Classic Cottage Pie

The weather in Sydney is getting colder  as we head toward winter and Cottage Pie is a great warming dish of beef cooked with carrot, celery, onion and garlic in a thick tasty gravy and baked with a layer of mashed potato. It is hearty and satisfying comfort food.

Classic Cottage Pie


  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 large stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 heaped Tblsp of tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, whole with skins on
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heaped Tblsp of plain flour

Potato Topping:

  • 3 large desiree potatoes, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 60g butter
  • 100ml milk


  1. Preheat Oven to 160ºC F
  2. Heat olive oil and the knob of butter in a large saucepan over a low heat
  3. When the butter foams add the onion and cook covered for 6-8 minutes till well caramelised
  4. Add the celery, and carrot to the onion and cook covered for 7 minutes, stirring occasionallyIMG_20170427_123516-Carrots Celery and Onion
  5. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute
  6. Stir in wine and bring to the boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes with the lid off until the wine has evaporated
  7. Increase the heat to high and add the minced beef, and chopped parsley, stirring through well and cook, stirring well till the meat is browned.IMG_20170427_133622-Mince browning.jpg
  8. Place the flour into a small pan and whisk a little of the stock till dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for a minute
  9. Add the flour mix to the rest of the stock, then add the rosemary and garlic  cloves with their skins on and stir through
  10. Add two or three good  dashes of Worcestershire sauce, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil
  11. Place the meat and vegetables mixture into a casserole dish that has a lid or a baking dish
  12. Pour over the stock making sure the meat is well covered.
  13. Add in the bay leaves
  14. Cover with the lid or tightly with foil if using a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes
  15. Then stir the meat through and bake uncovered for a further 20 minutes or until the liquid has thickened
  16. 10 minutes before the meat is finished cooking stir in the peas
  17. Then set about making the mashed potato topping by putting the potato slices into a saucepan and covering with cold salted water, bring to the boil
  18. When the water boils, lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender
  19. Drain and mash the potatoes and set them aside covered to steam a while
  20. When the meat has cooked and is thick and reduced, spoon it to a serving casserole dish and smooth down the mixtureIMG_20170501_121737-Cottage Pie mince
  21. Stir the butter and milk through the mashed potato, seasoning it well with salt
  22. Then spread the mashed potato over the surface of the cottage pie covering the outer areas well to seal in the liquid
  23. Use a fork to make ridges over the top of the pie and dot with butterIMG_20170501_134235-Cottage Pie dotted with butter
  24. Brown under the grill IMG_20170501_140148-Cottage Pie finished
  25. Remove from the oven and rest the Cottage Pie for 5 minutes
  26. Serve while hot with a salad and some crusty bread. I have made a salad of green and red cabbage finely sliced with fine slices of radish through it. I have used an Extra Virgin Olive oil and white wine vinegar dressing, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper IMG_20170501_141315-Cottage Pie and Mixed Cabbage salad

Cottage Pie is a satisfying and warming autumn or winter meal.

IMG_20170501_141525-Cottage Pie on a serving plate

Growing your own ingredients:


Growing Carrots


garlic-545223_1920-garlic picture

Growing Garlic


organic-14525_640-onion harvest


 Growing Onions


IMG_20160517_151814-Snow Peas


Growing Peas




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