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

    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

    Onion

    un-yun

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

  • 3 carrots, chopped
    Carrot

    Carrot

    ka-rot

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

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
    Celery

    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

    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

    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

    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)

janinechapman's picture
5

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 now...by 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
5

My husband and children loved the recipe. A big success.

wimmer's picture
5

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.

wimmer's picture
5

Not really a fan of 'slutchy' food, but made this for elderly visitors for dinner and everyone absolutely loved it - including me - so tasty.
Highly recommended!

Drydoni's picture

Best I've ever tasted yum yum yum!!!!!!

edcarroll02's picture
5

Really excellent dish. I can't believe people are leaving the celery out, it brings such great depth of flavour.

littletwig's picture
5

Very tasty. Made it for a family dinner party. All empty plates and satisfied faces. Will keep this as my only cottage pie recipe.

suziefoodie's picture
5

SO GOOD!! Really comforting, classic sunday food - worth the effort and it has so much flavour. Will def make again

sjbeck19's picture
5

Busy working mum, so whizzed all veggies in a processor, tipped in a slow cooker amd added the mince unbrowned and just broke it down, added other ingredients and liquids and left for 5 hours. Needed a little gravy browning to add colour. it was great, my 8 year old had thirds. great meal and no faffing must of took 15-20 minutes prepping.

nataliemary's picture
5

This is the best cottage pie I have ever had. The mash is lovely. You do need to put a lot of work into it but it is worth it. I got two big pies out of this. Next time I will have a go at doing it in the slow cooker.

alisonl262's picture
4

Thought I'd given it 5 stars

alisonl262's picture
4

Absolutely delicious. My usual cottage pie recipe has virtually the same ingredients but doesn't taste nearly as nice. Obviously the different method of preparing the mince makes all the difference. Will definitely make again.

16family's picture

simply delicious! my guests enjoyed it . I didn't find worcestershire sauce but even without it it was very tasty. I added some leeks. Thanks for the recipe!

squeaker1942's picture
2

Just made this cottage pie for tonight's meal. Like celery, but didn't have any. Looking forward to eating tonight, sounds yummy as described by others comments.

squeaker1942's picture
2

Just made this cottage pie for tonight's meal. Like celery, but didn't have any. Looking forward to eating tonight, sounds yummy as described by others comments.

cheryl1980's picture
1

Followed this to the letter. Great if you like a sloppy mess. Would highly recommend to people with no teeth.

jackli12's picture
5

This is so satisfying and warming - a big favourite in our house but does take quite a while to make. Worth it though!

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