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 fact, it’s such a family favorite that I make it at least once a month, sometimes two! I even made a sweet potato-topped variation with my kids on Facebook Live; you can see the whole video (and the disaster zone they make my kitchen into) in the video down at the bottom of this post.
This is a Cottage Pie made with traditional ingredients
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.
Old school cottage pie and shepherd’s pie is traditionally 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.
I love this little piece of history in a casserole dish; few things in this world make me happier than the 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 leftover ground beef with carrots, onions, and peas, topped with those bangin’ cheesy mashed potatoes.
This pie clocks in at just under 30 minutes of cook time and it’s 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 of 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!
Cottage Pie with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 yellow onion diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 carrot peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 celery stalk 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.
Here’s a short, 10-minute video I created with my kids as we made this easy cottage pie one afternoon. the kids make a mess, have tantrums, demand snacks halfway through, look adorable, and the pie eventually is made. If you’re a busy parent, this scene is going to look all too familiar!
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