Cottage Pie

Cooking methods: Boiling, mashing

  • PREPARATION TIME: 45 Minutes
  • COOKING TIME: 15 Minutes

In early cookery books, cottage pie was a means of using leftover roasted meat of any kind and the pie dish was lined with mashed potato as well as having a mashed potato crust on top.


  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 dsp tomato puree
  • 1 dsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp oil

For the mashed potato

  • 800g potatoes
  • 100ml milk
  • Knob of butter


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4.
  2. Heat a tbsp. of oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry the meat on a high heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Set the mince aside on a plate with the juices.
  4. In the same pan, heat another tbsp. of oil over a medium heat; cook the vegetables with the thyme for about 6 minutes, until they soften.
  5. Add the tomato puree and ketchup and stir. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the mince and the juices back to the pan with the stock and the Worcestershire sauce. Season, replace the lid and simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. While the mince mix is simmering, make the mash potato: peel and quarter the potatoes and put into cold, salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.
  8. Drain well and return to the pan; heat the cooked potatoes to dry them out. Once dry, mash while adding the milk and butter a little at a time. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Put the mince mix into an oven-proof dish, spoon over the mash and finish in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Alternatively, allow the mince to cool, spoon over the mash and store in the fridge until required. Then re-heat in a hot oven for 35-40 minutes.


Suitable potato varieties

Smooth, such as Desiree


  • Large heavy-based frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Dinner plate
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring jug
  • Potato peeler
  • Vegetable knife
  • Chopping board
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Colander
  • Potato masher
  • Oven-proof dish
  • Oven gloves

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