Rachel’s cottage pie

Rachel’s cottage pie

Nathan Outlaw's Home Kitchen
David Loftus

Cottage pie is a great family favourite. It’s also a good dish to prepare in advance ready to pop into the oven for 45 minutes when you want to eat. This is my wife Rachel’s recipe – she claims her secret ingredient is the tin of baked beans. I love to eat the pie with baked beans too. Give it a go!


Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for cooking
600g beef mince
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
400g tin plum tomatoes, chopped
700ml Beef stock
50ml red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
400g tin baked beans (optional)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the mash

Quantity Ingredient
1kg potatoes (floury type, such as maris piper)
150ml milk
60g unsalted butter
150g cheddar, grated


  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the beef mince and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until evenly coloured. Tip the meat into a colander over a bowl to drain. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Wipe out the pan, add another drizzle of oil and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for 5–6 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften and colour. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Now tip the drained mince into the pan. Add the tomatoes, stock, wine vinegar and herbs and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into even-sized chunks. Place in a pan of cold water to cover and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook the potatoes until tender. Drain and let the potatoes sit in the colander for 2 minutes then return them to the pan.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Heat the milk and butter together in a small pan, then add to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the baked beans, if using, to the cooked mince and mix well. Spoon into a large baking dish and top with the mashed potato, making sure it goes right to the edges. Scatter the cheese over the top.
  7. Stand the cottage pie on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until golden and piping hot. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Serve with seasonal vegetables of your choice.
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