Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

This is an all time favourite in our family and is so easy to make. I tend to make three and freeze two for when I have less time.

So this recipe actually makes enough to feed four people for three meals. Alternatively you could make one big one if you have a pot big enough. It needs to be served with gravy and lashings of Worcestershire Sauce!

Cottage Pie

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 3 lots of 4
  • Difficulty: easy


  • 4 onions
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 30g butter
  • 2kg minced beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 can John Smith’s Ale (or similar)
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leafs
  • Maldon salt & fresh black pepper
  • About 3kg potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • splash milk
  • 250g grated cheddar cheese


    1. Firstly peel and chop the carrots and onions, put a heavy based casserole pan on to warm up on a low heat with the 30g butter in and add the vegetables to sweat gently – you do not want to brown them.
    2. Next get a frying pan on a high heat and fry the beef in batches to make sure it is well browned. You can add these batches to the other pan as they are ready. Add the crushed garlic, tomato puree and flour and stir for a minute or two to cook the flour a bit and then add your can of beer. thyme and bay leafs.
    3. Stir your stock cubes in to about 400ml hot water and add to the pot with a good splash of Worcestershire sauce, and a decent amount of salt and pepper.
    4. This needs to cook on a decent simmer for at least an hour. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 220C (200c fan), Gas mark 7. Peel the potatoes, cut in to small chunks and put on to boil with some salt in the water.
    5. Once cooked, drain and mash with the butter, a splash of milk, salt, pepper and the egg yolks (these are optional but seem to add depth of flavour).
    6. Spoon your meat mixture into your dishes, top with the potato and sprinkle your grated cheese over the top.
    7. Bake in the oven for about 40s minute or until brown on top and cooked through.
    8. If you are cooking one from cold (defrosted out of the freezer) you’ll need to add 5 or 10 minutes.

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