Cottage pie

Place a heavy bottomed stock pot or large saucepan on a medium heat with a good glug of rapeseed oil in. Chop the onions, and garlic, then add to the pan.

Let the onions sweat for a few minutes and add the steak mince. Turn the heat up a little to brown the mince, continue until almost all has coloured.

Add the beef stock, beef extract, Worcestershire sauce, dried thyme, a good pinch of salt and pepper and reduce to a simmer. Meanwhile chop the carrots into small codes and also add to the pan.

Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes. At the end, add the peas, also checking the seasoning for salt and pepper and adjusting if necessary.

For the mash, place a large sauce pan of slightly salted water to the boil. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes and add to the boiling water.

Boil the potatoes until softened through. Drain the water and leave to air in a colander for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Return the potatoes to the sauce pan, away from the heat. Add the milk, cheddar, chives and butter, along with a good season of salt and pepper, then mash well. Add a little more milk to the mash if still too firm to spread over the mince.

Take a large oven proof dish, poor in the mince, spreading out evenly. On top, carefully place blobs of mash over the surface and then smooth down filling the gaps; this will ensure you do not stir it all into one. Now crack black pepper over the top of the mash.

Place in the oven, on a middle shelf, for 40 minutes or until the the top is nicely golden.


This dish has been going in the UK since the late 1700’s, when potatoes were used more widely spread for the masses as a day to day staple. I’m sure countless days labour have been carried out on a belly full of this dish in rural areas over the years.

Fuel for Brits!

The term ‘cottage pie’ was used for both beef and mutton until the late 1800’s, only then was the term ’shepherd’s pie’ introduced when mutton or lamb was used. Both great hearty meals.

Exmoor, Devon
blog comments powered by Disqus