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Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage Pie

Cottage pie is a great dish as it can be made up to 1 day in advance then heated when needed. It can also be frozen for up to 3 weeks. It is a sure fired family favourite, freezes well and is the perfect comfort food. You can free it in one go or as individual portions for eating on the run.

Many people get Shepherd’s and cottage pie confused, I have even seen chefs get it wrong on menus. the difference between the two is that shepherd’s pie is made with lamb mince and cottage pie is made with beef mince.

A great way to save time and money is to watch out for special offers on mince then make a large one, half for now, the rest can be frozen for when needed. If you allow it to cool then portion it into single portions it makes a great back up dish to have in the freezer.

Simply wrap each portion in cling film before freezing. Doing it this way means you can heat as little or as many portions as needed rather than heating too much and wasting it.

If you use Bisto to thicken the sauce then it’s not gluten free. Knorr do a gluten free gravy I’ve been told or you could make your own!

Cottage Pie Recipe


Allergens : Contains Lactose

Minced Beef – 450g

Chopped Tomatoes – 1 tin

Onion – 1 medium Chopped

Carrots – 2 medium peeled and diced

Frozen peas – up to 1 mug full

Garlic Cloves – 2

Veg, chicken or beef Stock Cube – 1 ( I used the Knorr rich beef jelly cube)

Bisto gravy granules (enough to thicken)

Water – 600 ml

Potatoes (Not white) – 8 good sized spuds ( I use roosters)

Butter or margarine – 25g

Milk or cream – 50ml

Salt and pepper to taste



Getting Started…You will need either a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan or a large frying pan, a wooden or metal spoon, 1 chopping knife, 1 vegetable peeler, 1 vegetable chopping board, 1 medium heavy bottomed pot, 1 potato masher, 1 oven proof dish. I use a piping bag and large star nozzle to pipe the potato onto the pie, you can use a spoon if you don’t have one.


Peel and chop the onion, garlic and carrots then heat the pan or pot with about 2 tbsp of oil (try use rapeseed or olive oil if you can afford it)


Add the veg you just chopped to the pan and cook slowly without colouring until the onions are soft. Peel the spuds then make sure they are roughly the same size, add to the other pot then cover with cold water, place on a high heat until boiled then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer till cooked. Test with a fork, if it easily goes through a spud then they are cooked. (i always cover mine with a clean t-towel which removes excess moisture)


Add the mince and using a wooden or metal spoon (mind you don’t scrap the pan with the metal spoon) break it apart so there are no lumps, you want to cook it until it has browned.


Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well then add the water and stock cube, stir then turn the heat right down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, if you leave it longer you may need to add more water. Check your spuds.


If you want to bulk this dish out to feed a large family or to get an extra days dinner then add 200ml more water, you will thicken it with the bisto in a while.


Add the peas and cook for a further 5 or so minutes.


I use a roux to thicken mine, you can use bisto which is far easier. Simply add 2 tblsp to the pan then stir well, you may need to add more as the dish shouldn’t be watery at all.


Pour the mince sauce into the oven proof dish, don’t overfill or it will over flow when you add the mash.


Mash the potatoes then add the butter and milk or cream with 1/2 tsp each of salt and Pepper (I prefer white for mash), taste to make sure you are happy with the flavour, if not then add a little more salt or pepper as needed.


Using a piping bag or spoon add place the mash on top of the mine mix in the dish then bake 180c GM4 for 25 minutes. The top will turn brown in places which is exactly what you want.


If you want to freeze some then allow it to cool before cutting into portions, if not then use any leftovers within 4 days.

    • STrodd
    • 5th March 2017

    The best endorsement I can give is that my fussy toddler loved it and asked for seconds! It will definitely be a staple meal in our house.

    • Max
    • 6th March 2017

    Have this once a week if possible as two little girls that don’t really eat veg devour this carrots, peas and all. Doesn’t last long in our house.

    • Cha
    • 27th July 2018

    Make. this as often as I can . My 15 month old absolutely loves it and my partner who is hugely fussy and not a fan of veg has called it his favorite dinner ??

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