Irish cottage pie is a hearty dish comprised of beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes whose origins began somewhere in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Once a way to stretch leftovers, cottage pie is now made mainly on purpose with ground beef or lamb. Ground beef, however, is the American preference as it is affordable and easily available and let’s face it, not too many people have tons of leftover lamb in their fridge.
There are many variations to this cottage pie spanning the globe today.
This Irish Cottage pie is simplified by using store bought (or left over, if you’ve got ’em) mashed potatoes and frozen vegetables. This dramatically cuts down on the cooking time making this a dinner you can enjoy even on a weeknight.
This can be made entirely from start to finish in a cast iron (or oven safe skillet) or it can be transferred to another baking dish before broiling. See below for other variations of this savory Irish dish, which by the way, can be made up to 2 days in advance, making this a great Friday night dinner.
It’s a personal choice whether or not to include some shredded cheese under those pillowy mashed potatoes or not, but we think you will.Print
- 1 ½ – 2 Lbs. Ground Beef
- ½ Cup Onion, chopped
- 2 tsp Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Thyme
- 4 Tbsp. Ketchup
- 1 Pkg Frozen Mixed Veggies (Corn, Carrots and Green Beans)
- 2 Tablespoons Flour
- 1 ½ Cups Beef Stock or Broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 4–6 Oz shredded cheese of choice
- Mashed Potatoes, lots of ’em
- Turn the broiler on to 500° F
- Add the oil to a large skillet and when hot, add the onion and saute until it becomes translucent (about 4-5 min). Season with salt and pepper. Keep the flame on low so the onion doesn’t brown.
- Add the garlic and thyme stir it around with the onion for about 1 minute.
- Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook through, breaking up with a fork as it cooks. Drain if necessary.
- Sprinkle the flour all around and cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 -10 minutes or until the gravy thickens a bit.
- Pour the beef mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and layer the vegetables on top of the meat mixture.
- Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading evenly and covering all the meat and cheese.
- Place the dish under the broiler until the potatoes get a nice crust on top and turn golden brown. This could take up to 5-10 minutes.
- Serving Size: 1
For Shepherd’s Pie: Substitute lamb for the ground beef. Keep everything else the same.
For Vegan Cottage Pie: Leave out the meat and either double the vegetables or add a cup of cooked barley, farro, or wild rice. Use veggie stock instead of beef stock/bouillon and substitute wine vinegar for Worcestershire if desired. Additionally, use vegan butter, and vegan milk as well as a sour cream substitute such as coconut milk for the mashed potatoes. Finally, omit the cheese from the recipe.
For Vegetarian Cottage Pie: Leave out the meat and either double the vegetables or add a cup of cooked barley, farro, or wild rice. Use vegetable stock instead of beef stock, and substitute wine vinegar for Worcestershire if desired.
For Gluten-Free Cottage Pie: Flour in cottage pie is used to thicken the gravy. In place of flour you can make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a little beef broth or water.
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