In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’m sharing with you a wonderful and hearty dinner recipe mostly made from meat and potatoes. Cottage pie, a very popular and common dish from the late 1700’s is made from a potato crust and seasoned beef. Its familiar but younger (1877) cousin, Shepherd’s pie, is a very similar dish except made with lamb. Many people confused the two pies and think of them synonymously with each other.   Both types of meat pies originated from Ireland and the UK where the dish was considered a peasant’s meal because it was an economic way to use leftover roasted meat.

Pair this dish with a nice side salad and a nice slice of Irish Soda Bread and you have the perfect family meal to savor on a cold winter’s evening. This comfort food dish can easily be divided between two pie plates, baked, and then frozen so you can have a second meal in the freezer when needed. And if there are leftovers, this dish is just as wonderful the next day.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Recipe: Cottage Pie

  • Prep Time: 45 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 20-25 min(s)
  • Total Time: 70 min(s)
  • Servings: 6-8

Not to be confused with a shepherd's pie made with ground lamb, a cottage pie is very similar except it is made with ground beef. This cottage pie recipe is simple peasant dish that is hearty and filling. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any winter evening.


    Potato Topping-

    2 pounds russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

    ¼ cup half and half

    4 tablespoons butter, softened

    1 teaspoon kosher salt

    ¼ teaspoon black pepper

    Meat Filling-

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    1 medium yellow onion, chopped

    2 carrots, chopped in small pieces

    Kosher salt and pepper

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    1 teaspoon thyme

    2 pounds ground lean beef

    2 teaspoons tomato paste

    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

    1 cup beef broth

    1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

    1 cup frozen peas


    Boil the potatoes for 12-15 minutes on high heat until the potatoes fork tender.

    Prepare the filling while the potatoes are boiling.

    Drain the potatoes and add them to a medium bowl.

    Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes and add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the filling by heating a large sauté pan with vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook them for 4 minutes until soft. Add the carrots, garlic, and thyme. Cook for an additional 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper according to your personal preference.

    Transfer the onion and carrot mixture to a separate bowl and return the pan to the stove. Cook the lean beef until done and season with salt and pepper. Add and mix in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.

    Add the (room temperature) beef broth to a small bowl and gently stir in the corn starch until dissolved.

    Add the onion mixture and broth back to the pan with the beef and add the peas. Stir everything until well combined and cook for 5 minutes on medium low heat until the sauce thickens.

    Spray a medium casserole pan with non-stick spray. Transfer the beef mixture to the pan in one large even layer. Top the beef layer with an even layer of the mashed potatoes.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes until the potato layer slightly browns.

    Allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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4 Responses to “Cottage Pie Recipe”

  1. jrichview

    Is it just me, or does the luscious image above look like they mixed cheese into the potatoes? How do you get an amazing looking crust like that with just potatoes?

    • Mary Goodson

      How does an amphibian make Shepherd’s Pie even better????

  2. Leah Kosman

    You could put it under the broiler, but I agree that the pic does look like there is cheese mixed in with the mashed potatoes.