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The Classic Cottage Pie

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Cottage Pie is a classic British dinner with amazing traditional and warming flavours. It's an easy way to add hearty flavours to your meal! #pie #cottagepie #dinnerideas #recipe #winterfood

For many years I thought the terms Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie were interchangeable. However, as I grew into my passion for food I learned quite quickly the difference. For those not in the know, essentially a cottage pie is made using beef, whereas a shepherds pie is made using lamb.

One small difference of ingredients creating something entirely different and delicious!

This is what I love about cooking. It’s so easy to create something new, to explore new flavours, tastes and textures. Today though, we’re simply going to be exploring the very classic, very British, cottage pie.

Cottage pie is essentially a hearty beef and vegetable stew covered with dollops of mash potato which is then baked until golden. This pie is generously hearty, as well as forgiving – it is hard to mess this up, and as long as it tastes good then any mistakes are completely forgiven.

Now, I hope you don’t mind and do forgive my indulgence, but I want to talk about pie for a bit. Savoury pies, to be specific.

Even before I moved to the UK in 2015 I have been passionately in love with pies. I had plenty of cookbooks dedicated solely to savoury pies. The reason why I love pie so much is that there are so many varieties, which is incredibly evident here in the UK.

From the not-so-humble pork pie to the scotch pie, there are regional varieties of the savoury pie which date back hundreds of years.

Once you start your journey into the world of pies, you’ll discover a never-ending array of scrumptious recipes, oozing with gravy and delicious fillings. Pies can be filled with any number of savoury fillings and topped with potato or pastry to create the perfect meal in a mouthful.

Cottage Pie is a classic British dinner with amazing traditional and warming flavours. It's an easy way to add hearty flavours to your meal! #pie #cottagepie #dinnerideas #recipe #winterfood

Let’s talk Ingredients…

Beef mince: It’s always best to use quality minced beef with less than 5% fat.

Vegetables: Feel free to add more vegetables, of variety to your pie filling without effecting the recipe too much. Turnips, parsnips and other root vegetables are perfect additions.

Stock: Always use a good quality stockpot or liquid stock. Stock cubes and powders can be quite salty and can ruin the flavour.

The Classic Cottage Pie Recipe

Yield: 6

The Classic Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is a classic British dinner with amazing traditional and warming flavours. It's an easy way to add hearty flavours to your meal! #pie #cottagepie #dinnerideas #recipe #winterfood
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp sage, dried
  • ½ tsp parsley, dried
  • 1 ½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp. plain flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 50g salted butter
  • 50g cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir through melted butter, cooking 3-4 minutes or until dark brown. Remove the roux from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until onion is soft and translucent – around 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook additional 2-3 minutes or until tomato paste has thickened.
  4. Add beef to vegetables, and brown over medium-high heat until cooked through and deep in colour.
  5. Stir through stock, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add roux and stir through until well combined.
  7. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mashed Potatoes

  1. In a large pot, cover potatoes in cold water and add a generous pinch of salt.
  2. Bring to boil over high heat, and boil for 5-10 minutes, or until potatoes are fully cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Return potatoes to pot and mash butter, milk, nutmeg and cheddar cheese until smooth and creamy.

Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Transfer beef filling to a pie dish, and cover with mash potato.
  3. Bake for 30 or until potato is golden.
  4. Serve hot.

Cottage Pie is a classic British dinner with amazing traditional and warming flavours. It's an easy way to add hearty flavours to your meal! #pie #cottagepie #dinnerideas #recipe #winterfood
Cottage Pie is a classic British dinner with amazing traditional and warming flavours. It's an easy way to add hearty flavours to your meal! #pie #cottagepie #dinnerideas #recipe #winterfood
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