Proper English Cottage Pie

    1 hour 5 mins

    Proper English Cottage Pie is a delicious, very traditional mince pie (beef) topped with mashed potato. Serve with garden peas.

    266 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 500g lean ground beef
    • 1 onion, peeled and diced
    • 3 carrots,peeled and diced
    • 2 tablespoons plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) beef stock
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 60g butter, softened
    • 250ml (1 cup) milk
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 125g (1/2 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese

    Prep:40min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
    2. To Make Meat Filling: Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Crumble in ground beef and fry for 1 minute. Add onion and carrot, then continue to fry until beef is no longer pink and onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in flour, cinnamon, mixed herbs, and parsley.
    3. In a small bowl, combine beef stock and tomato paste. Mix together, then add to beef mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Lower heat and simmer mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of liquid has been absorbed. Spoon mixture into a 23cm pie dish.
    5. To Make Potato Topping: Place diced potatoes in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and place over high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
    6. Mash potatoes until smooth, then add butter, followed by milk. Whip until fluffy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    7. Spread potatoes over beef filling. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
    8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until top is browned and cheese is bubbly.

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    Reviews and ratings
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    Reviews in English (289)


    I'm English, and apart from the addition of the pie crust (which I omitted), this is pretty authentic. Like others, I used a little ketchup instead of tomato paste. Also, I used Bisto Gravy Granules (from the British food store I go to) to thicken it. Finally, I threw in a handful of frozen peas. (Btw, Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb; Cottage Pie with ground beef).  -  07 Oct 2004  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Being from Australia, cottage pie is a favourite when it comes to comfort food for the family. Overall, this recipe is pretty close to the orignial. Defeinitely omit the cinnamon. Not sure why you would want to add cinnamon to a traditional cottage pie. Like a lot of other reviewers, i added worsteshire sauce, approx 2 teaspoons, as well as 1/2 cup of peas. I'd also recommend cutting back on the cheese. Just enough to brown on top of the mashed potato is sufficient. Finally, stick to lean ground can cut back on the the oily, greasy film which can overpower the taste of all other well as the waistline  -  12 Jan 2011  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This was very good, but not earth-shaking. I agree with other reviewers on several points: (1) Though cinnamon can add a nice element with red meat, here it comes through too strongly; cut back quite a bit on the amount. (2) Use less milk in the potatoes - just make them however you usually make your mashed potatoes. (3) I used water instead of beef broth and added some worcestershire sauce because the meat mixture seemed to need some extra flavor. Next time I would go a step further and use some garlic and extra seasonings to perk it up. Enjoy!  -  09 Feb 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)