Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(193 ratings)

By

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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
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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, questions and tips

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Comments

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ruthpatricia's picture

Yes, tis a good idea to allow meat to cool before putting potato on top, also try spooning mash on in even amounts so the weight is evened out, it then won't sink into the meat, then use a fork to spread it out and to form peaks which along with the cheese gives a nice crispy top.

ruthpatricia's picture

Yes, tis a good idea to allow meat to cool before putting potato on top, also try spooning mash on in even amounts so the weight is evened out, it then won't sink into the meat, then use a fork to spread it out and to form peaks which along with the cheese gives a nice crispy top.

ruthpatricia's picture

Yes this is so yummy! I have adapted my own cottage pie recipe over the years and this is exactly the same as I use the only difference was garlic so I added 1 clove this time. I also used to grate the carrot to hide it from my granddaughter, however she is now 9 and loves this so much that I don't need to hide anything. Also
added some finely chopped swede this time, the more veg the better.

tinaonetina's picture

Trying it out tonight... smells divine... did use large glass of wine... not sure I need two dishes though....

2705annie's picture

I did this for an elderly people's lunch club and without exception, they loved it. I found that the stock took much longer to reduce than the recipe says so in the end I added some more flour.

jennieh30's picture
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cook this all the time, a little time consuming and i end up with lots of washing up but definitely worth it... it's delicious

archiescroft's picture
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very good..... Worth a try

sarahlou76's picture
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Followed the recipe but without bay leaves and made the mashed potato with grated mozarella sprinkled on top as I can't get cheddar here. I am wondering if the people who didn't find it tasty tried to cheat on the cooking time as it definately needs the full time to develop and the celery does need to be chopped really small but makes a huge difference to the flavour. Husband is a chef and said it is the best meal I have done yet and 8 year old daughter said mummy is a much better chef than daddy and wants this dish every day.

sarahadams83's picture

This was absolutley lovely and really easy to make.

janeedlington's picture
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Really nice comfort food. I chucked in a handful of gravy powder to thicken the sauce.

sgeddes's picture
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Made this last week and it was delicious. It took me ages, as I am new enough to cooking, but the resulting dish was well worth it.

manfas's picture
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My husband, 5yr old, 3yr old and 1yr old absolutely love this cottage pie when I make it. It disappears so fast. Definitely worth the time and effort. The good thing if you're busy at home is that you can make it in stages. I've even made the meat part one day and finished it off the next. Much, much better than the cottage pie that I remember being subjected to when I was a child.

janicehales's picture
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So yummy, all the family loved it and could eat it for days !!

janeedlington's picture
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Really tasty recipe, especially the mash on top. I added a tbsp of gravy powder to thicken the sauce.

becksharper's picture
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Sensational! I added a few finely chopped pre-roasted parsnips instead of celery and halved the amounts but otherwise stuck to the recipe. Easily the best cottage pie I've ever had...and I'm a Yorkshire lass ;) I'm currently living in Australia and just served this to guests. After eating it, one of the guests admitted that when he learned what I was making he was very apprehensive as his mother makes a cottage pie by boiling mince and gravy mix and then adding instant mash on the top(!). He finished every last scrap! I served it with peas and steamed cabbage, with just a dash of golden syrup, butter and pepper into the cabbage - delish!

johnjustice's picture
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Made this for a second time and it is as good and consistant as ever. I ommitted the celery, increased the carrots and added a small parsnip which proves in a small way like other contributors that the recipie can be tinkered with quite succesfully provided the main ingredients remain. My wife loves the fact that it can be made earlier and popped in the oven just before family comes round. If I am feeling generous then making up an extra pie for family to take home is, I think a superb small "gift"as well as showing of my "extraordinary"cooking skills.

veinoz's picture
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Perfect recipe, this cottage pie is delicious. I made it exactly as the recipe said and also with a few changes of vegetables. Will be keeping this recipe for a long long time.

kaughtknee's picture
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I left the red wine out, which may have been a mistake. Taste was okay, though a bit bland. My partner commented it was rather "carrotty". Overall felt the result was not worth the time taken.

adam_aj59's picture

Very very nice cottage pie - make sure the meat isn't piping hot when you put the mash over the top otherwise it'll start to sink!
YUM!

lovetocook23's picture
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This was absolutely delicious and went down a treat with my family. Will cook the gravy a little longer next time to get rid of some of the liquid as the potato sunk into it but apart from that it was great.

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