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Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

This cottage pie is the perfect comfort food, but also very easy and hassle free! This cottage pie is ready in no time, and is the perfect winter dinner!
Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 7 -8 servings


  • For the Minced Beef Filling:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 700 grams minced beef
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup peas optional
  • For the White Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the Potato Topping:
  • Water for boiling
  • 1.2 kg potatoes chopped into half, no need to peel - also see notes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to tase
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • For the Minced Beef Filling:
  • Heat oil in a large pot and add the chopped onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly translucent and softened. Add the minced beef, ginger and garlic. After 1-2 minutes of cooking, add salt, pepper and paprika. Cook on high (stirring frequently) for 10-15 minutes until the minced beef is nicely cooked and browned.
  • Add the marinara sauce and peas, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Transfer the minced beef filling to a 9 by 13 inch oven safe dish. Set aside.
  • For the White Sauce:
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan, and then add the flour. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the flour is cooked, and then slowly pour in the milk while continuously stirring. Keep stirring until the sauce has thickened, about 6-7 minutes.
  • Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix.
  • Spread the white sauce on top of minced beef filling, and transfer to a fridge to cool for 15 minutes or so.
  • Preheat oven to 180 C.
  • For the Potato Topping (also see notes):
  • Fill a large pot with water, and add the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (meaning the fork goes in easily when inserted into a potato). This will take about 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain and then return to the pot and place on the stove again for 1-2 minutes so that the extra moisture evaporates.
  • Wait for the potatoes to cool until you are able to handle them. Peel the skins off, they will come off easily after being boiled.
  • Mash with a fork or potato masher, add the garlic powder, salt, pepper and butter and mix until combined.
  • Now take out the dish with minced beef filling and white sauce from the fridge, and using a fork spread the mashed potato topping evenly. Fluff up with a fork so that you can get golden bits of crunchiness on top while baking.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until the edges are golden brown, and the minced beef filling is bubbling. I also turn on the grill for about 5-7 minutes to get those golden bits of crunchiness on the surface of the potato filling. If you do this, then make sure you keep an eye on the cottage pie, as the grill can very quickly take it from golden bits of crunchiness to over browned spots on the pie.
  • Remove the dish from oven and let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.
  • Enjoy!


To make the dish even quicker, you can start boiling the potatoes when you're making the minced beef filling.
I like to boil my potatoes with the skin on, because it's much easier to peel off the skin after the potatoes have been boiled. This is just a personal preference, so you can either peel the potatoes before boiling, or after boiling. Whichever you find easier.