Cottage pie

Cottage pie

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(274 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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8th May, 2015
I added my own apple chutney. Great
18th Sep, 2014
Great cottage pie recipe loved by the whole family.
13th Sep, 2014
A great cottage pie, worth the time and freezes well. Served mine with green veg and crusty bread. Will make this one again.
12th Sep, 2014
This is really tasty, takes a little bit of time chopping/prepping etc but it's well worth it, make a huge portion. Even my 4 year old loves it. It's definitely worth adding a very large glass of wine, I was worried I'd have too much liquid but all the wine absorbs into the mince and just need to be boiled down slightly. Lovely and juicy, very tasty, is now a firm favourite. You could get away with adding extra celery and carrots.
30th Aug, 2014
made this last night,best cottage pie iv ever made,and even best i have tasted,will defo make again and it.
Peter Gater
11th Jul, 2014
Excellent recipe but I really like pulses and mushrooms so I added these to the dish. I recommend this to anyone interested. Peter
23rd Jun, 2014
I cooked this for myself and two others and we all really enjoyed it, it was by far the tastiest cottage pie I've made!! .. As there were only three of us eating I decided to cook less but found it easy enough to lower the ingredients to make it work! I also added some sweet potato in for the mash as I didn't have enough regular but even so it turned out lovely and it'll be a regular in our household now.. I'm just gutted that I didn't follow the quantities strictly as it'd have been nice to have some to freeze and eat later in the week!!
9th Jun, 2014
Really nice. I added a layer of baked beans on top of the mince - kids love it and substituted the celery for petit pois peas. I make a beef one and one with Quorn mince and vegi stock and this is a great vegi alternative. I make both at the same time, that way everyones happy at meal times!
28th May, 2014
Good recipe. But it serves 10 people. Can you give the ingredients list for 5 people as well in future.
20th Sep, 2014
Or, you could just halve the ingredients?


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