Crispy topped Cumberland pie

Crispy topped Cumberland pie

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(41 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 3 hrs - 3 hrs, 50 mins


Serves 5
This crisp, potato-topped pie is slow-cooked and inexpensive to make. It's a great family meal but smart enough for entertaining too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze assembled or cooked

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal486
  • fat21g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein34g
  • salt1.8g
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  • 2 celery sticks, sliced into 1cm pieces



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 onion, chopped



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

  • 2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then chunkily sliced



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

  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 tbsp each plain flour, tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g feather blade beef, or other braising cut, cut into large chunks



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 850g large potato



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 25g each mature cheddar and parmesan, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Soften the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter for 10 mins. Stir in the flour, followed by the purée, Worcestershire sauce and stock cubes.

  2. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30 mins -1 hr more until the meat is really tender and sauce thickened.

  3. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in a pan of boiling water until they’re not done but about ¾ of the way there.

  4. Transfer meat to a baking dish. Slice spuds into 1cm thick rounds and gently toss with seasoning, the remaining oil and thyme leaves. Layer on the beef, scattering with the cheese as you layer. You can cover and chill the pie now for 1 day, or freeze for up to 3 months.

  5. Increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 30-40 mins until golden and crispy, and sauce bubbling if the dish went in cold. Serve with peas.

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Comments, questions and tips

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16th Oct, 2012
This was delicious and easy to make. Yum Yum, will add this to the 'make again' list.
11th Oct, 2012
" Really good recipe to use with casserole steak. I didn't use the Worcestershire sauce as it's a bit strong for my taste. For the potatoes, I put in oven as described and didn't use the cheese, but brushed with melted butter, turned out a golden brown. Fantastic meal, will def do again!
8th Oct, 2012
Really tasty but I would use a little less Tomato paste next time.
5th Oct, 2012
Fantastic, made two for a crowd and was delicious, easy too.
29th Sep, 2012
This was lovely, it has become a family favourite and I am making it for my friends birthday dinner on Monday.
25th Sep, 2012
Top notch!! Really tastey everyone loved it definitely 5*
4th Jun, 2012
Another super recipe! I added some marmite to mine and blogged it at:
jburton's picture
24th May, 2012
I was wondering if this could be made using left over roast beef. Just dont simmer for as long as 2hr 30 but say for one hour and then put the pots on top and finish in the oven....
13th May, 2012
I made this recipe earlier this year for my husband and I. It was such a hit I'm making it for my parents who are coming for dinner today. So tasty!
5th May, 2012
Lovely recipe, freezes well, says serves 5 but I think this is over zealous... 4 decent portions to my mind! lovely lovely and a staple in our house now.


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