Cottage Pie Recipe

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Traditional cottage pie with a rich meaty sauce, topped with creamy mashed potato, crisped up to golden perfection. Check out my tip for ensuring also get a jug of delicious gravy to pour on top.

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins | Total Time: 55 mins



  • 2 lb 900g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb 450g minced beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (check for gluten free if needed)
  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) beef stock (boiling water plus 2 or 3 stock cubes is fine – use bouillon for gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup 60ml double (heavy) cream
  • 4 tbsp 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp cornflour/cornstarch


  1. Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions, celery and carrot on medium heat for five minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add the minced beef and cook until browned – breaking up any pieces as you go. Add in half the salt and pepper, the Worcestershire sauce and stock (see pro tip 1). Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. By this time, the potatoes should be cooked. Drain the potatoes and mash using a potato ricer. Add the cream, butter and remaining salt and pepper and mix together.
  5. Mix the cornflour (cornstarch) with three tbsp of cold water and stir into the simmering beef mixture to thicken the sauce (you may need to add a little more if you like it thicker).
  6. Turn off the heat and use a slotted spoon to scoop out the beef mixture and place into a 7”x 9” (18cmx23cm) baking dish. This should leave most of the gravy behind in the pan.
  7. Top the beef with the mashed potatoes (see pro tip 2), and flatten out with a spoon. Rough up the top of the mash with a fork (so you get nice crispy bits).
  8. Place in the oven for 20 minutes until the mashed potato is golden brown. Heat up the gravy, then serve the cottage pie with the gravy, green veg and some pickled red cabbage.

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