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Cottage pie recipe

Cottage Pie

My delicious cottage pie recipe – Beef and root vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and melted cheese.
5 from 2 votes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4 servings


For the beef and root vegetable filling

    • 500 g extra lean steak mince
    • 1 onion
    • 500 g root vegetables - My favourites to use are two large carrots and half a small swede but you can mix and match your favourites
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tbsp ruby port
    • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
    • 800 ml beef stock - or 2 beef stock cubes and 800ml water
    • 2 bay leaves
    • a few sprigs of thyme
    • salt and pepper

    For the mash

      • 500 g potatoes
      • 75 ml milk
      • 30 g butter
      • 40 g cheddar cheese
      • salt


      To avoid the instructions getting too confusing I have separated making the beef filling and the mashed potatoes into different sections. However, these two sections should be completed simultaneously.

        Start by chopping the vegetables for the filling and then fit in chopping and cooking the potatoes while the filling is cooking.

          Also, remember to pre-heat the oven while the filling is cooking on the hob.

            Make the beef filling

              • Chop the vegetables - Peel the root vegetables (500g) and chop into small chunks. Finely chop the onion (1 onion) and garlic (2 cloves).
              • Heat half the olive oil (½ tbsp) in a large pan. Fry the mince (500g) until it browns. Remove from the pan and set aside.
              • Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan (½ tbsp). Add the chopped root vegetables and onion (not the garlic) and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure that they don't burn.
              • Add the garlic, flour (1 tbsp) and tomato purée (1 tbsp) and cook for a couple of minutes.
              • Return the beef to the pan and add the port (2 tbsp), worcestershire sauce (1 tbsp), beef stock (800ml), bay leaves (2 leaves) and thyme (a few sprigs). Bring to the boil and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally - You want the gravy to be quite thick, if there's a lot of liquid in the pan towards the end of the cooking time then turn up the heat a little. Similarly, if it's becoming too thick, then add a little more water to ensure it doesn't burn
              • Season with salt and pepper - I prefer to season towards the end of the cooking time once the sauce has reduced
              • Once cooked, remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks

              Make the mashed potato

              • Peel and chop the potatoes
              • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes, until soft
              • Drain the potatoes and return to the pan
              • Add the milk (75ml) and butter (30g) and mash until smooth
              • Season with salt

              Make the pie

              • Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan
              • Grate the cheese (40g)
              • Fill the base of an oven-proof dish with the beef filling and spread evenly
              • Evenly spread the mashed potato onto of the beef filling
              • Sprinkle over the grated cheese
              • Cook for 25 minutes, then serve


              Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.


              Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 775mg | Potassium: 1853mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 21260IU | Vitamin C: 24.8mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 8.4mg

              Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.

              Course: Main Course
              Cuisine: British