Cottage pie

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 (266)

shiny108's picture
4

Halved all the portions and so much more manageable size. Wouldn't add as much thyme as suggested and would leave out the nutmeg - would mean son and partner would be happier !! Was really tasty and will make again.

stkate's picture
4

Really liked this! Was a big hit with my family

mv_bel's picture
5

Easy and simple - I spend an hour in the kitchen this afternoon and we all have really nice tasting dinner. Will do it again.

steveogilvie's picture
5

A great version. Went down very well. I can't beleive how many celery-phobes have posted. It's one of the standards I use for most meat sauces including Bolagnanse etc.

fubble201187's picture
4

Lovely, used mixed spices instead of nutmeg and used half a vegetable stock cube too

joganley's picture
4

Lovely recipe, halved the ingredients as no space in the freezer, turned out just like the picture and tasted delicious!

thecherub's picture
5

This was lovely and is now my failsafe recipe for cottage pie. Definately one to do again and again. Can't improve on this. YUM! By the way the stock I used was the extra rich knorr stockpots which helped (they can be a bit salty though so no need to add extra throughout cooking!)

ramune70's picture
5

A brilliant recipe! I am not English and normally not a fan of English food, but this is delicious :)! Since discovering this recipe I have been cooking this cottage pie over and over again and all the family love it! Will definately be looking at thw website for more tasty recipes - thank you bbc!

fayscafe's picture
5

Very very yummy! Without celery though!

fayscafe's picture
5

Very very yummy! Without celery though!

fayscafe's picture
5

Very very yummy!

jet190788's picture
5

Absolutely lovely, well worth the wait.

janeedlington's picture
4

Really tasty, I just used mild cheddar and was just as nice. The nutmeg really gives a nice taste to the mash.

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
5

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
4

very good..... Worth a try

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