Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is not so much a recipe as a way of using up the remains of Sunday night’s roast dinner. The left overs would be collected, the scraps of meat minced up and mixed together with the gravy, a few peas, a couple of Brussels sprouts chopped up, a bit of cabbage and whatever else might be available. The mixture would be poured into a baking dish, topped with the remains of the mashed potatoes, and baked for thirty minutes in a moderate oven and voila! Cottage Pie. If you did not have a roast on Sunday, or had one and ate everything up, you could try the following.


3 tblsps cornflour.

2 tblsps tomato paste.

1 tblsp balsamic vinegar.

1 tblsp beef stock powder.

Salt to taste.

3-4 large potatoes, peeled and diced.

A little oil.

250g beef mince.

1 large onion, peeled and diced.

Freshly ground black pepper.

1 ½ cups green peas/diced capsicum/broccoli florets/cauliflower/whatever.

1 tblsp rubbed origanum.

½ cup grated cheese.

1 tsp paprika.


Mix together the cornflour, tomato paste, vinegar, stock powder and salt and add water to the capacity of 2 cups. Mix well, ensuring that all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Peel and dice the potatoes and place in a pot of salted water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil over a hot flame in a deep pan and brown the mince all over. Add the onion and pepper and stir fry until soft. Stir in the mixed vegetables and the sauce mixture. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Stir in the rubbed origanum then pour the mince mixture into a baking dish and smooth over with a fork. Drain the potatoes and mash. Gently cover the mince with the mashed potato, ensuring that the entire area is coated, and smooth over with a fork. Sprinkle the grated cheese and paprika over the top and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C.

Serves: 2.

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