Cottage Pie

A family classic in our house, we grew up with this on high rotation. However, it had to be called “shephard’s pie” as my brother wouldn’t eat “cottage” pie – little did he know they were exactly the same! However, mum’s version had half a bottle of chutney in it, which is actually more than 50% sugar! So I’ve come up with a version that uses grated fruit instead, and it honestly tastes exactly the same. Even my brother couldn’t tell the difference.

This is a great winter dish for the whole family that you can make ahead of time and freeze if necessary or keep in the fridge overnight. I always found that mince was a hard thing to introduce to my little one (even at 10 months old!) and I think it was because of the texture. So, the trick is to put the mince sauce through the food processor. But don’t worry! It’s still totally edible for the whole family – the texture doesn’t change too drastically.

If you can’t find crushed and sieved tomatoes, just use chopped tomatoes. I find the crushed are a little thicker so they’re better for things like cottage pie and spaghetti bolognese, but it’s not a biggie if you don’t have them.

cottage pie 2

This will make enough for four large ramekins which is handy if you’re making this just for your little one – then you can defrost one portion when you’re ready. Or you can assemble this in a single baking dish. If it was me? I’d double the recipe and make one big family meal that will do two nights.


  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • 500gm beef mince
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 60gm frozen mango (about 8 cubes)
  • 1 medium red apple
  • ½ can crushed and sieved tomatoes (200gm)
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 25gm butter
  • 2 tbsp cream


  • Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and saute over a medium heat until soft. Add in the mince and break it up as it cooks.
  • Once the mince is browned, add in the paprika, Worcestershire sauce and the grated mango and apple.
  • Add in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. You’ll then need to put the sauce through the food processor.
  • While the sauce is thickening, if your potatoes are ready, drain them and mash with the cream and butter until creamy and soft. Keep adding butter and cream until you’re satisfied you’ve got a smooth potato mash – you’ll need lots of grunt here!
  • Either divide the mince across four greased ramekins or use one baking dish. Then top with the potatoes. Freeze at this point.
  • When ready to bake, put a few blobs of butter over the potato to help with browning in the oven at 180c until warmed through and brown on top (everything is cooked already, this is simply to crisp up the potato topping).



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