RECIPE: Cottage Pie

cot pie 6

British food is all about using simple ingredients from Britain to create tasty, filling dishes. The perfect example of a traditional British dish is cottage pie. This simple classic is a family favourite in homes across Britain as it is easy and cheap to make and hit with members of the family of all ages. If you are not familiar with a cottage pie, it consists of a base made with minced meat and rich gravy that is then topped with creamy mashed potatoes. This is usually served with seasonal vegetables. Here is an easy recipe for cottage pie for six people.

Ingredients for Cottage Pie

  • 800g minced beef
  • 1.5 kg potatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 50 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp gravy granules
  • Salt and pepper

How to Make Cottage Pie

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into large chunks and put into a large saucepan filled with water.
  2. Season the potatoes with a little salt and put the saucepan on a high heat on the hob for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4 and heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the minced beef to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes until meat is beginning to brown. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and make sure all the meat is browned.
  5. Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the frying pan and cook for a further five minutes.
  6. Season the meat, onions, and mushrooms with salt and pepper.
  7. Pour enough boiling water over the meat to just cover it.
  8. Stir in the gravy granules and cook for ten minutes on a reduced heat.
  9. While the meat is cooking in the gravy, drain the potatoes and return to the pan.
  10. Put the saucepan on the hob over a low heat.
  11. Add the milk and butter and season with pepper. 
  12. Mash the potatoes thoroughly so there are no lumps. Using a fork to whisk the potatoes after mashing can help get rid of any remaining lumps. 
  13. Tip the mince and gravy mixture into a large ovenproof dish.
  14. Using a spoon, add the mashed potatoes to the top of the minced beef. Alternatively, use a piping bag to create a patterned topping.
  15. If you have spooned the mashed potatoes on, smooth them out using the back of a spoon and then run a fork along the top to create a pattern. This will help some parts to crisp a little in the oven.
  16. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15-minutes until the top is beginning to brown and the gravy is coming up the sides of the dish. 
  17. Serve with either seasonal vegetables or peas and pickles. 


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