Cottage Pie 

Here is Companion Dave's easy and tasty Beef Cottage Pie recipe. This meal is so simple to make and will go down well with your family all year round! Don't forget, the pie filling is great to freeze, making mid week dinners much easier.

Companion Daves Cottage Pie

Recipe makes 4-5 portions

Preparation time - 20 minutes 

Total cooking time - 1 hour & 30 minutes

Ingredients for Cottage Pie filling

  • 500g of Minced Beef
  • 2 Large White or Red Onions 
  • 4 Large Carrots
  • 2 Sticks of Celery 
  • 50g of Frozen Garden Peas
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves
  • 50g of Grated Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme or 3 fresh sprigs
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Plain Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Worcester Sauce/ Henderson's Relish
  • 500ml of preferred stock (meat or vegetable)
  • Gravy granules (flavour of choice, thicken to preference)
  • Sea Salt & Ground Black Pepper to taste

Ingredients for Mashed Potato topping

  • 700-900g of White Potatoes (or Sweet Potatoes)
  • 25g of Butter
  • 200ml of Milk or as needed
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste

Cottage Pie filling

Step 1 - Prepare the vegetables

Start by peeling the carrots and chopping each end off. Then, slice the carrots into small rounds about 0.5cm thick or if you prefer, dice them into smaller pieces.  

Next take the celery and wash it to remove any sand or dirt then cut off the root end. Then, cut the celery into thin slices or dice into smaller pieces if you prefer. 

Then take the onions and slice them in half, this makes it easier to remove the skin. Then cut each end of the onion off and thinly slice in one direction. Once you have done that, slice the onion in the other direction to make small diced pieces. 

Lastly, use a garlic crusher, grater or knife to prepare the garlic into fine chunks/ paste. 

Top tip - If you are using a knife to prepare the garlic, add a few crystals of sea salt to the chopped garlic and smooth your knife over the garlic and salt crystals to make a smooth garlic paste. 

Diced white onions and garlic

Step 2 - Start cooking the vegetables

Firstly take your pan/oven proof pot and place on a medium heat to warm the olive oil. Once the oil has heated through, add in all of the onions, celery, carrots and garlic and fry for around 10 minutes until the onions have softened. Make sure the pan isn't too hot as this will burn the garlic leaving a bitter taste! 

Step 3 - Add in the mince

It's now time to add the mince. Add the mince to the pan and use a spoon or spatula to break up the mince and combine with the vegetables. Once you have stirred in the meat, evenly sprinkle the flour on to the meat, then add in the thyme, bay leaves and some pepper. Cook for around 15 minutes until the meat is no longer red stirring regularly.  

Add in the minced beef

Step 4 - Add the stock

Once your meat is brown it's time to add in your Worcestershire Sauce. Once you have added the Worcestershire Sauce add in the stock and stir with the ingredients in the pan. Then use gravy granules to thicken slightly to your preference. Make sure you taste the filling at this point to see if it needs any extra seasoning or more Worcestershire Sauce. Simmer for another 15 minutes with a lid on, stirring regularly to ensure the filling doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. 

After around 15 minutes, add in the frozen garden peas and stir in. You can now set the Cottage Pie filling to one side for later or add on the mashed potato topping if it is ready. 

Cottage Pie filling

Step 5 - Add the mashed potato topping

Once you are ready to cook the cottage pie, decant the filling into a deep tray or oven proof casserole dish. Make sure you leave enough room to add the mashed potato topping. Then, take the mashed potato (step by step guide below!) and spoon on to the filling in the tray. Use a fork to even out the potato and create a rough texture. 

Decant the contents into a tray

Step 6 - Oven cook

Place the Cottage pie into the centre of a preheated oven at 190°c /170°c fan assisted and cook for around 20 minutes. 

Once the pie has been in the oven for 20 minutes, take it out of the oven and sprinkle a bit of grated cheese on to the mashed potato topping and cook for a further 10 minutes.  

Step 7 - Serve

Once the pie filling is piping hot and the mashed potato topping is slightly crisped with bubbling cheese the Cottage Pie is ready to be served. Serve with extra seasonal veg and gravy if you wish, or simply enjoy on it's own.

Companion Dave


Mashed Potato 

Step 1 -  Prepare the potatoes

Take the potatoes and start by peeling the skin off. Once the skin has been removed, cut the potatoes into large chunks around 4cm in length. 

Top Tip: If you want to be a little healthier, use Sweet Potatoes instead of normal potatoes!

Step 2 - Boil the potatoes

Take a medium sized pan and add in the cut up potatoes. Then add cold water to the pan until THE water is covering the potatoes with around an inch of water above. Add the pan to a medium heat and bring to the boil, simmer for around 15-20 minutes until you can easily put a sharp knife into the potato. 

Step 3 - Mash

Once the potatoes are soft, drain away all of the remaining water from the pan. Then put the pan on to a heat resistant surface and add in the butter and seasoning. Using a mashing tool, mash the potato with the butter until there are no large lumps visible. Then add in the milk a bit as a time and mash to combine as you go along. 

The mash should be smooth and fluffy and ready to enjoy. 


Thank you for using Companion Dave's recipes, we hope you enjoyed the meal! Make sure you send us a picture of your dish and we'll feature it on our Social Media!

Dave, the Companion who created these recipes loves to cook and taught himself how to cook by trying out different recipes to work out what flavours went well together. If you would like to read how Dave came to Emmaus... click here 

We post a new recipe that has been created by an Emmaus South Wales Companion every month. We want to share and celebrate our Companion's skills and help you make delicious meals. The next recipe will be posted in August, so keep an eye out!

* Images taken for this recipe were taken whilst Companion Dave was cooking the meals for 20+ Companions. Images do not represent quantities that should be expected when cooking these recipes.