Slow Cooked Cottage Pie

Growing up we ate a lot of mince. A lot. Every time I’m with one of my sisters or at my parents inevitably we’ll talk food and always the topic of the volume of mince consumed will arise. We were a big family on a budget, so whether it was a bolognaise, cottage pie or the classic ‘savoury mince’* it was something that was full of flavour and fed us all. I love using mince, but I like to change things up by using cuts of meat in it’s place. So here is a slow cooked cottage pie that is packed full of taste and great texture, but still every bit as homely and filling.

When shopping for a piece of beef big enough this morning, I discovered (much to my surprise) that topside of beef was cheaper per kilo than packaged mince. So still in keeping for a budget meal!

* ‘Savoury Mince’ – A deconstructed cottage pie served with boiled potatoes

You’ll Need:

  • Joint of Beef – I used topside about 750g which would serve around 4 people well and allow for a bit extra
  • 2 Leeks
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 White Onion
  • 2 Red Onions
  • 5 Carrots
  • 1 Pint Stock (Room Temp)
  • 100ml Red Wine – I used a Rioja
  • 1kg Potatoes – I think it would also be great with a sweet potato mash
  • 2 cupful’s of peas (optional)

To Make:

  • Clean and slice up the leeks, dice the white onion and heat some oil through on a large casserole with a lid – pop in the onion and half of the leek. Sweat for 5 minutes (you could do this in a saucepan and then transfer to a Pyrex casserole dish if you don’t have a hob safe dish)

Onion and Leek

  • Wash the carrots and dice one into small cubes – add the diced carrot to the dish and keep the others whole until later, add in the garlic cloves (just leave whole)

Carrot, leek and onion

  • Pour in the red wine, stir for 1 minute, add the stock, stir again and remove from the heat. Place the beef into the casserole, season with salt and pepper and a couple of springs of rosemary. Cover and pop into a preheated oven (160c Fan) for 4-5 hours until it falls apart with a fork. Pull apart and stir

DSC01590 DSC01593

Getting there

  • Cube the remaining carrots and onions and sweat gently in a frying pan. Remove from the heat after 5 minutes and add to the now shredded beef in the casserole along with the peas (if using) and mix again. Pop in another glug of wine and about 100ml of stock. In the frying pan gently fry the remaining leek for a few minutes and leave to one side
  • Cube the potatoes and pop onto boil. Once cooked through, mash the potatoes adding a splash of milk, salt, pepper and the browned leeks. Top the filling with the mash and pop back in to the oven at 180c Fan for about 30 minutes until the topping is crisp and brown

Topped and Ready Baked and Glorious


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