Cottage Pie – Comfort Food Hub! This British classic is filled with a delicious filling of ground beef, covered in gravy and creamy mashed potatoes, and baked until golden brown. One of the best comfort foods made from beef!
Wondering what the difference is between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie? Same recipe, except the Cottage Pie is made with beef and the Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb!
(I hope Herder sees the creation of troops…)
Cottage Pie is a great British classic and we Australians have made it one of our winter favourites! Or in my case, a year-round favorite.
Easy to prepare, economical, with everyday ingredients and 100% freezable, it is a food with universal appeal (well, except for vegetarians)
The Cottage Pie has two components – a beef filling and a creamy mashed potato filling. The filling is meaty and salty, it takes willpower not to stuff it in the mouth during cooking…
…then you continue to make the creamy mashed potato filling, or it takes a lot of willpower to put it in your mouth too…
But you’ll keep going because you know the patience will be worth it, because your chest will swell with pride when you pull this bubbling beauty out of the oven and see that crispy gold leaf, everyone at the table will cheer with delight , no no matter how dull the day gets, it will go better with Cottage Pie.
What’s the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie?
People often confuse the difference between Shepherd’s Pie and Farmhouse Pie. Both are prepared the same way – stuffed with ground beef in gravy, topped with mashed potatoes, sprinkled with parmesan and baked. (That crispy topping is everything!!)
The only difference is that the shepherd’s pie is made with lamb instead of beef.
So if you want, just replace the lamb with beef in this recipe and you have Shepherd’s Pie!
What goes in Cottage Pie
Here’s what you need to make your Cottage Pie.
Feel free to substitute any protein for beef – beef is delicious with lamb (making it a shepherd’s pie), chicken, turkey, pork. Also, don’t worry if you don’t have carrots and celery – skip them or add other diced vegetables like peas.
Here are the ingredients you need for the mashed potato filling.
I love parmesan on my farmhouse pies because it makes the top extra crispy and golden. But any processed cheese will do.
Cottage Pie from scratch
This cottage pie is made from scratch and it’s super easy. If you can make pâté and mash, you can also make a Cottage Pie, because it basically follows the same steps!
Cottage Pie – 2 little tips
I have just 2 tips for a successful farm pie:
- To prevent the potatoes from sinking into the filling, cool the filling first. But it’s not a deciding factor, it’s just a visual thing, that if you don’t cool the stuffing, the potatoes will “bleed” into the beef mixture; and
- make sure the stuffing is reduced enough (see video) to ensure the filling will not thin out after cooking. What a disappointment when you slice the potatoes and are greeted with beef sitting in a watery gravy!
How to freeze Cottage Pie
Cottage Pie is one of those rare make-ahead treats that are perfect. It will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days – assembled and ready to heat, or once baked.
What goes with Cottage Pie
This is a meat and carbohydrate-rich dish, so it goes well with fresh side salads, such as an arugula salad with vinaigrette or a garden salad with French or Italian dressing. I recently served it with a carrot salad with a honey Dijon vinaigrette and it was a hit!
For a cozy dinner on a cold winter night, try this with glazed roasted carrots and sautéed garlic spinach. The only other things you need are a glass of red wine and a crackling fire…
or in my case crouching next to an old electric heater!