My family is a meat and potatoes kind of family. Naturally, cottage pie is a favorite around here. It is fairly simple to throw together and can easily be doubled or tripled to use for meal prep. Especially since it is just as yummy the day after as it the first day!
Start by peeling your potatoes. This is a break from the norm for me as I generally always mash with the peels. For these recipes, I actually prefer the peel free potatoes. It is just kind of pretty with the creamy off white. Boil in salted water until tender.
While the potatoes are boiling, start on the filling. I chop onions, carrot and celery for this. Don't be overly particular about this. A rough medium chop is great.
Add the vegetables and ground beef to a heavy bottom stock pot. I love to use my Lodge Cast iron for dished just like this.
Mix and cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.
Normally you would drain your fat, which you can if you choose. I leave it in for flavor and also to create a roux (thickener) for your filling. I used a 93/7 ground beef, so there wasn't too much fat left. Sprinkle with flour and mix well.
Add in tomatoes and tomato paste. I normally use crushed tomatoes here, but I had some fresh tomatoes that needed to be used, so I chopped them and used them. Add in other seasonings and allow to cook about 20 minutes.
While the filling continues to cook, you potatoes should be about done and ready to mash. Plenty of butter is a must here. I used to use double this amount, but have scaled back considerably for calorie sake!
Blend until the potatoes are smooth and creamy.
Pour filling into baking dish and cover with potatoes. Go ahead and pile them on, in the recipe I definitely planned for plenty! We like an almost even ratio of filling to potatoes. I brushed the top of mine with an egg wash. I realize this is unnecessary, but it sure gives the potatoes a pretty polished finish.
Here is the finished product. Isn't it just beautiful!
It is best served right away, but as I stated earlier, is great as a leftover as well. With this batch I was able to make this dish for our dinner, and 2 other smaller servings that were for lunch for the hubby and I for the following day.
Side view of this lovey dish!
This photo gives you a good perspective of the filling to potato recipe. I told you were like a 50/50 ratio.
This is what the dish looked like about 5 minutes about setting it on the table. The boys are starving after track!
- 1-2 quart oven safe baking dish
- 8 cups russet potatoes, peeled and large cube
- 12 cups boiling water, salted with about 2 tablespoons salt
- 4-6 tablespoons butter
- ½-3/4 cup milk This is variable, depending on how thick or thin you want your potatoes to be.
- 1-2 pounds ground beef I used a 93/7 ground beef, but use you ground beef of choice.
- 1 cup onions, medium chop
- 1 cup celery, medium chop
- 1 cup carrots, medium chop
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 15 ounce crushed tomatoes If you have fresh you need/prefer to use up. I used about 1 ½ cups fresh, chopped.
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg this is optional if you are using an egg wash
- 1 tablespoon milk again, optional for egg wash.
- In large stock pot bring salted water to a boil. Add in peeled, cubed potatoes. Turn heat to medium high and continue to low boil until potatoes are tender. While they are boiling, prepare the filling. In another larger pan, heat over medium heat. Add ground beef, onions, celery, and carrots. Mix and cook until the beef is no longer pink. Sprinkle with flour and mix well. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well. Turn down heat to a medium low and cook for at least 20 minutes, 30 is even better. While the filling is cooking, let's start on the potatoes. Once they are tender, drain. Add potatoes and ½ cup milk to large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer or potatoes masher until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set AsideNow, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the filling is finished, pour into the baking dish. I used a dish that was about 1 ½ quarts. I had leftover, so I poured it into 2 pint sized dishes for lunch the following day.Now that the filling is in, top with the potatoes. I planned for plenty of potatoes, as that is the way we like ours. Pile good and high. You can also pipe it on if you want a more decorative finish. We don't care about that, so piled it on and smoothed it with a pastry knife. If you want the shiny finish like I used, brush with your egg wash. You will combine the egg and milk and mix well. Once they are combined, brush on to the mashed potatoes. Place in oven. Since everything is cooked, we are just browning the top. If you don't want to wait for it, just broil instead, If you are broiling it, just keep on eye on, it can burn quickly!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!