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    Cottage Pie

    My easy Cottage Pie is pure comfort food. I start by cooking ground beef with a bunch of aromatic veggies in a savory gravy. Then, I top it all off with cozy mashed potatoes.

    I just pop everything in the oven and wait. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. The smell fills the kitchen as it bakes, and the top layer of mashed potatoes gets wonderfully golden and slightly crispy.

    When it’s done, you’ve got a warm, hearty dish that’s perfect for a cold winter day. It’s definitely become my new favorite meal when it’s chilly outside!

    This Cottage Pie is the epitome of comfort food. Ground beef in a delicious savory gravy gets topped with mashed potatoes, then baked to perfection.

    While not as famously regarded as some others, British cuisine has some real gems. We absolutely love Lancashire Hotpot. And who couldn’t get excited over a dish called Toad in the Hole or Bubble and Squeak?

    Today I bring you another one of their famous dishes. And the timing couldn’t be better, because you probably have some leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge!

    Serving of cottage pie in a blue bowl.

    What’s the Difference Between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?

    Shepherd’s pie has ground lamb. Cottage pie has ground beef. That’s about it!

    Ingredient Needed

    • Onion, Carrots, Celery, Mushrooms, Garlic: These vegetables form the aromatic base of the dish.
    • Ground Beef: The star of Cottage Pie. Or you can use ground lamb and make Shepherd’s pie!
    • All-Purpose Flour: Used to thicken the beef filling. If you need a gluten-free option, cornstarch or a gluten-free flour blend can be used instead.
    • Beef Broth: Adds moisture and depth to the beef filling. A low-sodium version can be used to control salt content.
    • Tomato Paste and Worcestershire Sauce: These add to the flavors of the dish.
    • Fresh Thyme and Rosemary, Bay Leaf: If fresh herbs aren’t available, use dried herbs but only use 1 teaspoon in place of 1 tablespoon of fresh, as they’re more potent.
    • Frozen Peas: Can be substituted with other vegetables like corn or green beans.
    • Potatoes: Russets are ideal for mashing due to their starchy nature, resulting in fluffy and creamy mashed potatoes. Other varieties like Yukon gold can also be used.
    • Milk and Butter: These make the mashed potatoes creamy and full of flavor.
    • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a cheesy, tangy layer to the mashed potatoes. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses like Gruyere or Parmesan for varied flavors.

    How to Make Cottage Pie

    1. Make the Ground Beef Filling: I start by sautéing onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms until they’re soft. Then, I add the beef and garlic, cooking everything until the beef is nicely browned.

    Next, I stir in the flour, followed by broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, and a bay leaf. I let it all simmer for about 20 minutes. After simmering, I taste it and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed, then remove the bay leaf.

    Ground beef simmering in gravy.

    2. Make the Mashed Potato Topping: I boil the potatoes until they’re tender, then drain them and mash them up with some butter and milk. After that, I stir in the cheese to make them extra creamy and yum.

    Mashed potatoes in a pan.

    3. Assemble and Bake: I evenly spread the mashed potatoes atop the ground beef mixture.

    Assembled pie before baking.

    I place the dish in the oven and bake it at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. While it’s baking, check out our collections of favorite comfort food recipes and ground beef recipes.

    If I want the topping extra crispy, I broil it for a few minutes until it’s nicely browned. Then, I let it rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

    Final product after cooking.

    Variations

    • Try Different Proteins: Instead of ground beef, I use lamb to make a traditional Shepherd’s pie, or ground turkey or chicken for a lighter dish. For a vegetarian cottage pie, I substitute the beef with more mushrooms.
    • Add More Veggies: I also like to add other vegetables like corn, bell peppers, green beans, or lima beans to my cottage pie.
    • Low-Carb Option: For a lower-carb version, use mashed cauliflower or a mix of cauliflower and potato for the topping. It’s a great way to lighten the dish while still enjoying that comfort-food feel.

    Jason’s Tips

    • Cut the Veggies Same size: I cut the carrots, celery, and onions into uniform pieces. This ensures they cook evenly.
    • Thicken the Filling: I make sure the flour is well-incorporated into the meat and cook it for a minute or two before adding any liquid. This helps to remove the raw flour taste and thickens the filling nicely.
    • Watch the Oven: I keep an eye on the pie during the final minutes of baking, especially if I’m broiling for a crispy top. It can go from perfectly golden to burnt pretty quickly.
    • Rest Before Serving: I let the pie rest for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the filling set, making it easier to serve.
    This Cottage Pie is the epitome of comfort food. Ground beef in a delicious savory gravy gets topped with mashed potatoes, then baked to perfection.

    When you crave something warm and cozy on a cold winter night, it’s hard to beat my version of easy cottage pie. And once you try this recipe, I bet you’ll agree that it’s the best!

    Pin or bookmark this easy recipe so you always know where to find it. And be sure to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you.

    For more delicious meals, check out our hand-picked collection of Dinner Ideas for Tonight. Until next time, happy cooking!

    Cottage Pie, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    Serving of cottage pie on the Gypsy Plate.

    More Great Comfort Foods:
    Meatball Stew
    American Chop Suey
    Classic Chuck Roast
    Curried Sausages
    Shrimp and Grits
    Sunday Gravy
    Stamppot

    Featured image for cottage pie recipe.

    Cottage Pie

    Yield: 6-8 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

    This Cottage Pie is the epitome of comfort food. Ground beef in a delicious savory gravy gets topped with mashed potatoes, then baked to perfection.

    Ingredients

    Ground Beef Filling

    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 carrots, diced
    • 2 stalks celery, diced
    • 6oz mushrooms, diced
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 2 pounds lean ground beef
    • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups beef broth
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1.5 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
    • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • salt, to taste
    • pepper, to taste

    Mashed Potato Topping

    • 2.5 pounds russett potatoes, peeled and cut into same sized pieces
    • ¾ cup milk
    • 3 Tbsp butter
    • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • salt, to taste
    • pepper, to taste

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
    2. Heat olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat (see note 1). Add diced onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Sauté until soft.
    3. Add ground beef and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently an breaking up the beef, until no pink remains.
    4. Stir in flour. Gradually add the beef broth. Stir in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. After simmering, taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
    5. Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain, then add milk and butter, and mash until smooth with a potato masher. Stir in shredded cheddar cheese.
    6. Evenly spread the mashed potatoes atop the ground beef mixture. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. If desired, broil for a few minutes to brown up the topping.
    7. Remove from oven and allow dish to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Notes

    1. If you do not have a large enough (about 12 inch) oven safe skillet, you can transfer the mixture to a casserole dish for baking.
    2. Leftovers: Cottage pie is great as leftovers, so go ahead and make a big batch. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply stick it in the oven preheated to 350 degrees, or microwave until warmed.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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