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Cottage Pie

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This dish makes a meal on its own, and in the proportions described, will feed three, or two very hungry people.

The total cooking and preparation time is around 45 minutes.


  • 3lb (1.375kg) beef mince
  • 2lb (900g) potatoes
  • 8oz (220g) Mature Cheddar cheese
  • 2oz (50g) butter
  • Three small carrots
  • Half a medium-sized red onion
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) dried mixed herbs1
  • 0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) ground black pepper
  • 0.5 teaspoon (2.5ml) ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) granulated garlic2


  • Peel and chop the potatoes3, and place them in a pan of boiling water. Boil them for approximately 15 minutes. At the same time, put the mince into the bottom of an oven-proof dish and mix in the black pepper, coriander and garlic. Leave the dish uncovered and place it in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 5 (200°C).

  • Finely chop the onion, and chop the carrots into discs.

  • Take the mince out the oven after approximately five minutes, and drain off the excess fat. Add the onion and carrot, and mix all the vegetables and mince together. Then press it down and smooth over with the back of a wooden spoon. Feel free to add other vegetables such as tomato or peppers, if you wish. Return the dish to the oven.

  • Mash the potatoes, adding the butter and mixed herbs.

  • After another 15 minutes, take the dish out the oven, again drain any excess fat, and spread the potato evenly over the dish. Run a fork over the potato to create ridges - this will help the potato become crispy. Return to the oven, and leave for 20 minutes.

  • Thinly slice the cheese, and place it evenly over the potato. Return to the oven, and leave another five minutes, or until the cheese is just starting to brown. Serve immediately.

1This is a common product in the UK, and usually consists of parsley, thyme, basil and marjoram.2Rather than using granulated garlic you could use a clove of fresh garlic finely chopped.3If you prefer, parsnips can be used instead, or mixed with the potato.

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