British Cottage Pie | Beef Recipes | Red Tractor

Beef Recipes

British Cottage Pie Recipe

Added 05 Sep 2017
Cottage pie is a traditional British farmhouse favourite, once made to use up Sunday roast leftovers. Make up the perfect batch of this family favourite!

Total time 01:00 PT1H
Yield Makes 4-6 portions


  • 500g minced beef
  • 1 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1,1/2 cups cooked peas (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs or 1 -2 tablespoon fresh mixed herbs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1kg potato, peeled and cut into small even sized pieces
  • 50g butter
  • 150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper


To make the pie filling:
  1. Fry the onions, celery and carrots in the oil until they are soft.
  2. Add the minced beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion, celery and carrot have browned and the minced beef has taken on some colour and is firm.
  3. Add the garlic, Worcestershire sauce and tomato puree
  4. Add a stock cube, season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs and mix it together.
  5. Stir in the flour and mix well.
  6. Add 250ml water and bring to simmering point until the stock has reduced by about a third.
  7. Add the peas (if using) leave for 5 minutes and take off the heat. Set aside whilst you make the topping.
To make the topping:
  1. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until they are soft.
  2. Drain and then mash them well adding the butter and the milk gradually. Season to taste.
  1. Put the meat mixture into a separate baking dish. You can also use 4-6 smaller pie dishes if you wish. 
  2. Evenly spread the potato mixture over the top of the filling or use an icing pipe to top neatly.
  3. Sprinkle with the grated cheese. 
  4. Put into a pre-heated oven, 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.
  5. Serve with an assortment of fresh seasonal vegetables and a jug of gravy.
You can also make up in batches and freeze for up to 3 months for a quick meal when time is tight.   As the seasons change, make sure to change which vegetables you use, to make sure it tastes as good as it possibly can.   Top Tip: Try out with all different types of herbs for varying flavours, but we love thyme!
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