Sunday, May 10, 2020

Cottage Pie Ala Tricia

Happy Mothers Day

For last weeks meal for our friends and us, we decided on cottage pie using the recipe from Tricia on her Saving Room For Dessert blog.  In case you are wondering, cottage pie uses ground beef instead of the lamb used in shepherds pie but it’s otherwise the same.  Since I was making two casseroles, I doubled the recipe for the filling but cooked the potatoes in two batches – one for each casserole.  You can click on the link for the original recipe and more of Tricia’s great pics like this one.

Cottage PieAdapted from Saving Room For Dessert

For the mashed potatoes:
6 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks, divided
2 teaspoon salt, divided
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks, divided
2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 1/3 cup milk, divided
For filling:
4 pounds lean ground beef (not less than 90%)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onion, chopped
6 medium carrots, diced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
29 ounce low-sodium beef broth (2 cans)
2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoon water
3 cups frozen green peas, thawed

Note: I prepared the potatoes in two batches so they would not get cold during the hour between making the two casseroles – I just rewarmed the filling in the pan prior to assembly of the second one.

To prepare each batch of the potatoes:
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes completely until very dry. Return the potatoes to the pot and mash until no lumps remain. 
3. Add the butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Stir until the butter is melted. 
4. Whisk together the milk and egg yolk. Add to the potatoes and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning.  Cover and set aside.

To prepare the filling:
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2.. In a large skillet or saute pan, cook the beef until brown and crumbly.  Drain in a colander mix in salt and pepper
3. In a large skillet add the butter and olive oil, heat on medium until butter is melted and add the onions, carrots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots start to soften. 
4. Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir constantly until the mixture darkens and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, scraping up the browned fond on the bottom of the skillet.
6. Add the beef broth, Worcestershire and thyme. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits and bring to a boil.
7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the beef back to the pan and mix with the vegetables
8. Whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to the beef. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. 
9. Stir in the peas and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
10. Add half the filling to a prepared 9”x12” casserole dish.
11. Place the mashed potatoes in a large zipper or pipping bag. Cut a 1-inch opening in one corner of the bag and pipe the potatoes over the beef mixture. Smooth the potatoes to cover the beef. Drag the tines of a fork across the top to make decorative ridges in the potatoes.
12. Bake until the filling is bubbling, about 15 - 20 minutes. Turn the broiler on HIGH, prop the oven door open slightly and broil the casserole until the potatoes are golden brown and crusty, about 5 minutes. (Watch carefully so they don't burn!)

13. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

We all loved it as did the friends we took the first casserole to and this will be the go-to for cottage pie going forward.  Thanks Tricia for a delicious supper.

The azaleas are pretty well spent now but the Knock Out Roses are now providing lots of color.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


4/30/20 event date


  1. This sounds like a winner, Larry! I love the way Tricia decorated the mashed potatoes too.

  2. Larry, Ahhh, cottage pie! At my house when I was growing up, it was called Shepherd's Pie with a very similar recipe. The name stuck at our household because my stepfather was from Scotland, that's what the Scots call it and he introduced in to our family. It was a frequent dinner offering. Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. I adore that Japanese Maple behind the azaleas. I've never made a cottage pie, even though it's been on the list for years. Always looks so good. Happy Mother's Day to the Doolittle village.

  4. I love cottage pie--and this one has me drooling.


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