Monday, December 16, 2013

Shepherd's or Cottage Pie

Another easy weekday recipe noted here for my daughter's benefit. This is my take on the traditional potato-topped mince dish.

The name reflects the choice of meat: Shepherd's Pie when made with minced lamb or mutton, and Cottage Pie when made with minced beef.

A vegetarian version using cooked beans/lentils or reconstituted TVP instead of the meat, and vegetarian gravy granules, also works.

I usually make one huge pie, and we eat half immediately, and the other half reheated then next day.


Enough to make a pie to serve 6-8 portions.
  • 800-1000g pack of minced beef or lamb/mutton.
  • 2-3 medium Onions, peeled and chopped.
  • Lots of peeled diced winter vegetables: e.g. carrots, parsnips, swede, turnips, leeks, mushrooms. Aim for a 50/50 mix of mince and diced veg in the pie.
  • Vegetable Oil.
  • 3 heaped tbsp of gravy granules. Or use a crumbled oxo cube and a couple of tbsp of flour.
  • 1 cup or so of Milk.
  • 500-750g potatoes, preferably floury.
  • butter, more milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
Put the oven on to heat to 180C.
Prep the vegetables and onions.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and saute the onions and diced vegetables in it for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
Add the mince, breaking up any lumps.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the mince is browned.
Sprinkle the gravy granules over the mince mixture and stir through.
Pour in the milk and stir. The gravy granules, milk and cooking juices should combine to form a gravy. Add a bit more milk if it looks too thick.
Pour the mince and gravy mixture into a large ovenproof dish and spread out evenly.
Pop the dish of mince into the oven to continue cooking whilst you prep the potatoes.
Peel and dice the potatoes and put into the saucepan that the mince was cooked in.
Cover with water and bring to a boil.
Simmer until the potatoes are soft.
Drain and mash the potatoes with butter, milk and seasonings.
Take the hot dish out of the oven and spoon the mash over the mince, spreading it out evenly.
Turn up the oven to 220C.
Rough the surface of the mash in a crosshatch pattern using the tines of a fork.
Dot the top with a little more butter and pop the dish back into the oven.
Cook the pie until the mash is going golden and crispy on top.

Serve hot, with green vegetables.

Categories: shepherds-pie cottage-pie english