Moroccan-spiced cottage pies

Moroccan-spiced cottage pies

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

More effort

Serves 4

Spice up traditional cottage pie with Middle Eastern flavours and add chickpeas to the mashed topping for a more exotic beef mince recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per pie

  • kcal761
  • fat34g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs63g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre14g
  • protein45g
  • salt1.7g
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  • 1 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…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



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

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped



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

  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 10 cardamom pods, green pods discarded and black seeds ground
  • 10 cloves, ground



    A clove is the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a…

  • 2 tsp cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500ml beef or chicken stock
  • 1kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper



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

  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 75g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 4 tbsp milk



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

  • 3 tsp za'atar (a mix of Middle Eastern herbs and spices, often made with marjoram, oregano, ground sumac, cumin and sesame seeds)
  • 200g frozen peas



    A type of legume, peas grow inside long, plump pods. As is the case with all types of legume,…

  • small pack parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, carrot, spices and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 10-15 mins on a low heat until softened. If the onion starts to brown, add a splash of water.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the mince in a large frying pan until brown and starting to caramelise. Stir the beef in with the onion, add the tomato purée and stock, and simmer for 30 mins until most of the stock has been absorbed.

  3. While the beef is cooking, peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Tip into a saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer for 20 mins. Drain the potatoes and mash together with the chickpeas, butter, milk and za’atar.

  4. Stir the peas into the mince and simmer for 2 more mins, then take off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Divide between 4 small freezer-proof pie dishes. Top each with mashed potato and rough up the top with a fork.

  5. If serving straight away, put the pies on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 30 mins. To freeze, leave the pies to cool completely, then wrap well in cling film and foil. To cook from frozen, put the pies on a baking tray in a cold oven, turn to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for 1 hr-1 hr 20 mins until piping hot.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Kat Quartermain
27th Feb, 2019
A delicious twist on a cottage pie, we make this on a regular basis. We made the za'atar ourselves with a pestle and mortar and a few substitutes. Homemade Zaatar Ingredients 1/4 cup sumac (which we happened to have randomly!) 2 tablespoons thyme. 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds. 2 tablespoons marjoram. 2 tablespoons oregano. 1 teaspoon course sea salt.
Frantic Flapjack
18th Nov, 2014
This was really no better than a normal cottage pie. The topping was also a rather grey colour which was quite off-putting. Regarding the comments about not being able to find za'atar - I did find it in my local Tesco but wish I hadn't! It was like eating hay seeds in mashed potato and added no discernible flavour so in my opinion, a total waste of time and money. I think cazandjay had the best idea by topping with cheese. Sometimes, it's best not to mess around with staple recipes.
6th Nov, 2014
I also couldn't find any za'atar so missed it out. Since I didn't have any individual pie dished so I put everything in a large one. Great recipe!
2nd Nov, 2014
It would help if you could use more readily available ingredients. Za'atar? None of the supermarkets near me stocks it - maybe I should move to London . . .
4th Oct, 2014
Very nice, could not find za'atar so just left it out, added cheese on top of the mash, both myself and hubby loved it, one for the recipe collection
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