Tag Archives: mashed potatoe

A recipe for Shepherd’s or Cottage Pie

There are few people in the world who don’t like a nice Cottage or Shepherds’ Pie.  Except vegetarians of course, but even they can eat Quorn if they get the urge.  Incidentally, I apologise if this is stating the obvious, but a Shepherds’ Pie is made from minced lamb and Cottage Pie is made from minced beef.

The mantra of the Wartime Housewife is always “Eat less but eat better”.  Cheap mince is a horrid thing – full of gristle and fat with a nasty texture and I will always argue that it is better to eat a small amount of decent meat than to stuff yourself with water injected, intensively reared rubbish. There is also an argument that properly fed, slow produced meat fills you up more anyway, so you need less.

One can make a Cottage Pie go much further by loading it up with vegetables that can blend in quite discreetly, such as tinned chopped tomatoes, peas, carrots, chopped green beans, sweetcorn, chopped peppers, sliced mushrooms or even baked beans if you want a one-pot meal.  There fore, it can be made using storecupboard ingredients.  Hurrah!


1 x large ovenproof and hob-proof dish
1 x medium saucepan
1 x vegetable peeler
1 x potato masher
1 x chopping board and vegetable knife

1 large onion – chopped
a little oil for frying
1lb / 500g lean minced beef
¼  pint / 300ml good strong beef stock
1 tblspn mixed herbs
1 tspn paprika
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce or 1 tblspn Marmite/Bovril
1  tin chopped tomatoes
1 large carrot – thinly sliced or diced
4oz / 120g frozen peas
For the top
2 ½ lb / 1kg –ish potatoes for mashing – peeled and cut into smallish chunks
A knob of butter
A bit of grated cheese for the top if you fancy it

Pre-heat the oven to 180 / 350 / 4
Heat the oil in the large pan and fry the onion until soft and translucent
Add the mince and fry until browned
Add all the other ingredients (except the potatoes) and cook until the carrots are al dente
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in the medium saucepan until soft enough to mash
Season to taste, add the butter and mash until soft and lump free
When the meat is cooked, pile the mash onto the top and rough it up with a fork
Sprinkle with the cheese if you wish
Bake in the oven for about half an hour or until the top is browning nicely
Serve with extra vegetables, baked beans or crispy salad


Filed under Ethics, Food, Recipes, Storecupboard