Cottage pie

cottage pieIt’s back to basics with this classic recipe for cottage pie. It can be made with minced lamb instead of beef but then it is called shepherds pie.
Either way, it’s always a favourite in our household as it’s easy to make and easy to eat.
The swede can be changed for any sweet tasting vegetable like squash or sweet potato.

Serves 4


675 g minced lamb/beef
1 tablespoon oil
25 g butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
100 g swede, peeled and diced
½ level teaspoon mixed spice
½ level teaspoon ground mace
1 bay leaf
600 mlstrong lamb/beef stock
1 lamb or beef stock cube
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the topping:
50 g mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
900 g Desiree or King Edward potatoes
50 g butter
salt and freshly milled black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Melt the butter and oil together in a large saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, leek, celery and swede and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are soft.

Add the mince, stirring to break the meat up, and continue to cook until it has lost its pinkness.
Seasoning well with salt and pepper, then stir in the mixed spice, mace and bay leaf.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover and cook gently for about 30 minutes.

While the meat is cooking boil the potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain well, add the butter and mash them until smooth. Taste and add more salt and a little pepper if necessary.

When the meat is ready, using a slotted spoon, transfer it into a large baking dish, draining off as much of the stock as possible (this could be used to make gravy). Discard the bay leaf. Crumble in the stock cube and mix well.

Level the meat out with the back of the spoon and spread the mashed potato all over the top, roughing it up a little with a fork. Scatter the cheese over and bake on a high shelf of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the top is crusty and golden and the filling is nice and hot.

Comments 1

  • thanks….this was just what I was looking for…..i am soooo bookmarking your blog.

    i don’t usually comment, i’m more of a lurker….what’s come over me?…lol

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