Kitchen Cottage Pie Recipe

From the humble pork pie to gooey banoffee pie Carina Contini loves them all!


You can read my dessert recipe for Apple and Sultana Pie in The Scots Mag’s September issue, but first things first though, we need something savoury to enjoy before we tuck into our sweet pie…

My nephew Lawrence taught me the difference between shepherd’s pie (lamb mince) and cottage pie (beef mince) when he was about eight. Cottage pie has always been a favourite of his and most of my family, especially the wee ones.

Adding all these root vegetables to the mince makes this pie lighter and sneaks in all the really good vitamins without anyone under eight even noticing.


Kitchen Garden Cottage Pie Recipe

Serves 4 hungry big kids



2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, finely chopped

1kg beef mince

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

2 large carrots, cut into small cubes

1 small squash, cut into small cubes

1 small turnip, cut into small cubes

1 litre of beef stock or 2 tsp Bovril dissolved in 1 litre of boiling water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the potato topping:

500g Maris Piper potatoes


50g unsalted butter

100ml full-fat milk



Put the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish and when it is hot, add the onion and fry until golden but not browned.

Add the mince and fry over a hot heat until browned.

Season with salt and pepper then add the carrots, squash and turnip.

Add the stock or Bovril, reduce the heat and simmer for about 1½ hours until the beef is tender.

Alternatively, put the lid on the casserole dish and bake in a pre-heated oven for about one 1 hour at 180°C/350F/Gas 4.

Meanwhile, make the potato topping…

Peel the potatoes into quarters and put into a pan with salt and cold water to cover.

Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender.

Drain and mash with butter and milk. Leave the mash slightly wetter than normal as it will dry when baked.

When the mince is cooked, transfer it to a 1.5g deep pie dish and pipe the mash potato on top.

Alternatively, you can use a palette knife to spread the potato evenly, then drag a fork over from side to side, creating little ridges.

These will crisp when baked to give a lovely crunch.

Bake in the oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for 25 minutes if you’re cooking the pie straight away or at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 1 hour if you’re baking it from cold.

More from Carina

Carina Contini runs several Edinburgh restaurants with her husband Victor, and writes a recipe for The Scots Magazine each month. Catch her Apple and Sultana Pie recipe in our September issue.


All this and more in our September issue!

Get your copy here!