By French Tart on October 08, 2007
Photo by French Tart
Photo by French Tart
"Cottage pie, like its opposite lamb number, Shepherd's pie, was the ingenious idea of housewives many years ago, in order to create another warm and comforting meal usually from the Sunday Lunch left-overs! Cooked beef or lamb were diced or shredded and sometimes the vegetables were added to the meat mixture - such as peas or carrots. This recipe uses raw minced beef, but you could use minced cooked beef if you wish, I have added it as an alternative. The leeks were always added to the mashed potato topping when I was growing up - it was another way of utilising the leftovers! A bit like a Bubble and Squeak topping. I am not a lover of peas being added in my Cottage Pie, so I have suggested them as an option - I always prefer carrots as the vegetable to be added. Try to use mature Farmhouse Cheddar cheese for the topping - a little goes a long way, as it is so strong in flavour. The cheese is very luxurious, but takes this simple and comforting pie to a higher taste level, in my humble opinion! Serve bubbling hot straight from the oven with steamed cabbage, carrots or any seasonal vegetables and a jug of gravy."
Serving Size: 1 (432 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
"Keeping with the leftovers theme, I made this partially with leftover pot roast, but I didn't have enough and added some ground beef too. I topped it with leftover mashed potatoes and used green beans instead of peas since that's what I had. I also used leftover gravy from the pot roast for the "juice" in the recipe instead of the beef broth. This makes a lot. I divided it up into two 9X9 inch pans, baked one and froze the other one. The potato, leek, and cheese topping was really delicious and totally made this dish!"
"Thank you French Tart for another delicious recipe! The leeks truly make the potatoes sing! This is a keeper! I'll be using this recipe from now on!"
"Absolutely brilliant. Carrots and parsnips in the beef, both red wine and a stock pot to make the stock, potatoes with skins, huge pile of leeks, coriander and Herbes de Provence as herbs.<br/><br/>You can also make a great vegetarian version by replacing the beef with 500g cooked Puy lentils or beluga lentils. They will tend to dry out the mixture more than fatty beef mince, so add the stock cube and just enough red wine at the same time, to keep the mixture moist and a little liquid at the bottom, like frying mince."
"Scrumptious, we threw in some celeriac and roast beef to the mix, but otherwise made as written. Yum!"
"This was really good. Since I am trying to be a bit healthier, I used meat substitute and thought it turned out fine."
"Very tasty. Didn't peel the potatoes, I never do. Had to look up how to deal with leeks. For the herbs I used parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Cooked the potatoes, leeks, and onion/carrot/meat at the same time. Instead of stock I used a splash of sherry and water. Used colby jack, that's what I had. Took me longer than an hour. Traditional Mixed Herbs are equal parts: Basil, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme"
"This came together really well! I'd only made cottage pie once before and it was a disaster, so this was a nice surprise. The flavor isn't too strong, but it's the ultimate in comfort food. I added some chopped parsnips along with the carrots, which was a nice addition. My husband loved it, too!"
"everyone enjoyed this, especially the husband. All the kids ate it, with the exception of the 4 yr old, but he doesn't eat anything. My 2 year old gobbled it up. Husband says "it's a keeper". Thank you."
"This is the last cottage pie recipe I will use! The leeks make the mash topping fantastic. Also, using the mature cheddar is crucial to the final outcome. I used mince because that's what I had...I also used the peas because we love them. Gravy and steamed broccoli rounded out the meal. Fantastic flavour in the beef. Thanks for posting, Karen!"
"I thought that this recipe was fantastic. I did not really make any changes...just minor personalization. For the filling I sauteed carrots, onions, garlic, and a wee bit of celery until the onion was translucent before adding the beef. For the gravy I used 3/4 cup beef broth & a bit over 1/4 cup of carmenere to add depth in addition to the tomato paste and a tiny bit of Worchestershire. Also, I added any additional pressed clove of garlic.. I used sage, marjoram, & thyme for the herbs. For the leeks I deglazed the hot pan with a smidge of chicken stock and used that to moisten the mashed potates."
"This was perfect for me to make. I had all the ingredients ready and I made 6 smaller portions and froze them for future suppers. Easy to make and the kitchen smelt so good. Thanks for a different ready to eat meal for us.I did add peas to mine and used some fine herbs to the broth.
"I love to fry the leeks in butter as a final fresh green garnish. All my friends have been inspired by this recipe and it has become a staple for all my roommates too! Thank you so much!"
"This is very nice. I made this with party potatoes(#84250) I had from the previous night. It was so good; we should have had another party."
"Yummy! Good comfort food. I used the wine option, it was very rich but not fatty as I drained the liquid from the meat. I added a couple of small bay leaves to the meat and removed before adding peas. My family loved this meal, my 11 yr old daughter had 3rds (never been done before). This really is a one dish meal, everything is already included. Thank you."
"Now I have eaten "a lot" of Cottage Pies & Sheperd's Pies. It is one of my favorite dishes to have in the frig. I will often make one for the week & eat it all by myself with a salad & hot peppers on the side. I used lean ground beef (adding fresh garlic) which I browned. Fresh thyme was used plus carrots & frozen sweet peas (added at the end). For 1LB of gr. beef I added 1 cup beef both & 1/4 cup red wine. For the potato topping, I added chives from the garden as leeks are very expensive here. Other then that I followed the recipe. This is a dish that I can make in advance & bake when needed. Thank you French Tart for "another" great recipe!"
"Yummy. Used 1/2 lb of turkey to replace some of the beef. I also asked for the Farmhouse cheese and the local store didn't carry it so I used "Supersharp" cheddar instead. I think I need to use less salt in seasoning the meat since the broth and worcestershire sauce are salty enough for me. One out of 2 toddlers gave it a thumbs up ;)"
"My whole family liked this (with the exception of my 4yo, who doesn't like anything new!!). I followed the recipe except for omitting the leeks, simply because I didn't have any. This was real soul food, it tasted very authentic! I've tried a couple of times to make this straight out of my head, and it hasn't worked out that well. To me the worcestershire sauce really contributed to flavour and balance. Many thanks FT, this one is a keeper!!"
"excellent recipe, i've eaten a lot of cottage pie and this one is great, thanks for sharing"
"Absolutely gorgeous!!!! I made as is except for adding 3 garlic cloves and I only had a little cheddar left from France, it really has no flavour here in Switzerland as we have so many great mountain cheeses to choose from, so I mixed my remaining cheddar with gruyere, I also added more herbs, so I did not change the ingredients at all just amounts really and the slight difference in the cheese. This was sooooo goood and everyone in my family would have given it 10 stars if there was an option for that. I love the addition of the leek to the mash, it just totally added to the flavour. An exceptional post and we will enjoy this often as a wonderful winter meal. Only ended up making this tonight as we had a freak weather day of 13 degrees in summer!! Thanks FT"
"5 gold-studded stars for an exceptional meal, bu, really, imagine that I'm tossing stars and flowers at your feet. French Tart, I love your recipes. The tantalizing smell preceeded the meal and the taste exceeded (my)expectations (my gang knows they'll only get the best from my kitchen). I used red wine; for dried herbs I used Bragg Sprinkles which is a perfect melange of herb and spice seasonings, and I used an extra old white cheddar for on top. The filling flavour is rich, deep, wholesome, and hearty, so, so satisfying. And the topping is thick but light and flavoured delicately with the leek, which I cut into thin rings and sauteed first. I added a cup of baby peas and doubled up the carrots. Thankyou, thankyou, thank you."