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Cottage Pie also known as Shepherd’s pie or Hachis Parmentier is a ground meat potato casserole that’s filled with delicious veggies and meats. An easy meat recipe that requires a creamy mashed mashed potato topping. A cottage pie is a welcoming comfort food to share with family and friends.
What is Cottage Pie (Shepherd’s)
Cottage pie is what Americans call this delicious and hearty comfort food. But it’s known as Shepherd’s pie in the Uk and Hachis Parmentier in France.
Cottage pie (Shepherd’s pie) is said to have originated from the UK. This recipe which started as a way to use up left over meat has turned out to be one of the most creative ways not only leftover meats or mashed potatoes, but freshly made ones too.
What is Cottage Pie made of? (Ingredients)
Cottage pie is a meat pie made with mashed potatoes crust. It’s simple ground meat (beef or lamb) cooked in gravy, topped with creamy mashed potatoes, some cheese and baked.
The following ingredients are needs to make delicious cottage pie
- Ground (minced) beef. Substitute with ground (minced lamb for Shepherd’s Pie)
- Green peas
- Worcestershire sauce
- Mashed potatoes
- Spices and herbs
Cottage Pie VS Shepherd’s Pie.
You might be curious to know what the difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s pie is. Trust me you won’t believe that difference is just one thing. The type of meat used.
Yes the difference is in the meat. Ground beef is used to make cottage pie which is the American way of enjoying this dish. While the British make Shepherd’s pie with ground lamb. Call it semantics but that really is the difference.
How to make Shepherd’s Pie or Cottage Pie.
This is just an overview of the recipe, full ingredients list and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.
Pic 1-3; sauté onions, add ground beef, stir till all pink goes away, add spices and stir to combine.
Pic 4-6; Add Tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock.
Pic 7-9; add chopped carrots, slurry and peas
Pic 10-12; Press down filling, top with mashed potatoes
Pic 13-15; Top with cheese, bake and enjoy.
Quick Recipe notes and tips
- This recipe works well with mashed potatoes. Shepherd’s pie was actually developed for leftover mash. No leftover mash, no problem, simply make a batch of mashed potatoes while making the pie filling.
- The Worcestershire sauce adds a ton of flavor if you can help it, don’t skip it.
- Make a slurry with the flour and water
- If you want a gluten free slurry option, use cornstarch instead of flour to make your slurry.
A few FAQs answered
Below are a few frequently asked questions and answers on this recipe, feel free to drop yours in the comment so I can include it here.
1. What is a Slurry?
A Slurry by definition is a mixture of solids denser than water in a liquid which is usually water. For our purpose which is cooking, a slurry is a mixture of flour and water or cornstarch and water which is used to thicken sauces.
2. Are Mashed Potatoes Gluten free?
Mashed potatoes are gluten free except they have been cross contaminated with some flour while cooking. Basically mashed potatoes should be gluten free.
What to serve with Shepherd’s Pie
- Shepherd’s pie is a great meal on its own but if you are looking to add something to it, an addition of salad can do.
- Enjoy with some bread like garlic bread or simple slice of Italian bread
- Some homemade orange juice
- Mango juice
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Cottage Pie (Shepherd's Pie)
- 12 in Cast iron skillet or a 9 by 13 casserrole dish
For Mashed Potatoes
- 2 1/2 lbs yukon gold or russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
For Pie Filling
- 1 lb ground beef (use ground mutton for shepherd's pie)
- 1 tbsp cooking oil of choice
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 carrots (cubed about a cup)
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 2 Tbsp flour (use cornstarch if gluten free)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp each of dry rosemary and thyme
- 1 tsp bouillon powder
- 1 tsp pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 rib celery chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup Shredded Cheese of choice (i used cheddar)
Make Mashed Potatoes
- Boil potatoes in water till they are fork tender about 15 mins (check out my mashed potatoes guide linked in notes)
- Drain Potatoes, mash, add milk, butter salt, black pepper and onion powder. Mix to combine and set aside.
Make the Pie Filling
- Saute onions in a 12 inch cast iron skillet, then add ground beef. stir till all pink is gone.
- Add spices and stir to cobine.
- Stir in tomato paste, worcestershire sauce and beef stock.
- Mix in the chopped carrots and celery, then add the slurry and green peas
- Cook for about a minute after adding the slurry then for another minute after adding the peas.
- Turn off heat
Assenbling the Pie
- Preheat oven to 400F, Press down and level the filling.
- Add the mashed potatoes in random dollops (this wil help when you spread the mash so you dont pick up the filling in the process)
- Gently spread mash to cover the top of the meat filling. Try to seal the edges by heting the mash very close there.
- Top Mash with Shredded Cheese
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and top is crusty
- For the best mashed potatoes check out my mashed potatoes guide here.