How to Make a Traditional Cottage Pie Recipe With Ground Beef Mince

Updated on April 15, 2018
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L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She has a keen interest in creating delicious recipes.

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie
Cottage Pie | Source

How to Make Cottage Pie Recipe

One of the nicest meals to make with ground beef mince is a cottage pie. It is quick and easy and very tasty.

I give you step-by-step instructions with videos and photos along the way.

I will give you the basic recipe, and then list the other ingredients if you want to add them to adjust it to your taste.

Cottage Pie Recipe

Ingredients for Cottage Pie
Ingredients for Cottage Pie | Source


  • 500g / 1 pound of ground beef mince
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • Oxo Cube beef
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 2 tablesppons of frozen peas
  • Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Butter
  • Milk

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Peel and cut up the onions into small pieces.
  3. Take a large pot, and add the oil to heat.
  4. Add the onions and cook until golden brown.
  5. Add the mince ground beef gradually stirring all the time.
  6. When the mince is brown add boiling water that just covers the meat.
  7. Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  8. Peel and grate one of the carrots and add to the pot.
  9. Peel and cut up the other carrot into small squares and add to pot.
  10. Add the beef cube by crumbling up over the pot and stirring in to avoid any lumps.
  11. Leave to simmer for twenty minutes stirring occasionally.
  12. Add the frozen peas and simmer for an extra ten minutes.
  13. Turn off the heat and leave in the pot to cool off.
  14. Take out an appropriate oven dish and add the pie mixture from the pot.

Cottage Pie Recipe
Cottage Pie Recipe | Source

How to Make the Potato Topping

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut each one into four even pieces.
  2. Add to a pot with cold water.
  3. Bring to the boil.
  4. Lower the heat down so the potatoes are simmering for fifteen minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and drain the water from the pot.
  6. Add some milk and butter to the potatoes and mash them.
  7. The mash needs to be more loose than normal so you can spread it onto the pie.
  8. Add more milk gradually until you have it just right.
  9. Add the mashed potatoes to the pie by gradually placing tablespoons of it along the dish.
  10. Using the back of the spoon pull the potatoes along until the dish is covered evenly.
  11. To make the ridges like I have in the photos use the edge of the spoon to lift the potato slightly up in some places.
  12. Put in the middle part of the oven for thirty 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.

Mashed Potatoes Cottage Pie
Mashed Potatoes Cottage Pie | Source

Extra Ingredients

Other ingredients you can add to the cottage pie:

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 of 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.

My Homemade Cottage Pie
My Homemade Cottage Pie | Source

Cottage Pie

5 stars from 4 ratings of Cottage Pie

How To Freeze

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 evenings 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 pre heated oven for thirty minutes at the low heat of 140C and then higher it to 200C for another twenty minutes.

Questions & Answers


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      • Casangel profile image

        Casangel 5 months ago

        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 .

      • How to - Answers profile image

        L M Reid 5 months ago from Ireland

        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 profile image

        Thelma Alberts 6 months ago from Germany

        Yummy! I love cottage pie but I have not tried to make one. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

      • viking305 profile image

        L M Reid 2 years ago from Ireland

        Love to eat this dish on a cold night

      • How to - Answers profile image

        L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

        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

      • Patsybell profile image

        Patsy Bell Hobson 3 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

        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.

      • How to - Answers profile image

        L M Reid 3 years ago from Ireland

        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

      • creativelycc profile image

        Carrie L. Cronkite 3 years ago from Maine

        Looks delicious and very easy to make. Great recipe!

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

        It sound delicious. Thanks for sharing and I can't wait to make it soon with my mom. Good job and voted up!


      • raymondphilippe profile image

        Raymond Philippe 4 years ago from The Netherlands

        Loved reading your Ground Beef Mince recipe. Seems very doable even for cooks with two left hands like I have. Thanks for sharing.

      • CyberShelley profile image

        Shelley Watson 4 years ago

        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.