Delight in classic British comfort food with this simple, yet rustic, cottage pie recipe. This dish combines seasoned ground beef with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes for a rich and satisfying meal. It’s a hearty and utterly delicious choice that brings the essence of traditional home cooking to the table.
- 500g beef mince
- 1kg Maris Piper potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (diced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 1 celery stick (diced)
- 1 garlic clove (crushed)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- A splash of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g peas
- 50g butter (for the mash)
- Start by peeling the potatoes and then cut them in half. Place them in a large pot filled with salted water.
- Put the pot of potatoes on the stove over high heat and bring it to a boil. Let the potatoes simmer for about 20 minutes or until they become soft.
- Once the potatoes are soft, drain the water and leave them in the pot to steam for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
- While the potatoes are steaming, preheat your oven to gas mark 4 (180°C or 160°C in a fan oven).
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pan. Sauté them until they become softened. After the vegetables are softened, add the beef mince and increase the heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the mince is browned.
- To the browned mince, add the tomato puree, chopped tinned tomatoes, a beef stock cube, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. At this point, splash in some Worcestershire sauce, to you liking. Fill the empty tomato tin with water and add that to the mixture as well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes to reduce the sauce. Just before finishing, add the peas and stir them into the mixture. Remove the bay leaf.
- While the mince mixture is simmering, return to the steamed potatoes. Mash them thoroughly with a generous amount of salt and the butter cubes until the butter is fully melted and mixed in.
- Pour the simmered mince mixture into an ovenproof dish. Top the mince with the mashed potatoes. Use a fork to create a rough texture on the potato topping, which helps it brown nicely in the oven. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dish is piping hot and the top is golden.
- Once the cottage pie is ready, remove it from the oven and serve it immediately while it’s hot and delicious.
I found that this recipe offered between 4-6 servings, depending on how big an appetite you have. It’s good for bulk cooking and tastes just as good when warmed up in the office microwave until it’s piping hot.