Colder weather means cozier food for the family. We like to think of our homemade cottage pie recipe as a hug from within, full of warm and savory flavors that are perfect for that weekend dinner with family or any of your fellow rockstars that happen to stop by.
Best Cottage Pie Recipe
If you’ve never had a cottage pie, you’re about to become a groupie for the stuff. It’s loaded with a savory beef filling and topped with mashed potatoes for an unbelievable meal everyone will love.
Easy Cottage Pie Recipe
Now, this isn’t a dinner you’ll likely make on a busy weeknight unless you prep parts of it ahead. But it really is as easy as it gets. It’s incredibly rich and is perfect for guests or for enjoying your own little family together.
Homemade Cottage Pie Ingredients
- Ground beef – Choose lean.
- Yellow onions – Dice these up.
- Carrots – You’ll want to chop them.
- Celery – Same with the celery…chop it too.
- Garlic – Mince it fresh.
- Herbs – You’ll need fresh thyme and bay leaves.
- Flour – All-purpose flour is perfect for this.
- Tomato paste – You’ll only need a little bit.
- Beef stock – Adds more luscious, beefy flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce – Brings out the depth of the meat.
- Red wine – Choose a dry one, and be sure to pour yourself a glass too while you’re at it.
- Mashed potatoes – You’ll make these with potatoes, cream, butter, and shredded cheddar cheese.
How do you Make Cottage Pie from Scratch?
You’ll start by getting the beef filling ready in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Get olive oil hot in the pan and add the ground beef until it’s browned, then set aside. Add more olive oil to the skillet with onion, carrots, and celery until this all gets soft. Add the garlic, flour, and tomato paste, combining thoroughly. You can add the beef back in, then add the red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and your herbs. Get this to simmer and cook for 45 minutes until it thickens, making sure to stir often. Season with salt and pepper. While you’re doing this, make the mashed potatoes, then assemble the dish. You’ll add the meat into a casserole dish (make sure you remove the bay leaves) and layer the mashed potatoes on top. Bake in your preheated oven at 400F for 25 to 30 minutes. You can also add extra cheddar on top if you like.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Cottage Pie Every Time
- You can make it ahead. We don’t advise making it way ahead of schedule, but if you get that prepped, then all you need to do is bake it when you’re ready.
- Keep the potatoes from sinking. A common problem people have with cottage pie is that the mashed potatoes can sink. It’s easy to fix by letting the filling cool a bit first.
- Reduce your filling down. This is super important because if you don’t let the beef reduce, it becomes watery after baking.
Is cottage pie British or Irish?
Cottage pie is steeped in the food history of the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is said to have first been created in the 18th century.
What is the difference between cottage pie and Cumberland pie?
A Cumberland pie can contain either beef or lamb, and while it looks the same on the outside as a cottage pie with that mashed potato layer, the Cumberland pie has toasted breadcrumbs and cheese on top.
What is the difference between cottage pie and shepherd’s pie?
The biggest difference between the cottage pie and shepherd’s pie comes down to the key ingredient in the savory mixture, the meat. In cottage pie, it is ground beef while in shepherd’s pie, it is lamb.
What’s cottage pie made of?
Cottage pie is made with ground beef, yellow onions, carrots, celery, garlic, flour, tomato paste, red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and mashed potatoes.
Is cottage pie made from beef?
Yes, cottage pie is made with ground beef mixed with flavorful aromatics like onions, garlic, and celery in a sauce of beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine.
What meat is cottage pie made of?
Cottage pie uses ground beef as the meat in the savory mixture of the filling.
How do you keep mash from sinking into cottage pie?
Let your potatoes get a little dried up first before you begin mashing them up. This allows that moisture to escape. Additionally, you will want to let the beef layer cool first before adding the mashed potato topping.
How to Cook Cottage Pie?
Cottage pie’s components are made on the stovetop, then assembled into a casserole dish in layers and baked in the oven.
How Long do you bake Cottage Pie?
At 400F, you’ll bake your cottage pie for 25 to 30 minutes.
What goes well with Cottage Pie?
Cottage pie is a full meal in itself but you need some sides to serve with it to complement it. Bread is always a welcome item on the table, though you’ll also want some greens like garlic broccoli or glazed brussels sprouts. Even some buttered peas or a salad are a nice addition.
What do you serve with cottage pie?
Breads are great to serve with cottage pie for sopping everything up. It is also good to serve green vegetables either sauteed or in a salad to round out the meal.
How to store Cottage Pie?
Cottage pie needs to go in the fridge for storage. You will have to let it cool before you cover it and put it in there.
How long does Cottage Pie last?
In the fridge, you’ve got up to 5 days to eat the last bits of this savory dinner pie. If you have too much, put it in your freezer.
Can you freeze Cottage Pie?
Freezing your cottage pie is a brilliant idea because then you can easily warm it up for dinner anytime. If you want to freeze a whole one, put it in a freezer-safe casserole dish, then double wrap with plastic wrap and then tinfoil. It will be good for about 2 months.
How to reheat Cottage Pie?
You can either let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm it up at 350F for 30 minutes, or put it directly in the oven from frozen at the same temperature, though be aware that will take an hour and 30 minutes.
Watch How To Make Cottage Pie (Video)
Kulick's Cottage Pie Recipe
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 3 carrots (chopped)
- 2 yellow onions (diced)
- 3 celery sticks (chopped)
- 2 tbsp garlic cloves (minced)
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 8 oz dry red wine
- 3 1/2 cups beef stock
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 lbs russet potatoes
- 1 cup cream
- 1/4 cup butter
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Heat 1 tbsp olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add in the ground beef and cook until browned then set aside.
- Add in the remaining olive oil to the skillet and the onion, carrots, celery, cooking until soft, about 10-15 minute. Once soft, add the garlic, flour, and tomato paste and combine thoroughly, then add the beef back into the pan. Pour in the red wine, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes until thickened, stirring every few minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
- While the mixture reduces, make the mash potatoes. Boil the potatoes until fork tender then drain. Mash with the cream, butter, cheddar, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Assemble the dish. Add the meat into a casserole dish in an even layer then carefully layer the mashed potatoes on top. Place the dish into the oven and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden. Optional: sprinkle with additional shredded cheddar cheese.