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Cottage pie

Treat the family this winter to this comforting classic cottage pie. Layered with beef mince and fluffy, buttery mash, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

  • 30 minutes prep. time
  • 30 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 6
  • Pies & savoury treats
Freshly cooked cottage pie in a square dish
This warming dish is the ultimate comfort food to share with loved ones | © National Trust/William Shaw


For the filling

  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 300g onion, roughly chopped
  • 300g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 300g carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1kg minced beef
  • 500g chopped tomatoes 
  • 100ml beef stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

For the topping

  • 1.5kg potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 50g butter or margarine
  • 50ml milk
  • Salt and pepper


Enhance the mash

Make sure you rough up the top of the mashed potato so that it goes nice and crispy in the oven. For extra flavour why not add some herbs into the mash or top off with some grated cheese before you place in the oven?

Step 1

Boil the potatoes until soft. Mash together with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.

Step 2

Place a pan over a medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft. 

Step 3

Add the mushrooms and mixed herbs followed by the carrots, then stir.

Step 4

Add the minced beef and cook until browned.

Step 5

Add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Simmer for 30–40 minutes until the beef is cooked and the sauce has reduced. Season to taste.

Step 6

Decant the mince mixture into an oven dish. Top with the mashed potato and place in the oven at 170°C (150°C fan/gas mark 3) for 20–30 minutes, until golden and crispy.

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