Preparation time: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Serves: 10

The cottage pie is a family favorite. It freezes well and is sure to please everyone in the family.

Nutrition Facts

600 K. calories
37 grams Protein
40 grams Carbohydrates
34 grams Fat
16 grams Saturates
4 grams Fiber
7 grams Sugar
1.15 grams Salt


Olive oil – 3 tablespoons
Minced beef – 1.25 kilograms
Finely chopped onions – 2
Chopped carrots – 3
Celery sticks – 3 chopped
Garlic cloves – 2 finely chopped
Plain flour – 3 tablespoons
Tomato purée – 1 tablespoon
Red wine – large glass (optional)
Beef stock – 850 milliliters
Worcestershire sauce – 4 tablespoons
Thyme sprigs – a few numbers
Bay leaves – 2

For the mash

Potatoes – 1.8 kilograms chopped
Milk – 225 milliliters
Butter – 25 grams
Strong cheddar – 200 grams grated
Freshly grated nutmeg
Foolproof freezing

Method of Preparation

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry the minced beef (in batches) till it becomes brown in color. Keep it aside for some time. Pour the remaining oil on to a pan and add the vegetables. Gently heat the pan till for about 20 minutes or till the vegetables become soft. Now, add the flour, garlic and tomato puree. Raise the heat and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add the beef on to the pan. Pour the wine and bring it to a boil. Now, add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce and stock. Keep the stove in simmer and cook without covering it for 45 minutes. Make sure that the gravy is thick and is forming a coat on the meat. Season well and then discard the thyme stalks and bay leaves.

In the meantime, prepare the mash. Keep the potatoes immersed in salted cold water in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil and simmer until it becomes tender. Drain off the water and allow it to become dry. Mash the potatoes well with milk, butter and three-fourth of the cheese. Now, season the mash with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Transfer the meat into two ovenproof dishes. Cover the meat with mashed potato. Sprinkle the remaining cheese. Heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 7. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes or till the topping becomes golden brown in color. If you are not eating it immediately, freeze it.

The pie should be completely cold and should be well covered with cling film before freezing it. It is a good idea to freeze the pie on the same day you make it. Then defrost the pie in the refrigerator overnight and then cook as described above. Or else, cook the frozen pie by heating it in the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 160 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 4. Then, cover it with a foil and cook for 90 minutes. Increase the temperature of the oven to 220 degrees Celsius or 200 degrees Fahrenheit or gas level 7 and continue cooking for 20 minutes more or till until it becomes golden brown in color.

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