Comforting Cottage Pie

I always call this Shepherd’s pie. It’s not; Shepherds keep sheep, not cows. I love this cottage pie. So do the rest of the family. I try really hard to vary our meals and try new things. But, this is just one of those things that we keep coming back to!

cottage pie, with mash and veggies

close up of half eaten cottage pie. Fork full in foreground


  • 500g Beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • 5 carrots
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Splash Hendersons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1tsp Mixed herbs
  • 500ml water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Mashed potatoes and cheese to top



Quite often when i make this, i add more veg and divide the mixture into 2 casserole dishes before baking. I freeze the spare for another day. It doesn’t even need extra meat; it’s so filling and packed with flavour. So, that one 500g mince feeds four of us twice. It’s fantastic value for money.

Because there are quite a few ingredients and it takes a while, i get everything ready before i start. So, i peel and chop the veg, placing it in bowls for later. Chop the onion and put in the frying pan with a little oil but don’t turn it on. And, peel and chop the potatoes, before rinsing off and placing in a large saucepan, covered with water and leaving on the hob. Again without turning on. I also get out all of my herbs and bits in preparation. I find, in life, I’m either frightful organised or in a state of complete disarray. My cottage pie is organisation central.

peas and carrots for cottage pie with meat in background

To begin, fry the onions for a few minutes until softened. Then, add the mince and break up using a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir well and cook until browned.

Add the carrots and peas and mix together.

Cover with water. This should be around 500ml but doesn’t matter as long as it’s covered.

Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, a splash of Hendersons and the mixed herbs and stir together well.

Next, add the tomato puree and sprinkle in the stock cubes. Stir thoroughly and leave to simmer for around an hour. Stirring often.

cottage pie cooking

When the liquid is reducing, and there are around 30 minutes left, cook your potatoes for mash. I mash mine with milk, butter, salt, and pepper, but that’s down to personal preference.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

When the liquid is nearly gone, and there’s just a little thick gravy left, spoon it out into a large casserole dish. Top with mashed potato. I find it easier to use a metal spoon for this, the potato sticks to wooden and pulls the pie mix up.

built cottage pie, without cheese
Grate cheese on to the top.
cheese topped cottage pie, ready to bake
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Until the cheese is golden brown and the bottom is starting to bubble up around the edges. Serve your cottage pie straight away.
baked cottage pie. Just out of the oven, still in casserole dish
Cooked cottage pie with serving spoon

Cottage Pie

Who doesn't love a classic, comforting cottage pie?
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: beef, comfort food, family food
Servings: 6 Portions
Calories: 600kcal
Author: Donna


  • 500 g Beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • 5 carrots
  • 150 g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Splash Hendersons
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Mixed herbs
  • 500 ml water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • Mashed potatoes and cheese to top


  • Peel and chop the onions, carrots and potatoes
  • Fry the onions in a little oil until softened
  • Add the mince and break up.
  • Stir and cook until browned
  • Add the carrots and peas and mix together
  • Cover with water and bring to the boil
  • Reduce to a simmer and add a pinch of salt and pepper, the Hendersons and the herbs.
  • Stir well
  • Add the tomato puree and crumble in the beef stock
  • Stir and leave to cook for around 1 hour, stirring often
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • When the liquid has reduced to a small amount of thick gravy, spoon the mixture into a large casserole dish
  • Top with mashed potato
  • Grate cheese on to the top
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling


Sharing is caring!

Related Posts

Haggis Cottage Pie with Swede and Potato Mash

Haggis Cottage Pie with Swede and Potato Mash

I’ve never had haggis before. I don’t think. Certainly not that I remember. This week was my first go at experimenting with what I could do with it. I was surprised to find it tastes like faggots. Husband doesn’t know what faggots are (and Grammarly […]

Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs

Homemade Chocolate Hobnobs

As far as I’m concerned, biscuits, especially hobnobs are the best thing ever. A biscuit (pack of) and a cup of tea are my ultimate weakness. I eat about 7, then decide I must finish the packet and the hide the evidence. At one point, […]

5 thoughts on “Comforting Cottage Pie”

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.