This super tasty, traditional, homemade cottage pie recipe, made with ground beef, is all about keeping it nice and simple. It takes the meaty English classic and serves it authentically and elegantly. If you want a similar ovenproof bowl in which to serve your cottage pie, check out this one right here!
Super Tasty, Traditional, Homemade Cottage PiePrint Recipe
- 400 grams beef mince
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 large carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 large potatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- Worcestershire sauce
- Vinegar red wine vinegar would be a good choice, but any would do–optional anyway
- Black pepper
- Cheese something well suited to melting–Cheddar or Gruyere, for example
- 300-milliliter stock chicken or beef
1. Peel the potatoes and dice them into small-medium pieces, then simmer in water until they soften enough to mash. Once they’re there, add a good dollop of butter and season with salt, then mix together and set aside.
2. Peel the onion, garlic, and carrots, then finely dice them, along with the celery, and cook them in a large saucepan at medium heat for 6–8 minutes or until they soften and begin to glisten. You’ll want to season them a little as they cool as the salt will help to draw out the moisture.
3. Add the mince and turn up the heat a little to medium-high. Season further if required and stir together, then brown all of the mince and add a bay leaf and a bouquet garni made from thyme (a few sprigs of thyme tied together).
4. Cook a little further, continuing to stir to help distribute the flavor, then add some Worcestershire sauce and cook through for just a couple of minutes. Add the stock and simmer down until it thickens and forms a sauce that coats the meat. Then, if desired, add a splash of vinegar, some black pepper, and any additional necessary salt.
5. Then, 3/4 fill an ovenproof bowl with the mince and then spoon mashed potato over the top, either smoothing out the top or purposefully creating ridges and crevices to crisp up in the heat.
6. If desired, grate some cheese over the top and place it under a grill at 200°C until either the top browns suitably or until the cheese has melted and crisped up.
A few final things to remember:
- The cheese is an optional extra. It isn’t strictly added to cottage pie. But I think it’s a very suitable accompaniment and very much warranted. But I’ll leave that up to you!
- I like the look of a neatly flattened top to the mash. Part of the reason I’ve added cheese is that the cheese helps to provide texture. Alternatively, you could pipe the mash on if you have access to a piping back or simply scratch the top all over with a fork. Doing so creates little ridges that will crisp up under the intense heat of the grill.
- If you don’t want to do that, breadcrumbs will also work.
- You can add all kinds of things to a cottage pie. Some add other herbs, others wine. I’ve even known some to include chilies. It’s totally your call.