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Cottage Pie with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

This simple cottage pie with cheddar mashed potatoes makes a great weeknight meal! Simply top seasoned ground beef with fluffy, cheesy potatoes and enjoy.  

In honor of my Irish husband and half Irish kids and alllll the Irish in my own melting-pot American background, I made it the way you should, which is to say it was made with Kerrygold butter and Dubliner cheddar cheese. I highly recommend you get your hands on either of these fine examples of Irish culinary prowess, but if you’re not able to, any old butter and a good sharp cheddar will work just fine.

Wikipedia tells me that old school cottage pie and shepherd’s pie was usually made with a layer of pie crust underneath, and the filling was made with shredded beef or lamb instead of ground meat; usually, the filling was the remnants of a roast dinner.

But this is Percolate, and we keep things simple around here, and I’m certainly not making you roll out pie crust if you don’t have to. This Cottage Pie is made with no bottom layer, and is simply seasoned ground beef with carrots, onions and peas, topped with those bangin’ cheesy mashed potatoes.

It clocks in at just under 30 minutes cook time and is perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s also crazy forgiving if parts of it are made in advance; you can boil the potatoes or make the meat filling one night, and assemble the dish another. It also freezes beautifully; I made a couple individual servings of this pie when I was pregnant with my daughter and it was a lifesaver during those hazy newborn days. You might not have time to shower but you have time to defrost a cottage pie!

If you’re looking for an easy accompaniment to your cottage pie, check out the recipe for this fabulous Irish soda bread


Make this simple Irish soda bread for your next Saint Patrick's Day dinner! (or as a hangover cure!) Served with Kerrygold Irish butter, of course.
Irish Soda Bread
Servings: 1 loaf
Author: Ruthy Kirwan
  • 2 cups all purpose white flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 14 oz (or 1 3/4 cups) buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450*F
  2. Over a large mixing bowl, sieve all the dry ingredients together (I have a beloved flour sifter that I put everything through, but a fine mesh colander works fine)
  3. A little at a time, add the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Once all the buttermilk is added, continue stirring until the dough is shaggy and barely combined. Turn onto a lightly floured countertop and gently knead until the bread is shaped into a round. Slice a cross shape into the top of the loaf.
  4. Bake at 450*F so 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 400*F and continue baking for 30-45 minutes. Bread is done when you can turn it over and hear a hollow sound when you knock on the bottom of the loaf. Wrap in a kitchen towel and let sit at least half an hour before cutting.

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This simple cottage pie with cheddar mashed potatoes makes a great weeknight meal! It's simply seasoned ground beef with carrots, peas and onions, topped with fluffy, cheesy potatoes.


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