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cottage pie

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
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 439kcal
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


  • 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.
  • Add the ground beef and cook just until the pink color has disappeared. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  • 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
  • Add the beef back to the skillet and stir to fully combine.
  • Dust the flour over the skillet mixture and add the ketchup; stir to combine.
  • Add the wine and vinegar. Bring to a low boil, then lower the heat to medium. 
  • 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

  • While the beef mixture is simmering, prepare the Mashed Potatoes: steam the potatoes for 25 minutes or until soft. 
  • When done, discard the water from the pan. 
  • Put the potatoes through a ricer back into the warm cooking pan. 
  • Add the milk and butter and stir to combine into creamy mashed potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Assembling and Baking the Cottage Pie

  • Stir the frozen peas into the beef mixture and discard the bay leaf. 
  • Spoon into a 2 1/2 or 3 quart baking dish.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until heated through.


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.


Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 831mg | Potassium: 1240mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3025IU | Vitamin C: 22.9mg | Calcium: 182mg | Iron: 7.6mg