Cottage Pie

Serves 4 • Preparation time: 15 minutes plus cooling • Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

50ml milk

50g butter

2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

500g minced beef

1 beef stock cube

300ml water

1 tablespoon tomato purée

a few good dashes of Worcestershire sauce

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cost per portion: 
  1. First, bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil, add the potatoes and cook until tender. When they’re done, drain and mash them with the milk, butter and some salt and pepper to taste, and set aside to cool once done
  2. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over a low to medium heat and gently cook the onion, carrot and celery until they’re soft and the onion has a golden, almost translucent quality. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for 2 minutes, until really fragrant. Then spoon all the vegetables out of the sauté pan into a bowl
  3. Turn up the heat, return the sauté pan to the hob and add the remaining oil. Now brown the beef. When it’s done, crumble in the stock cube, add the water, tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce and stir them in well. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Add the vegetable mixture to the meat, stir it in well and cook on the hob for 5–7 minutes to reduce and to amalgamate all the flavours
  5. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark
  6. Tip the meat and vegetable mixture into your pie dish, then cover with the mashed potato and score it with a fork. Dot with a knob of butter and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until brown and crispy on top


  • Feel free to change the herbs – rosemary is a lovely alternative, as is marjoram
  • Why not add some boiled mashed carrot into your potato to make it an extra special topping!
Age range: 
Ages 13 to 16
Cottage Pie