Old Fashioned Cottage Pie

Old Fashioned Cottage Pie

Sometimes I just crave an old-fashioned meal.  You know, the kind with real mashed potatoes, gravy and tender pieces of meat.  Cottage Pie might be one of the easiest meals to put together.  A close cousin to Shepard’s Pie (made with lamb), Cottage Pie is made with tender beef simmered in gravy with bits of vegetables – topped off with buttery mashed potatoes.  How can you go wrong with that?!  This is one of my “go to” dishes when I’m in a hurry and don’t know what to fix for supper.  Everyone loves it – and not only does it taste great, it’s super fast to prepare.  A win/win!
Old Fashioned  Cottage Pie

5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup milk

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup homemade beef or chicken stock (I have used both and they are equally good)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons butter, diced

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches.  Add 1 tablespoon salt.  Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.  Drain and add 2 tablespoons butter and milk.  Mash together, taste for seasoning adding pepper and salt if needed.  Set aside.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add ground beef, onion, garlic, carrot and celery.  Cook until beef is cooked through and carrots are tender.  Add in flour, stir to combine.  Slowly add in stock and Worcestershire sauce, mix well.  Simmer sauce for 5 minutes until thickened – taste for seasonings.  Place meat mixture in a 8 x 8-inch baking dish.  Top with potatoes, making sure to spread them evenly.  Use the tines of a fork to “fluff up” the potatoes (this helps them get crispy and brown).  Dot the top with the remaining butter and bake at 400 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes until bubbly and browned. Enjoy!

The total cost of this dish is $3.50 (depending on how much you pay for your ground beef – I stock up when the price is really low, usually around $1.99 or lower per pound) and it serves 4.  You can also double or triple this recipe (I usually do) to feed as many as you need to!  I really like simple, old-fashioned dishes like this – it reminds me of family dinners growing up.  I hope you try this one, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

What are your favorite old-fashioned meals? I’d love to hear from you!

45 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Cottage Pie

  1. I love this dish…but I never knew that the beef one was called Cottage Pie! I’ve always made it with beef and called it Shepard’s Pie! You learn something new every day! Looks yummy…

    • LOL – I actually prefer the Cottage Pie to the Shepard’s Pie, but I think it’s because that’s what I had as a child. So glad to see so many people enjoy it too!

  2. Yummy – I like the idea of fluffing up the potatoes for a little crisp. My MawMaw used to make Hobo Stew, which was basically a red gravy (what others call spaghetti sauce) with sliced hot dogs and diced potatoes instead of meatballs. Very hearty and very inexpensive! ❤

  3. We had cottage pie just the other day and had a conversation about carrots – I like mine very fine, maybe even grated, my husband likes them in chunks. Do you ever grate cheese onto the top? Gives a lovely golden crunch!

    • I have put cheese in the mashed potatoes, but never on top. I’ll have to try it! My husband is just the opposite – he likes his minced and I like them in bigger chunks!

  4. I’ve always just used the ground beef and called it Shepherd’s Pie. Learn something new every day. Looks good.

  5. This dish reminds me of one that my Scottish grandmother used to make. Hers, though, didn’t have garlic, stock or flour. It was one of her comfort foods.

  6. Try substituting some apple sauce for all or part of the stock…. My mother came up with that idea and that’s how I do it now. I like your recipe too, though 🙂

  7. Good mac and cheese and my mom’s meatloaf, believe it or not, are my favorite comfort foods…but this is a wonderful recipe. My dad just got out of the hospital and this is his kind of dish. I’m so pleased to have an easy recipe that still combines all the best ingredients! I am sure I’ll be making this soon! Debra

  8. This is real comfort food. I sometimes spend a weekend making many of these for the freezer to heat on those busy after work days….yum!

  9. Pingback: 11 Low Cost Meal Ideas Under $1.42 Per Serving « A Modern Christian Woman

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