Tasty cottage pie with parsnip mash

Tasty cottage pie with parsnip mash

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(53 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 15 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
A classic reborn; a low-fat beef mince pie with a parsnip topping

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal380
  • fat8g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre10g
  • protein22g
  • salt1.25g


  • 250g packet lean minced beef (12% fat)
  • 2 onions, chopped



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

  • 4 carrots (about 450g/1lb), peeled and coarsely grated



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

  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 beef stock, cubes dissolved in 425ml/¾pint boiling water
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 900g potato, peeled and cubed



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

  • 3 parsnips, peeled, cored and chopped



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise – it looks…

  • 2-4 tbsp skimmed milk
  • steamed broccoli or Savoy cabbage to serve



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…


  1. Dry fry the mince (without adding any oil) in a non-stick pan until evenly brown and crumbly. Add the onions and carrots and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, stirring well.

  2. Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato purée, pour in the stock and bring to the boil, stirring until well mixed. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the carrots and onions are tender and the stock has reduced. Taste and season. Blend the cornflour with a little water and stir into the mixture, cooking for a minute or until slightly thickened.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/ fan oven 180C. While the meat is simmering, cook the potatoes and parsnips in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with seasoning and enough milk to make a creamy consistency.

  4. Tip the meat mixture into a 1.4 litre/ 21⁄2 pint ovenproof dish, spoon the mash on top and rough up the surface with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes or until the potato topping is lightly golden. Serve with steamed broccoli or Savoy cabbage.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Mar, 2009
I don't think 250g mince is enough for 4 people. I used 500g and more potatoes. Very nice though
3rd Jan, 2009
This is technically Cottage Pie, as Sheppherd's Pie would be with minced lamb. You will need to double the amount of mince that you put in, and simmer the mixture for about 1 1/2 hours rather than the 40 mins mentioned. And you wont need the cornflour as it will thicken itself if cooked for long enough. Let it cool down first before topping with the mash otherwise it will sink in. A little red wine, and some thyme would also kick it in the right direction.
cheeseanon's picture
23rd Dec, 2008
The name doesn't lie, this is really very tasty! I made a full sauce but only baked enough for 2 servings and used the leftover sauce for jacket potatos that next Saturday. Equally delicious!! My partner is not a great parsnip lover though so next time I will have to use plain mashed potatoes maybe with some leek or spring onion.
23rd Sep, 2008
Again, I doubled the mince and put in less parsnip and it was very good
29th Aug, 2008
i made the pie with a bayleaf in the sauce and the result was very tasty although too much worcester sauce for my preference. next time I will reduce to 1 tbsp. I tend to put shephards pies under the grill to crisp up the top if I havn't got the time to wait - It's just as good and the mince part is already cooked before the mash goes on top so no issues there.
28th Aug, 2008
i'm going to make this tonight without parsnips and with a bay leaf cooking in the sauce. i'll let everyone know the result
15th Apr, 2008
Great comfort food!
14th Feb, 2008
Delicious. Possibly a little too much parsnip in the mash, but you could always switch it for a but of butternut squash or swede. I added some grated cheese on top too. Will no doubt become a favourite and even my husband managed to cook it without help!
11th Feb, 2008
I make this regularly now and freeze portions(without mash). I add cooked peas, mushrooms, chopped green beans or whatever else is around. These I add on the plate before I spoon out the pie, to cater for the kids various vegie preferences (savoy cabbage & broccoli not being among them). All helpings are gobbled up every time.
28th Jan, 2008
an absolute pleasure to eat, added butter to mash instead of milk great menu


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