Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is comfort food at its best! 

The humble cottage pie was a staple in my mother’s culinary repertoire which she pulled out often. Ofcourse, we knew it as shepherd’s pie.

So, what’s up with that?

Apparently, not much. Shepherd’s pie is filled with lamb (shepherds herd lambs), and a cottage pie, beef. Other than that, it is the same delicious pie.

There are two components to Cottage Pie – the beef filling and the creamy mashed potato topping. Traditionally, it is made with ground or minced beef, This recipe uses a combination of ground beef and shaved steak. The steak gets in there and drinks up all those delicious flavors.

Just as important as the beef filling is the mashed potatoes. Use starchy potatoes (like russet or Yukon Gold) for the best results and keep it simple. Potatoes, butter, and a little seasoning are all you need. If you are making Shepherd’s Pie add a touch of nutmeg which works well with lamb. Leave it out for this recipe.

Cottage Pie

This Cottage Pie has a delicious and oh-so-succulent beef filling that is simmered in a rich gravy and baked under a topping of creamy mashed potatoes.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8


Beef Filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces brown mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • pounds shaved skirt steak
  • 3 tablespoons flour divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 (14.5 ounces) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped


  • cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Make the beef filling and gravy first to give it time to cool down before topping it with the mashed potatoes. This will keep the potatoes from sinking down into the filling.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil to medium and add the onion, carrots, and mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened, but don’t let it brown.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour over the beef and season with salt and pepper; toss until well coated. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef and steak to the pan to brown. The shaved beef should already be in bite-size pieces, but if it is not slice the beef before adding.
  • Stir in the red wine, tomato purée, and Worcestershire sauce. Allow the wine to reduce slightly before adding the tomatoes, thyme, and 1 cup of beef broth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30. If the mixture becomes dry, add some beef stock.
  • Whisk the remaining broth with the remaining flour until smooth and lump free. Mix into the beef filling until the gravy thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Make the potatoes. In a large pot add the potatoes and bring to a boil in salted water. Allow to simmer until tender – about 20 minutes. Drain, allowing them to steam-dry for a few minutes. Return to the pan and mash. Add the butter and milk, and season with salt and pepper. Mash well together.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Once the beef filling is cooled, pour into a large ovenproof dish. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes on top. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.
Keyword Beef, Ground Beef

Published by farmhousekitchen

Farm fresh meals for the everyday home cook! Only the best farm-to-table recipes for home chefs that love delicious, easy, and fresh!

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