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Savory Cottage Pie - BoulderLocavore.com

Savory Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is a rustic savory pie with roots in Great Britain extending back to the 1700's. Minced or ground beef combined with hearty vegetables cooked to form a creamy gravy, baked topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword cottage pie, meat and potato pie
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 439 kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 2 pounds lean Ground Beef
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion , chopped
  • 2 large Carrots , scrubbed and chopped (yield about 1 ½ cups chopped)
  • 2 large Shallots , chopped
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves
  • 3 tablespoons Flour (gluten-free or regular depending on your preference/needs)
  • 1 tablespoon Ketchup
  • 4 ounces Red Wine
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 28 ounces Beef Stock
  • 3 tablespoons Tamari (gluten-free) or low-sodium Soy Sauce (gluten)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese , grated
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled
  • ¼ cup Milk , room temperature or warmed slightly in a microwave
  • 4 tablespoons Butter
  • Kosher Salt and fresh Ground Pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook just until the pink color has disappeared. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

  2. Add the ground beef and cook just until the pink color has disappeared. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

  3. Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and add the onion, carrots, shallots and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft; 15-20 minutes
  4. Add the beef back to the skillet and stir to fully combine.

  5. Dust the flour over the skillet mixture and add the ketchup; stir to combine.
  6. Add the wine and vinegar. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat to medium. 

  7. Add the beef stock, soy sauce/tamari, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a sturdy simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. NOTE: The mixture should have formed a gravy with the ground meat and vegetables making the mixture somewhat creamy.

Making the Mashed Potatoes

  1. While the beef mixture is simmering, prepare the Mashed Potatoes: steam the potatoes for 25 minutes or until soft. 
  2. When done, discard the water from the pan. 

  3. Put the potatoes through a ricer back into the warm cooking pan. 

  4. Add the milk and butter and stir to combine into creamy mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Assembling and Baking the Cottage Pie

  1. Stir the frozen peas into the beef mixture and discard the bay leaf. 

  2. Spoon into a 2 1/2 or 3 quart baking dish.

  3. Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.

  4. Bake for 20 minutes until heated through.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food

This recipe is typically cooked in a baking dish or pan. I used a 2.5 quart volume 8-inch by 11-inch by 2.5 high deep dish casserole so it would be brimming to the top. A 3 quart casserole or baking dish would give it a bit more room.

Nutrition Facts
Savory Cottage Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 439 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 9g45%
Cholesterol 100mg33%
Sodium 831mg35%
Potassium 1240mg35%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 3025IU61%
Vitamin C 22.9mg28%
Calcium 182mg18%
Iron 7.6mg42%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.