Mum's cottage pie

    1 hour

    Beef mince cottage pie with sherry and a fluffy mashed potato and cheese topping. Nice served with honey carrots and buttered sweetcorn on the side. Can be made ahead or frozen ready for another time.

    Samantha's Supper

    Kent, England, UK
    45 people made this

    Serves: 2 

    • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • salt and pepper
    • oil for frying
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 250g lean beef mince
    • 75ml dry sherry
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons plain flour
    • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
    • 80g grated cheese

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    3. Heat a large frying pan with oil on medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the mince and brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the sherry, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low setting. Season with salt and pepper and stir in Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle in the flour and mix well. The mixture will become thick and gloopy but you want it that way to stay together when baking. Cook the flour taste out for a minute or two.
    4. Pour the meat mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread the mashed potato evenly across the top. Season with salt and pepper, and scatter over the cheese. With a fork, press around the edges to make a pattern.
    5. Bake, uncovered, in the oven until piping hot and cheese is melted down, about 30 minutes. Serve.


    Tastes best made the day before if possible. If freezing, make as above and chill in the fridge. Cover with a layer of foil and a layer of cling film (ensure your casserole dish or tin is freezable). Defrost completely before reheating. I tend to cook when it has been frozen and defrosted with the foil still on (remove cling film) for 20 minutes and the remaining 10 minutes uncovered.

    To serve

    Goes nice with carrots boiled, drained and mixed with a little butter and a teaspoon of honey stirred in and also sweetcorn. Nice comfort food.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    Very easy to make. The sherry gives it just that extra kick. I made the mince the day before and the mash on the day. Perfect.  -  12 May 2012


    I'm american, but my husband is British. He always wanted me to make cottage and shepards pie but sadly never knew what it was; Until I spent 6 months in England caring for my mother-in-law. I've tried a few recipes of cottage pie to see which one he likes better. And so far no one has topped yours. Amazing I love the sherry in it. Great job.  -  20 Oct 2016


    Gracious -- I have to try this recipe! I'm from the U.S. -- North Carolina, specifically. I'll have to adapt parts of this recipe because of the metric measures, but some measures require no explanation. In the South (the wrong side of The U.S. War Nobody Won), the terms "knob of butter" and "large glug of milk" are (or were!) taught at our mothers' and grandmothers' knees. I'm a volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor. I have used J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books as instructional texts. It cracks me up no end to see how many expressions are familiar to me from my childhood, but evince a "Huh?" response up here amongst the Yankees. Oh, yeah -- use caution with the word "Yankee." As author Shelby Foote commented in the Ken Burns's TV series, *The Civil War*, "Southeners ah still funny about that waw-uh." Foote sounds just like my late grandfather.... ************* Well. It's nearly three weeks later, and my husband and I finally tried this recipe last night. We love it. No ifs, ands, or buts -- this is an easy, very tasty main dish. We enjoyed the flavor combinations -- I don't think I've ever tasted anything here in the U.S. with the dry sherry/Worcestershire sauce combo. Simply satisfying and succulent. Thank you, Samantha, for sharing this goodie with us!  -  09 Jul 2016