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Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(265 ratings)

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 1 hr, 50 mins


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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  • 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



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

  • 3 carrots, chopped



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

  • 3 celery sticks, chopped



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

  • 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


    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



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

  • 225ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 25g butter



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

  • 200g strong cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…

  • freshly grated nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury


  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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24th May, 2015
Not a fan of cottage pie but for this I make an exception! A hit with the whole family and great for freezing. I actually prefer it reheated as the flavour of the mince is even richer (I don't use wine as I have a toddler, but it's still really tasty without).
3rd Sep, 2017
I don't think you need to worry about the wine - the alcohol cooks off so all you are left with is flavour!
willmrpink's picture
23rd May, 2015
cooked this a few times now and enjoyed everytime.
27th Mar, 2015
Best cottage pie i have ever made and my husband will rush home from work when he knows i am making this for dinner!
14th Mar, 2015
Really good. Also added a tin of drained green lentils as I was a little short on beef, some chopped peppers, mushrooms and chorizo, and cooked it in a slow cooker for 7 hours. I only used 300 ml of stock otherwise there is too much liquid in the SC. Made swede & potato mash for the topping and finished it in the oven for 25 minutes with some grated cheese. Delicious!
9th Mar, 2015
The best cottage pie I've ever tasted! amazing have it at least 4 times a month.
8th Mar, 2015
Lovely rich savoury mince in a glossy gravy. The mash tasted luxurious even though it only had 20 odd grams of butter in it. The whole family loved it. I made the recipe as stated but only used 750g of minced beef and it was perfect for us.
surfnirvana's picture
9th Feb, 2015
Easy, delicious recipe. Adding the red wine gave it a real depth of flavour. Will definitely follow this one again. Great for my friends and family before watching the Rugby!!
8th Feb, 2015
Excellent recipe, went down very well with the family
5th Feb, 2015
this is the most delicious recipe i have come across :-)quick and easy and unbelievably yummy


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