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easy to follow. very nice

desertprincess's picture
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Didnt have any Worcester sauce so used soy sauce instead...quite simply, it was beautiful. The mash was cheesy and creamy, the gravy was thick and brimming with flavour and the combination was a moorish meal that defined 'comfort food'.

ncorteen's picture
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Great recipe, the celery and carrot really adds a great savoury base to the dish. I would advise any one who does not like celery to add it anyway, I myself cannot stand the stuff, but among all the other ingredients, you can't detect the celery taste, however, the dish just isn't the same without it.

For those with coeliac disease/gluten intolerance, omit the flour and instead dissolve 1 tbsp cornflour with 2-3 tbsp of the stock and add this when the remainder of the stock goes in. This ensures a lovely rich gravy is created which coats the mince.

fairycakes69's picture

My potatoes keep going sloppy after its come out the oven, followed recipe to the letter. Will try putting half the milk next time and see how it turns out.

sarahk's picture
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Cottage pie is certainly not gourmet food but this recipe is worth a little more time to prepare. The current weather merits some comfort food and this hits the spot. Tried it on my husband (made the day before and heated in oven). As the recipe was meant to feed 10 we had quite alot left over - but not enough to feed 8 as my husband liked it so much he polished off at least 2 portions (if not 3). Foze the remainder. We don't like celery so replaced (as suggested) with more carrot. I thought it might be too sweet but it worked well.
The red wine probably is essential!

snicka's picture
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Lovely - I didn't have celery and I left out the stock for my 1 year olds and added vegetable stock for the adults. I'm a vegetarian and don't cook meat that often so it was a delight to serve something that everyone loved.

lyndene's picture
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Definitely the best cottage pie recipe ever! Halved the amount as I wasn't cooking for 10 (!) and only added a small amount of cheese when mashing the potatoes. The rest, I loaded on top which formed the most heavenly crust. Sooooo yummy!!

redjovie's picture
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As a newby to the kitchen, took me a bit longer to prepare and cook and the sauce didn't quite work out as the mash began to sink but just made afresh batch of mash to rescue. The family loved it, great taste, great flavours, will definitely try again.

csteel1's picture
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Served this for a kids party (without the wine) and it was given the thumbs up by adults, kids and toddlers! Only used 1/2 tbsp of worcestershire sauce and think any more may have been overpowering.

hillshealth's picture

Made this last night, absolutely fantastic. Little effort for a lot of reward. I made to take to my parents for their supper - mum had two helpings which has never been known before. Excellent receipe.

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