Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Comfort Food Classics #5 - Cottage Pie

Shepherd's Pie is traditional British Pub food usually made with minced lamb.  I'm not a lamb fan so this casserole is made with ground beef - which makes it a Cottage Pie.  Whatever you want to call it, this pie is bubbling, warm and filling.  I just love the topping of the fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes covering the hot meat, vegetables and gravy!

I grew up with homemade mashed potatoes.  Peeled and boiled and mashed.  I have never bought a box of instant (cardboard) mashed potatoes.  I did find a short-cut to make this a quick, easy weeknight meal.  Ore-Ida has a product called Steam n' Mash.  Cut russet potatoes that you pop in the microwave.  Steam, mash and serve.  This was a 24 oz. bag and was the perfect amount to top off this pie.

For the filling, brown:
  • 2 lbs. ground beef 85% lean
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup each diced onion, carrot and celery
  • 1 Tbsp. each minced garlic and fresh thyme
Stir in:
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
Stir in:
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1 cup frozen green peas 
For the topping, arrange:
  • 1   24 oz. bag frozen russet potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Coat a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick spray.
Brown ground beef in a saute pan over medium-high heat, 8-10 minutes or until no longer pink.  Drain fat and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in same pan over medium heat and add onion, carrot and celery.  Sweat about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme and cook about 1 minute.  Stir in flour and tomato paste and cook one more minute.
Stir in diced tomatoes, broth, wine, Worcestershire and Dijon;  bring to a boil, Reduce heat to low.  Stir in ground beef and peas; season with salt, pepper, coriander, ginger and cinnamon.  Simmer 15-20 minutes.

While filling is simmering, steam potatoes according to package directions. Mash until smooth, stir in milk and butter and salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer filling to prepared baking dish and place on a baking sheet.  Arrange potatoes on top of filling, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and add pieces of remaining butter.  Sprinkle with paprika if desired.  Bake pie 30 to 40 minutes until heated through and potatoes and cheese begin to brown.
Let pie cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

~Adapted from Irish Night -
Melt in your Mouth Monday
Sharing with Gooseberry Patch - Your Best Comfort Foods


  1. Wow, this recipe comes at the perfect time! I was just searching last night for a great Shepherd's Pie recipe, and I think this is it. Thank you so much for sharing! :)


  2. Love Shepard's Pie! I haven't added the tomatoes/tomato paste before, that sounds different:@)

  3. I love shepherd's pie or cottage pie, either one, lamb or beef. I do happen to be a lamb lover, so when I can, I make it with lamb. But all those creamy mashed potatoes atop! Yum. Wonderful comfort food.

  4. i am so sorry I waited too late to add for this... I have been running behind all week... your Cottage Pie sounds out-of-sight, my liking for sure... looks really great too...

  5. Looks so tasty. I just ate lunch but my mouth is watering. Thanks for sharing on my linky party!! Hope to see you next week.


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