L.M.Reid creates delicious recipes and gives step-by-step instructions with her own photos so you can learn how to make each recipe at home.
How to Make the Best Cottage Pie
One of the nicest dinners to make with ground beef mince is a cottage pie. If you are looking for dinner ideas, then this is one of those recipes that is quick, easy, and very tasty. I will share the basic recipe, and then I will list other possible ingredients you can use to adjust the recipe to your own taste. Along the way, I will provide step-by-step instructions, photos, and videos.
- 500g (1 pound) ground beef mince
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large onion
- 1 Oxo beef stock cube
- 4 large potatoes
- 2 tablespoons frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Peel and cut up the onions into small pieces.
- Take a large pot, and add the oil to heat.
- Add the onions and cook until golden brown.
- Add the mince ground beef gradually stirring all the time.
- When the mince is brown add boiling water that just covers the meat.
- Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Peel and grate one of the carrots and add to the pot.
- Peel and cut up the other carrot into small squares and add to the pot.
- Add the beef cube by crumbling up over the pot and stirring in to avoid any lumps.
- Leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the frozen peas and simmer for an extra 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and leave in the pot to cool off.
- Take out an appropriate oven dish and add the pie mixture from the pot.
How to Make the Mashed Potato Topping
- Peel the potatoes and cut each one into four even pieces.
- Add to a pot with cold water. Bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat down so the potatoes are simmering for 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and drain the water from the pot.
- Add some milk and butter to the potatoes and mash them. The mash needs to be more loose than normal so you can spread it onto the pie. Add more milk gradually until you have it just right.
- Add the mashed potatoes to the pie by gradually placing tablespoons of it along the dish.
- Using the back of the spoon pull the potatoes along until the dish is covered evenly. To make the ridges like I have in the photo below, use the edge of the spoon to lift the potato slightly up in some places.
- Put in the middle part of the oven for 30 minutes at 200C, or 180C if a fan oven.
If you want, you can put the pie dish under the grill, but I prefer to put it in the oven. The oven is able to heat up the ingredients and cooks the topping all the way through. You still get that lovely crispy taste to the potatoes.
You can add parsley, mixed herbs, tomatoes, or tomato puree to the pot as you are cooking the mince filling. You can also add a dash of Worcestershire or Tobago sauce. It all depends on your individual taste. I prefer mine with just the ingredients I have used in this recipe, but the filling of the pie can be changed around all the time if you wish.
The potato topping can be changed by adding half the amount of potatoes and cooking some parsnips or turnips for the other half. Or once you have spread the potatoes on top of the pie you can grate some cheese over it.
Salt and Pepper
I do not add salt and pepper for health reasons relating to some of my family. For those of us who are allowed salt we add it when it is dished up on our individual plates. The cottage pie would taste better if you add the salt and pepper in the mince and in the potatoes as you cook them if you can.
How to Freeze Cottage Pie
I used 650 grams of mince when I cooked the above cottage pie because I wanted to freeze some of it. I made two family size cottage pies and one smaller one. I let the pie filling go completely cold in the two oven dishes I would cook them in later. I placed a large plastic bag over them and put them in the freezer.
When I know I want to have cottage pie for that evening's dinner, I take the filling out of the freezer and put it in the fridge that morning to defrost. Then I cook the potatoes and add to the filling. I put it in a preheated oven for 30 minutes at the low heat of 140 c and then higher it to 200 c for another 20 minutes.
Casangel on November 24, 2017:
I love your recipes . I tried this and my grandsons loved it . Grating the carrots was a good idea as they didnt know they where in it and one grandson asked for more , so thank you very much .
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on October 26, 2017:
Hello Thelma, Yes it has its own unique taste. It is very easy to make and would taste so much better than shop bought
Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 23, 2017:
Yummy! I love cottage pie but I have not tried to make one. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
L M Reid from Ireland on November 14, 2015:
Love to eat this dish on a cold night
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on January 19, 2015:
Hello Patsy, yes this really is a very easy recipe to cook and very healthy.
I use ground beef mince in a lot of dinners I make and it is so tasty and handy.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and the shares and votes
Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, Southeast Missouri, USA on January 05, 2015:
This looks like a great thing to do with leftover mashed potatoes. I like your easy version of Shepherd's Pie. Adding ingredients to grocery list. Voted Up, Tweet, Pinned.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on January 05, 2015:
Cottage Pie is a quick dish to make and tastes great.
Thank you CyberShelley, raymondphilippe, prasetio30 and creativelycc for taking the time to leave a comment. it is much appreciated
Carrie L Cronkite from Maine on December 06, 2014:
Looks delicious and very easy to make. Great recipe!
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on November 07, 2014:
It sound delicious. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to make it soon with my mom. Good job and voted up!
Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on April 09, 2014:
Loved reading your Ground Beef Mince recipe. Seems very doable even for cooks with two left hands like I have. Thanks for sharing.
Shelley Watson on April 08, 2014:
Wow you have gone overboard and given us so much here. Thank you for these wonderful recipes and great ideas on how to improve our standard Cottage Pie.