Cottage Pie

5 from 4 reviews

This delicious Cottage Pie has a rich meaty beef sauce as the base, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked until deliciously golden. An easy Cottage Pie recipe – make a double batch of the sauce to serve with pasta!



  1. Once you have made the Bolognese Sauce, taste for seasoning. You can leave it as is, or add some Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  2. Stir the peas and chopped parsley through the sauce.
  3. Half fill a baking dish with the sauce. Depending on how many people you are serving, you may not need all of the sauce.
  4. Set the dish aside to cool while you prepare the potatoes (see Kitchen Notes below).
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) (without fan).
  6. Peel the potatoes and place them in a big saucepan filled with cold water.
  7. Once the water comes to the boil, add a few teaspoons of coarse sea salt.
  8. Cook until the potatoes are tender.
  9. Drain the potatoes.
  10. Using the same saucepan, return it to the heat with some of the milk and/or cream. I tend to start with a small quantity and I keep adding more later as needed.
  11. Once the milk and/or cream has warmed through a bit, return the boiled potatoes to the pan, together with the butter and a good pinch of sea salt.
  12. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes into a purée.
  13. Keep adding milk and/or cream until you have a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  14. Taste the mashed potatoes for seasoning.
  15. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top of the sauce in the baking dish, and use the back of a spoon (or the tines of a fork) to create uneven ridges in the mashed potatoes. This will help the mashed potatoes to crisp up on top.
  16. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are golden brown and the sauce underneath is bubbling.

Kitchen Notes

How much sauce and/or mashed potatoes you need depends on how many people you are feeding and how large your baking dish is. For the quantity specified in this recipe, I think it would serve 3-4 people generously.

I recommend making the sauce on the slightly runny side. Once you have topped it with mashed potatoes, the potatoes will soak up some of the liquid. But if you make the sauce too thin and runny, the mashed potato topping will sink into the sauce.

When adding the mashed potato topping, the sauce underneath should be cool or even fridge cold, so that the mashed potatoes will sit on top of the sauce as a separate layer. If the sauce is warm or hot, the mashed potatoes might sink into the sauce.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.