Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(163 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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isaaclare's picture

Halved the recipe as only had 500g mince. Still enough for two meals. Six year old asked for seconds which is high praise indeed. Served with peas and corn and beetroot chutney....YUM (omitted the celery)

hellewrites's picture
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This is an absolutely delicious recipe, and I highly recommend it.

janicedewdney's picture
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We made this cottage pie for the children, who loved it. The hidden vegetables are a great way to persuade children to eat a wider variety of things that are good for them.

rmitter3's picture
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b/c of the wine i used was a bit sweet but good sweet. also used cottage cheese instead of cheddar. if the gravy isn't think enough add flour and let simmer for longer. very good!

dexter216's picture

done this dish about 6 times and it is great , also a great freezer dish .

ehoo118's picture
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super easy although it takes forever. i used peas instead of celery, and also added some marmite and lots of bisto! worked a treat :)

cherimoya's picture
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Nice but heavy

cornishman1's picture
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Not eaten Cottage pie for over 30years until i tried this recipe.
Now cant get enough. Takes time but be assured its worth it.

scornford's picture
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Family loved it, clean plates all round. Will definately do again as we tend to find the powder mixes too salty.

janicedewdney's picture
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A very tasty cottage pie. The children love it. We liquidise the carrots and onions along with the celery to make it smooth enough for the younger children. We dont add the red wine.

Well worth making.

aimeemacdn123's picture
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This was lovely. I had only 500g beef mince so adapted the quantities accordingly, with the exception of the beef stock - I used 4 Oxo cubes dissolved in 680ml boiling water. I also omitted the wine. Next time I will try using more veg to bulk it out, and use lean beef steak mince and leave out the cheese to reduce the fat content, making it a healthier meal option.

emsta88's picture
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really nice and comforting. also a pleasure to cook.

tydrawirafon's picture

Made this weekend and clean plates all round tonight. Very nice recipe. Made more or less as per ingredients (just chop the celery small - no one will notice !) Saved time by gently frying the vegetables in my big casserole dish and at the same time dry frying the mince in batches in a frying pan, then draining it to get rid of all the unnecessary sat fat before adding it to the veg.
So sorry but I cheated and used Tesco ready mash -it was on offer :o) I added some cheddar, piped it on top of the cold meat then popped in the oven. Husband and three kids (23, 17 and 8) all said they wanted this recipe everytime.
Its also nice to know I now have another batch sitting in the freezer at the ready. I can happily highly recommend you try it.

rowley123's picture
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Stuck to the recipe and it was absolutely delicious.

lakelandlass's picture

I made this for the family evening meal last night and it was so lovely. I didn't use wine, only stock as we have a 12 month old and I substituted the thyme and used a good pinch of Marjaram instead. It was a hit with everyone and so easy to make.

sue_milton's picture
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Delicious. Good flavours and fabulous cheesy mash. This recipe will be a regular on the menu.

Marloes's picture
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This one everybody loves, the kids, the neighbours, the old guy I cook for, everybody I know loves this recipe. Never seen so many dutch people eat cottage pie!

mariecath's picture
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Great recipe that the whole family loved, worth the extra effort!

itrynity's picture

it looked good and tasted great, will definitely make again and again

netski15's picture
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Well, I never thought I would ever cook celery, it just seems so wrong! However it was me who was wrong. I did a meat version for hubby and quorn mince version for me. When I had the first batch I did like it but wasnt sure it was worth the time (maybe I was just a bit flustered!). However, once I had the next batch I really did notice the flavours and am now converted to this recipe, it is worth the time.

I now make batches of just the meat/quorn (no mash) and freeze, get them out the freezer the night before I want them, cook the mash when I get home from work as it just seems better fresh and add it on top of the oven heated meat .. a delicious dinner ready in 20 mins and about 6 weeks worth in the freezer!

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