Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Cottage Pie Recipe

 There are loads of recipes on the internet but most of them are over the top. I tend not to give out all recipes as I alter them so much but here it is, in its simplest form.

1 medium onion finely diced
1lb ground/minced beef (or pork or a combination of the two)
1 1/2 pints meat stock (two stock cubes) 
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 1/2 lb chunks of peeled potatoes
Grated strong cheese - I use cheddar

Add two tablespoons of oil into a frying pan and fry the onion until soft but not brown - remove from pan.
Add the meat and fry until no longer pink. Try not to stir it all the time so it can develop some crispy brown bits, but this isn't essential. Fry until any liquid that comes from the meat evaporates off. Stir the onion back in.
Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook for about 30 minutes. Thicken either with cornflour and water or gravy granules to your preferred thickness.

Most people don't do this next part but I prefer to. Tip the contents of the pan through a strainer, sieve or colander, KEEPING all the liquid. Tip the drained meat into your cooking dish/dishes. A lasagne type dish works well or two smaller dishes. Leave to go cold.

Cook the potatoes until done. Drain and mash with salt and pepper, a little milk and butter/margarine. Place in spoonsfuls on top of the meat and carefully spread over to cover the meat. Top with as much cheese as you wish.
Bake in a 190C - 200C oven for about 30 - 40 minutes or until bubbling slightly and the cheese has melted and going slightly crispy.
Warm the rest of the gravy you strained off earlier towards the end of cooking. Serve as is or with your chosen vegetables.
We rarely have all meat in ours. Most of the time we will use 1/2 lb meat and lots of diced vegetables. Sometimes I top the potato with a bag of smashed hula hoops to give a crunch topping. If I have no fresh potatoes I will use instant. Measure out a 6 person serving into a large bowl. Add the required liquid but use half milk and half water, add about 1oz of butter and some black pepper.
Also, if you have leftover meat, vegetables and gravy from a roast, mince that and use, remembering to add a few spoonfuls of the gravy into the meat/vegetable mix otherwise it will be too dry
Hope that helps.


  1. I do just the same but with a mix of lentils and veggies to make it vegan. It's a good Winter warming dish isn't it.

  2. Mine's in the oven as I type! I do a cheats version though, I dry fry the mince and onion and when all the fat has been absorbed, I mix a few gravy granules with boiling water and just stir them in until it's all a nice thick consistency, then I do the potatoes as your recipe states. I'm not a fan of instant gravy granules but mixed in with the meat and onions, you can't taste that they're not the real thing. I'm hoping that this one in the oven will do tomorrow night's tea as well.

    1. I dry fry if my meat is a bit fatty but nowadays that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  3. Sounds very tasty.

    God bless.

  4. With food prices going up I find myself using ground/minced meat more often as well. Pulling out all those inexpensive comfort foods once again.

    1. Indeed. Prices are going to keep gong up for sure.

  5. I am doing it all through winter. I believe it can be done all year round as long as you don’t disturb growing roots.

  6. Something I have started doing recently and what a difference it makes is adding a good teaspoon of yeast extract or fake marmite to my shepherd's pies or soups.

    1. Fake Marmite! Good heavens, what next, didn't know it existed - ha! Learn something new every day. I love Marmite so shall try that another day, thank you.


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