The Not-So-Humble Cottage Pie…

“By its nature an improvised dish, nevertheless it is one to approach with a certain amount of care and respect.”

-Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I like to plate up individual portions using my handy ring moulds… and freeze the leftovers in an ovenproof dish.


 Worcestershire sauce and thyme gives the meat depth and a hint of spice without overpowering it.


Give the vegetables a fine slice and dice…


  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground sea salt & black pepper
  • Sprinkle of cayenne- optional
  • 800g potatoes
  • 3 tbsp of milk
  • 50g butter
  • Fresh thyme leaves & sprigs to garnish


Cover, simmer and aim for a not too wet or dry consistency. 


Add cold water to the potatoes and cook till soft.


Why not add some grated cheese to the mash for extra flavour?


  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion, leek, carrot and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until just beginning to soften but not colouring.
  2. Stir the minced beef into the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until browned.
  3. Add the flour and tomato puree, then add the Worcester sauce cook gently.
  4. Pour in most of the beef stock, thyme leaves and season to taste; a pinch of cayenne works well.
  5. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, adding more stock to prevent the mince drying out.
  6. To prepare the mash, add peeled potatoes to an pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 12 minutes.
  7. Drain the potatoes, mash, add warm milk, butter and  then beat to a smooth puree. Season to taste.
  8. To serve, spoon the minced beef mixture into ring moulds set on warmed plates.
  9. Spread over the mashed potatoes, gently fluffing the top with a fork.
  10. Carefully remove the moulds.  Garnish with a sprig of thyme and see with fresh garden peas.


Fresh peas are at their best just now…simply steam, add a little butter and season to taste.


Fill the ring with the mince mixture, top with potato and thyme and surround with fresh peas.

Lift the ring and hey presto…Posh Cottage Pie!

Ith gu leòir,

Frances 🍴

29 thoughts on “The Not-So-Humble Cottage Pie…

  1. Pingback: The Recipe Challenge Contest /Week 3 | Lin's Recipes

  2. A great recipe! Cottage pie (and sherpher’d pie) was a regular in out house when my six children were still at home. But my version was decidely ‘humble’ compared to yours. I love all the additional flavorings you’ve put in this one, and the presentation is excellent. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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