Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie
Cottage Pie is the ultimate comfort classic. I've tried many recipes and have made this meal many times for my family but keep coming back to this method after all of my attempts. My version of Cottage Pie is loaded with extra vegetables which I grate to suit even the fussiest of eaters... As the pie cooks, the veggies disintegrate to create a flavour-packed gravy. Although preparing Cottage Pie requires a little bit more fussing and cooking time, it is actually very easy to make. This recipe is enough to serve my family twice. It is also the perfect dinner to freeze for when you need dinner on the table in a hurry!

Cottage Pie Filling

  • 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

  • 1.2kg potatoes (all rounder), peeled and quartered
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk, slightly warmed (see note 1)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Cottage Pie Filling

  1. Heat the olive oil on medium heat, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  2. Add the celery, carrot and zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Increase the heat to high, add the beef mince and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
  4. Stir in the plain flour, followed by the tomato paste.
  5. 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).
  6. Set the filling aside to cool.

Mashed Potato Topping

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil (you will need a pot large enough so that the potatoes are covered by at least 5cm of water).
  2. Add the peeled, quartered potatoes to the water and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft enough to pierce with a fork.
  3. 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.
  4.  Add the butter and mash the potatoes twice around the pot before adding the milk. Continue to mash until smooth and fluffy, season with the salt.

Assemble Pie 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Once the beef mixture has cooled slightly, transfer it into a large baking dish (approximately 30cm x 25cm). If you have made your pie in an oven safe pan, you can skip this step.
  3. 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 gently rough up the surface.
  4. 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 in a saucepan, it makes the mashed potato extra creamy and easier to spread out on top of the beef mixture.

Note 2 – If your 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 a high heat, stirring regularly until it is at your desired consistency. It should be thick enough for the mashed potato to be able to sit on top without sinking.

Make ahead – Follow the recipe steps and assemble the pie. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge if baking from frozen, then cover with foil and bake at 180°C fan-forced for 45 minutes covered and an additional 30 minutes uncovered.

Freezing instructions – If there are any leftovers after dinner, you can freeze these too. Freeze in individual portions and air-tight containers (for up to 3 months) to defrost in the microwave.





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Nicole Simple Home Edit Bio

About me

I’m Nic, wife and Mum to two little people. I’m based in Sydney, Australia. I created Simple Home Edit to inspire others to buy with intention, eat well with simple ingredients, own less and live more.

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