Cottage Pie

A wonderful rustic dish, full of flavors warming to the body and spirit, cottage pie is made with ground beef, vegetables and topped with mashed potatoes.


  • Olive Oil  ·  3 tablespoons 
  • Thyme sprigs  ·  3 
  • Herbies Bay Leaves  ·  2  whole 
  • Frozen peas  ·  1 cup 
  • Salt & Pepper to taste  ·   
  • Potatoes, Yukon Gold, peeled and halved [P]  ·  3 pounds 
  • Milk, half & half, [P]  ·  1 cup 
  • Butter [P]  ·  4 tablespoons 
  • Cheddar (Irish), grated [P]  ·  1½  cups 
  • Worcestershire sauce  ·  4 tablespoons 
  • Beef stock  ·  1½  pints 
  • Ground Beef, lean  ·  2 ¾  pounds 
  • Carrots, chopped  ·  3 
  • Celery sticks, chopped  ·  3 
  • Garlic cloves, minced  ·  2 
  • Flour, plain  ·  3 tablespoons 
  • Tomato paste  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Tomato sauce  ·  ½  cup 
  • Red wine, merlot  ·  1½ cups 


Cottage pie or shepherd's pie is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. The term "Cottage" is used when the meat is beef and "Shepherd" when the meat is lamb. A vegetarian version can be made using soya or other meat substitutes like tofu, or legumes such as lentils or chickpeas.

There are many different recipes for Cottage Pie, often using leftovers, but this is our own Wednesday night recipe which produces this English pub classic in less than an hour, and with quite excellent results

In a large saucepan heat 1 tablespoon of oil and braise the gound beef until browned, working in batches and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.

Set the beef aside and place the remainder of the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on low/medium heat for about about 20 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, flour, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Turn up the heat and cook for 4 minutes then put the beef back in the pan as well.

Pour over the wine and boil to reduce it slightly. Now add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs, bringing the whole thing to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After about 30 mins check the liquid level, if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. At the end of 45 minutes the liquid should be thick and coating the meat like a heavy gravy. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and discard allowing the meat to cool.

To make the mashed potato topping, using ingredients [P], place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add one teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil then simmer until tender. Test with a fork to see if they break apart when pierced Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few minutes. Mash well with the milk, butter, and three-quarters of the cheese, then season with some salt and pepper.

Spoon the cold meat mixture into an ovenproof dish and cover the top with the mashed potato to about 1 inch thick. Use a fork to make ridges in the top of the mashed potato. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese. If eating straight away, heat oven to 350° and cook for 30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown, taking care not to burn the potato. Serve with Williamson Entice Cuvée or Ravish Mélange.

Entice Cuvée

Entice Cuvée

A delightful, well-bred Bordeaux style red wine with a paradoxically enticing manner of managing strong peppery spices in foods and drawing out the true essence of the primary food flavor.

Ravish Mélange

Ravish Mélange

Ravish Mélange is a right bank Bordeaux-Style blend inspired by the Pomerol wines of Château Pétrus.