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Cottage pie with cheesy onion mash

  • Serves 4
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Total time 2 hrs 10 mins
3.7/5 rating (7 votes)
Cottage pie with cheesy onion mash
Cottage pie with cheesy onion mash

step by step

  • 1Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Bake the potatoes until tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Soak the mushrooms in a jug of boiling water. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion, carrot, celery and thyme until softened, then transfer to a plate. Brown the mince in the pan, breaking it up with a spoon.
  • 2Return the vegetables to the pan; stir in the tomatoes, peas and consommé. Drain the mushrooms (reserve the liquid), chop and add to the pan with 100ml of the liquid. Season and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • This is a great family favourite you can make - or even freeze - ahead.
  • 3Warm the milk with the spring onions. Halve the baked potatoes and scoop out the centres into a large bowl. Add the butter and mash until smooth. Stir in the milk, spring onions and half the cheese. Season to taste.
  • 4Check the seasoning of the mince, discard the thyme sprigs, then pour into a deep 20cm-square ovenproof dish. Top with the mash and smooth over. Toss the thyme leaves and breadcrumbs with the remaining cheese and scatter over. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven until golden and bubbling.
  • For a change, try adding chilli to the mince and swapping half of the potato in the mash with sweet potato.
  • Recipe by Kate Titford. Recipe photograph by Laura Edwards

Get ahead

Cook and cool the mince and the potato, then assemble the pie the day before; chill. Bring back to room temperature before baking. Can be frozen.

You will need

  • 15g dried Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 1 x 415g tin beef consommé or 400ml beef stock

For the mash

  • 4 baking potatoes, about 1kg
  • 100ml milk
  • 5 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 50g soft butter
  • 100g finely grated mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 25g breadcrumbs

+ Nutritional Information