Cottage Pie | RecipeTin Eats

Cottage Pie – consolation meals central! This English basic has a deeply savoury beef mince filling smothered in gravy topped with creamy mashed potato, baked till golden. One of the greatest cosy meals to make with floor beef!

Wondering what’s the distinction between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie? Same recipe besides Cottage Pie is made with beef and Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb! (Because Shepherd’s herd sheep….)

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is a superb English basic, one which us Aussies have adopted as one in all our beloved winter favorites! Or in my case, all-year-round-favourite.

Easy to make, economical, each day components and 100% freezer pleasant, it’s the type of meals that has common enchantment (effectively, placing apart vegetarians 😂)

Overhead photo of golden crispy mashed potato topping of Cottage Pie

There’s two parts to Cottage Pie – the meat filling and the creamy mashed potato topping. The filling is beefy and deeply savoury and it WILL take willpower to not shovel it in your mouth as you’re cooking it…..

Close up of beef filling for Cottage Pie ready to put in casserole dish

….you then get on with that creamy mashed potato filling and it WILL take severe willpower to not shovel THAT into your mouth too…

But you’ll maintain out as a result of you recognize that it’s definitely worth the persistence as a result of if you pull the effervescent great thing about of the oven and see that crusty golden prime, your chest will puff up with delight, everyone on the desk will clap their arms with glee, and irrespective of how dismal the day, it’s simply been made an entire lot higher together with your Cottage Pie.

Overhead photo of Cottage Pie in a bowl being eaten

What’s the distinction between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

There is very often confusion over the distinction between Shepherd’s Pie and Cottage Pie. Both are made the identical approach – a beef mince filling in a gravy sauce that’s topped with mashed potato, sprinkled with parmesan then baked. (That crusty prime is the whole lot!!)

The solely distinction is that Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb as an alternative of beef. So if you’d like, simply swap the meat on this recipe with lamb and also you’ll have a Shepherd’s Pie!

What goes in Cottage Pie

Here’s what you want for Cottage Pie.

Feel free to change the meat with any protein – that is scrumptious made with lamb (which makes it Shepherd’s Pie), hen, turkey, pork. Also don’t fret in the event you don’t have carrot and celery – skip it or add different diced greens, like peas.

What goes in Cottage Pie

And right here’s what you want for the mashed potato topping.

I wish to put parmesan cheese on my Cottage Pie as a result of it makes the highest further crispy and golden. But any melting cheese will work nice.

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Mashed Potato topping for Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie from scratch

This Cottage Pie is comprised of scratch, and it’s very easy. If you can also make Bolognese and mashed potato, you can also make Cottage Pie as a result of it primarily follows the identical steps!

How to make Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie – 2 little suggestions

I simply have 2 little suggestions to make your Cottage Pie a powerful success:

  1. To cease the potato from sinking into the filling, cool the filling first. But this isn’t a deal breaker, it’s only a visible factor ie in the event you don’t cool the filling, the potato “bleeds” into the meat combination; and
  2. Ensure the filling reduces down sufficient (see video) to make sure you don’t find yourself with a watery filling after baking. It’s so disappointing if you break by way of the potato to be greeted with a beef sitting in a watery sauce!

Close up of spoon scooping up Cottage Pie

How to freeze Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is a kind of uncommon meals that’s actually good to make prematurely. It will hold within the fridge for four days – assembled and able to warmth, or as soon as cooked.

You can even freeze Cottage Pie 100% completely. You can bake from frozen – although it does take round 1 hour (it’s a formidable block of ice!!) or thaw then bake. Cooked leftovers additionally freeze effectively.

What goes with Cottage Pie

This is a meat and carb heavy dish, so it goes very well with recent facet salads like a Rocket Salad with Balsamic Dressing, or a Garden Salad with French or Italian Dressing. I not too long ago served it with this Carrot Salad with a Honey Dijon Dressing which was a success!

For a comfortable meal on a chilly winter night time, strive it with a facet of Glazed Roasted Carrots and Sautéed Garlic Spinach. The solely different factor you want is a glass of crimson and a crackling fireplace…

Or in my case, squatting by an historic electrical heater! 😂 – Nagi x

Watch learn how to make it

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Close up of Cottage Pie being served

Cottage Pie

Servings5 – eight

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. One of the best consolation meals of all time! A floor beef (mince) filling in a tasty gravy, topped with mashed potato. Make it a Shepherd’s Pie just by swapping the meat for lamb.


  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 1 carrot , finely chopped*
  • 1 celery , finely chopped*
  • 750g / 1.5 lb beef mince (floor beef)
  • 1/four cup (40g) flour (plain / all goal)
  • 1/four cup (55g) tomato paste
  • 2 cups (500 ml) beef inventory / broth , low sodium
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) crimson wine (or water)
  • 1 beef bouillon dice , crumbled (inventory dice, or 1 tsp inventory powder)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or three sprigs recent thyme)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • three/four tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 1.2 kg / 2.5 lb potatoes , peeled and minimize into 2.5cm / 1″ cubes
  • 2/three cup (165 ml) milk , warmed
  • 2 tbsp (30g) butter

Parmesan Crust (non-compulsory)

  • 2 tbsp (30g) butter
  • 2 tbsp (20g) parmesan, grated


  • Heat oil in a big skillet over medium excessive warmth. Add onion and garlic, prepare dinner for 1 minute. Then add carrots and celery. Cook for three minutes or till softened and candy.

  • Turn warmth as much as excessive. Add beef and prepare dinner, breaking it up as you go, till browned.

  • Add flour and blend in. Add tomato paste, broth, crimson wine, bouillon dice, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper.

  • Bring to simmer, then flip down warmth so it’s simmering quickly – I’ve it on medium excessive. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring sometimes, till it reduces all the way down to a gravy consistency (Note 1) (see video). Taste then add extra salt if desired.

  • Transfer to six cup pie dish (1.5 litre / quart). Cover, cool in case you have time (even in a single day). Cool filling = simpler to prime with mash (Note 2)

Assemble Pie

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.

  • Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or till smooth. Drain then return to pot on turned off range. Shake briefly and permit to steam dry for 30 seconds or so (Note three).

  • Add butter and mash till melted, then add milk and salt. Mash till clean.

  • Spread onto pie, use a fork to tough up the floor (rougher floor = extra golden bits). Sprinkle with paremsan, drizzle with butter (or skip this and simply drizzle with olive oil)

  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or till golden on prime and effervescent on the perimeters. Stick a knife into the center to make sure it’s piping sizzling.

  • Stand for five minutes earlier than serving, garnished with recent thyme leaves if desired.

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Recipe Notes:

* Carrots and celery are used to make a really nice mirepoix / soffrritto flavour base for this pie. However, they are often omitted, however add 1 tsp of sugar as an alternative.
1. Filling thickens – Whatever the thickness of the sauce if you pour it into the tin, that is what it will likely be as soon as baked – no steam escapes whereas baking to permit it to cut back any additional. So hold cooking till it is the consistency you need.
2. Cooling the filling ensures that the potato does not sink into the filling and makes it a lot simpler to unfold. If you might be in a rush – as I typically am – pop it within the freezer whilst you make the potato. That works fairly effectively.
three. Watery potatoes drops extra liquid whereas baking into the filling which makes the sauce watery. So do not skip the step of steam drying the potatoes!
Also, make sure that the mash is sizzling when spreading onto the pie. Cold mash is difficult and so it’s more durable to dollop / unfold onto the pie.
four. Variations: If I am making this for firm or am on a calorie-blow-out mission, I add a giant handful of cheese into the potato and likewise prime with extra cheese earlier than baking. It does not want it, it is a bonus. 🙂
For the filling, typically I add peas, or I scale back the quantity of beef and add chopped veggies like zucchini.
5. Make forward directions: Assemble pie however do not bake it. Cool mashed potato topping then both refrigerate (four days) or freeze (three months).
Thaw if frozen (it’ll take approach too lengthy to bake from frozen) then bake as per recipe. Or bake from frozen – lined at 180°C/350°for 45 minutes, then 30 minutes uncovered.
Can additionally do particular person servings in ramekins!
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 beneficiant servings.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 602gCalories: 611kcal (31%)Carbohydrates: 50.1g (17%)Protein: 53g (106%)Fat: 19.6g (30%)Saturated Fat: 7.eightg (49%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.eightgCholesterol: 149mg (50%)Sodium: 681mg (30%)Potassium: 1854mg (53%)Fiber: 7.1g (30%)Sugar: eight.1g (9%)Vitamin A: 2350IU (47%)Vitamin C: 71.eightmg (87%)Calcium: 80mg (eight%)Iron: 30.fourmg (169%)

Originally printed October 2016. Updated 2020 with recent new pictures and video. No change to recipe – I wouldn’t dare!

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Life of Dozer

That’s what Dozer appears like when he’s peeved. He’s cranky as a result of he squeezed himself below this tiny desk, waited so patiently for me to complete taking pictures and he didn’t get a style take a look at!

Dozer the golden retriever during photograph shooting of Cottage Pie

Dozer the golden retriever during photograph shooting of Cottage Pie




Guest put up by Nagi

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