- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced (or grated)
- 1 tsp garlic, freshly minced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 zucchini, grated
- 1kg beef mince
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mashed Potato Topping
Cottage Pie Filling
- Heat the olive oil on medium heat, and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the celery, carrot and zucchini. Cook, frequently stirring, for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Increase the heat to high, add the beef mince and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
- Stir in the plain flour, followed by the tomato paste.
- Add the beef stock, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low so that the sauce is slowly simmering. Cook covered for 10 minutes. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring regularly. The sauce will thicken into a lovely gravy (see note 2).
- Set the filling aside to cool.
Mashed Potato Topping
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (you will need a pot large enough so that the potatoes are covered by at least 5cm of water).
- Add the peeled, quartered potatoes to the water and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Drain the potatoes using a colander and place the potatoes back in the pot. Allow them to steam dry for 1-2 minutes. This removes any excess water.
- Add the butter and mash the potatoes twice around the pot before adding the milk. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy, and season with the salt.
- Preheat the oven to a 180°C fan.
- Once the beef mixture has cooled slightly, transfer it into a large baking dish (approximately 30cm x 25cm). You can skip this step if you have made your pie in an oven-safe pan.
- Spoon the mashed potato on top of the beef mixture and use the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly. Do this while the mashed potato is hot, as it’s much easier to spread. Use a fork to rough up the surface gently.
- Sprinkle it with parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden and crispy.
Note 1 – Warm the milk slightly in the microwave or a saucepan. It makes the mashed potato extra creamy and easier to spread out on top of the beef mixture.
Note 2 – If the gravy is too thick, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until it is at your desired consistency. If it is too thin, continue cooking on high heat, stirring regularly until it meets your desired consistency. It should be thick enough for the mashed potato to sit on top without sinking.
MAKE AHEAD – Follow the recipe steps and assemble the pie. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking, then cover with foil and bake at 180°C fan-forced for 45 minutes covered and an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
LEFTOVERS – Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely overnight in the fridge before reheating. Leftovers are best frozen in individual serves and reheated in the microwave.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15mins
- Category: pie
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: English
Keywords: Cottage Pie, Cottage Pie recie