One of our favorite go-to meals is Cottage Pie also known as Shepherd’s Pie. Many times this dish is mistakenly called Shepherd’s Pie here in the US. The main difference between the two recipes is that Cottage Pie uses ground beef while Shepherd’s Pie uses ground lamb.
Generally, we use lean ground beef. After that, the vegetables we use usually just depends on what we have on hand. My daughter likes corn, but we’ve also used corn, peas, french-style green beans, carrots, or mixed vegetables. Today we’re using some leftover corn.
The gravy in the ground beef layer is made with the pan drippings mixed with some common pantry ingredients to make a rich base for the sauce. The vegetables are then either mixed into the meat mixture, or layered over the beef mixture and topped with a creamy layer of mashed potatoes and then baked.
This is a flavorful meal prepared with inexpensive ingredients which easily helps stretch your weekly food budget. This is a popular meal in our home all throughout the year, and not only just at St. Patrick’s Day.
Cottage Pie | Shepherd's Pie
Yield 4 servings
One of our favorite go-to meals is Cottage Pie also known as Shepherd's Pie. Many times this dish is mistakenly called Shepherd's Pie here in the US. The main difference between the two recipes is that Cottage Pie uses ground beef while Shepherd's Pie uses ground lamb.
- 1 lb 80 % lean ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée or ketchup
- 1 cup water OR beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce OR steak sauce, like A-1
- 1 bag frozen french green beans, carrots, corn, or mixed vegetables
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1/2 to 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
Heat a large saucepan and fry the ground beef until browned. Add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 5 mins. Add the garlic, flour and tomato paste or ketchup, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan. Pour in the water (or beef broth), Worcestershire sauce (or steak sauce), and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 15 mins. The gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the milk, butter, and cheese, then season with some salt and pepper.
Spoon meat into an ovenproof dish. Pipe or spoon on the mashed potatoes over the top of the beef and vegetables to cover the entire surface. Heat over to 425 degrees F and cook for 5-10 mins, or until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
- To get really smooth, creamy mash, use a potato ricer or sieve. To stop the mashed potatoes from sinking into the beef filling, add the vegetables as a layer over the meat rather than mixed in.
- To Freeze: Make sure the cottage pie is completely cold, then cover it well with plastic wrap and freeze. Always freeze the pie on the day that you make it. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe.
Courses dinner, main meal, entree