This simple cottage pie with cheddar mashed potatoes makes a great weeknight meal! It’s a great way to use up any leftover ground beef or potatoes, too.
In honor of my Irish husband and half Irish kids and alllll the Irish in my own melting-pot American background, I made this cottage pie 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.
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 leftover ground beef or shredded beef; usually, it was the remnants of the previous night’s roast dinner.
This information thrills me to the bone, since there are few things in this world I love more than getting a chance to reuse leftover food! Light-waste meals FTW.
Plus, this is Percolate Kitchen, 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. It’s simply seasoned ground beef with carrots, onions a, d peas, topped with those bangin’ cheesy mashed potatoes.
This pie 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; hence the call for leftover ground beef!
AND, it also freezes beautifully; I made a couple individual servings of this pie (one of which was frozen in this gorgeous red Rachael Ray pan you see in the photos) while I was pregnant with my daughter and it was a lifesaver during those hazy newborn days. You might not have time to shower in those days, but you might have time to defrost a cottage pie!
- 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 stalks celery diced (about ½ cup)
- ½ cup frozen or fresh shelled peas
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 2 teaspoon powdered garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ lb russet potatoes peeled
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they break apart easily with a fork.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and carrots have softened. Add the peas and stir to combine.
Add the ground beef to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally to crumble, until the beef has browned.
Preheat the oven to 350*F.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, powdered mustard, garlic and salt. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper as necessary.
When the potatoes have cooked, drain the water. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
Spoon the beef mixture into a 1 ½ QT baking dish, then evenly spread the potatoes on top.
Place in the oven and bake, 20 minutes or until the top of the mashed potatoes have browned. Remove and serve hot.
If you’re looking for an easy accompaniment to your cottage pie, check out the recipe for this fabulous Irish soda bread.
- 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
Preheat oven to 450*F
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)
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.
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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