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Easy Cottage Pie Recipe

Is there anything more comforting than a hearty cottage pie? This recipe is easy to follow and the result is a delicious, filling dish that your whole family will love. Top it with some melted butter and serve with green peas for a perfect meal.

cottage pie served on a plate

How To Make Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is made with beef mince in gravy on the bottom layer, topped with smooth mashed potato, and then roasted in the oven.

What You Need To Make Cottage Pie

This recipe serves 4 people, increase or decrease the ingredients depending on how many people you are cooking for, or, if you make extra, save some for another meal!

mince, gravy, onion, garlic and herbs to make mince base for cottage pie

For the mince:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400g – 500g lean beef mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optionally include some chopped celery sticks, carrots and peas in the mince.

potatoes, milk and butter to make mashed potato

For the mashed potato:

  • 1 kg Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
  • 150ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 100g grated cheese (cheddar is a good choice)

There are three parts to making a cottage pie. I’ll go through each step below;

Making Mince For Cottage Pie

Brown the chopped onion and beef mince in a pan before adding the crushed garlic, tomato puree, beef stock, herbs and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. If you are including any vegetables (celery, carrots or peas), add them in now too. Season with salt and pepper if required.

browning mince in a saucepan to make cottage pie

After you’ve added all the ingredients, leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often. If it starts to dry out, add a little hot water and stir. If the sauce is too thin stir in a tablespoon of flour or some beef gravy granules.

Making Mashed Potato For Cottage Pie

While the mince is simmering away you can start making the mashed potato. Peel and chop up the potatoes – I like to use Maris Piper potatoes but King Edwards are also a good option.

chopped potatoes in saucepan ready for mashed potato

Add the potatoes to a saucepan of boiling water, add a little salt if you usually do when making mashed potatoes, and boil until the potatoes are soft and you can easily pierce them with a fork or knife.

Remove from the hob and drain the water away. Add the butter and start to add the milk – don’t add all the milk at once, just add about half and then mash the potatoes. Add more milk until the mash is at the consistency you like.

mashed potato in saucepan with wooden spoon ready to put on cottage pie

Optionally add in some grated cheese to make a cheesy mash. Cheddar cheese is a good option but other cheese varieties can be used too, as long as they melt easily. You can also add in some cream if you want a creamier mashed potato.

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If you don’t want to use mashed potato as the topping you can use a mashed potato alternative.

Cooking The Cottage Pie In The Oven

Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.

Transfer the cooked mince mixture to an ovenproof dish and level it out.

cooked mince in oven dish

Gently place the mashed potato over the top of the mince, taking care not to put too much pressure on the mash as you spread it out.

mashed potato added to mince with grated cheese on top to make a cottage pie

Optionally sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of the mash.

Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or until the cottage pie is golden brown on top.

cottage pie on plate

What To Serve With Cottage Pie

If you’ve included peas, carrots and celery within the cottage pie then you have a complete meal in itself – but if you haven’t then any vegetables will work as a side – peas, broccoli, greens, carrots etc.

How Long Does Cottage Pie Last?

Cottage pie will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Cottage Pie?

Yes, cottage pie can be frozen for up to 3 months.

How To Reheat Cottage Pie

Cottage pie can be reheated from chilled. Reheat chilled cottage pie for about 30 minutes in the oven or until piping hot all the way through. You might want to cover it with some foil to stop the top from crisping up too much.

You can also reheat cottage pie from frozen, but double the cook time – and again, make sure it is piping hot all the way through.

What’s The Difference Between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

Cottage pie is made from beef mince and shepherd’s pie is made from lamb mince.

I hope you enjoy this cottage pie recipe – let me know in the comments if you make it!

cottage pie on plate

Cottage Pie Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Cottage pie is a classic British recipe that is both comforting and filling.

Ingredients

For The Mince

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400g – 500g lean beef mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For The Mash

  • 1 kg Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes
  • 150ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 100g grated cheese (cheddar is a good choice)

Instructions

To Make The Mince

  1. Add the mince and onions to a saucepan and fry until the mince is browned.
  2. Add the crushed garlic, tomato puree, beef stock, herbs, Worcestershire sauce and any vegetables (chopped celery, carrots or peas).
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture begins to dry out add some boiling water and stir, if the mixture is too thin and watery, stir in 1 tbsp of flour or some beef gravy granules.

To Make The Mash

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them up quite small. Add to a saucepan and pour boiling water over the top. Boil until the potatoes are soft enough to easily insert a knife or fork.
  2. Drain the water away and add the butter and about half the milk. Mash together, stirring in
    more milk until you have a smooth consistency and the lumps are gone. Optionally grate in some cheese.

Cooking Cottage Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
  2. Transfer the cooked mince mixture to an ovenproof dish.
  3. Gently spread the mashed potato over the top.
  4. Optionally sprinkle some grated cheese over the top of the mash.
  5. Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden.


Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 710Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 708mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 6gSugar: 7gProtein: 52g

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