Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie
originally posted 2015, revised 2018, with thanks to Chelsea’s Messy Apron


For the pie:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (or venison)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon beef bouillon granules)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 2-1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

Add in the beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned through. Add flour and cook an additional minute. Reduce heat to medium and add corn, peas, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs, and bay leaves.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until gravy is thickened. Remove from heat, remove and discard the bay leaves, then transfer mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes (minimum).

Place potatoes and garlic cloves in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Let potatoes cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and garlic and place them back into the saucepan for mashing. Add butter and half and half and mash the potatoes and garlic (make sure you get the garlic well mashed!) into a smooth consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Place potatoes on top of ground beef mixture and spread out evenly. Before baking, rake through potatoes with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. Place the dish into the preheated oven and cook until browned, about 25 minutes (if you want more browning, you can also put under the broiler for a few minutes). Serve.


Before trying my hand at this at home, I had never even tasted cottage pie (or shepherd’s pie). Can you believe it? It just never really appealed to me much. CRAZY. I ended up loving it so much I had to get it down in a post immediately. I even used some of our cherished venison from this year for this one. Absolutely fantastic. 10/10, will make again.