Recipe: Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

As the weather gets colder, the food gets heartier to get us through those winter nights. Cottage pie is synonymous with ultimate comfort. Crispy topped smooth mashes potato, enriched with plenty of butter and cheese, beneath which sits the most flavoursome mixture of beef, stock, onion, tomato and the ingredient which holds the key to depth of flavour – tangy Worcestershire sauce. Seasoning and patience are the key to this dish; you want a glossy, thick sauce to unify all the colourful ingredients. Guinness is added to this recipe for extra depth and a slightly bitter kick to play against the sweet caramelised onion and veg.


For the meat filling:

2 tbsp olive oil

900g lean minced beef

salt and black pepper

3 medium onions, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely diced

1 cup frozen peas

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

3-4 thyme sprigs, leaves only

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp tomato purée

1-1/3 cup bottled Guinness

5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1-1/4 cup beef or chicken stock

For the potato topping:

1 kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and roughly cubed

generous knob of butter

handful finely grated cheddar + Parmesan mix, plus extra for grating

1 large egg yolk


– place a large frying pan over high heat and add a thin layer of olive oil

– season mince meat with salt and pepper and fry until nicely browned, stirring constantly to break up the mince

– once cooked, transfer meat into a sieve or colander to drain the excess fat

*you will need to brown the meat in batches

– place another large pan over medium-high heat and add a little olive oil

– fry the onion, carrot garlic and thyme for 8-10 minutes, until soft and golden

– add browned mince, peas, tomatoes and tomato purée, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly

– add the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce, then boil until liquid has reduced by half

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

– add the stock and return to the boil, then turn down heat dand simmer for 20-25 minutes, until mixture is thickened and glossy by which time the mixture should be thick and glossy – if after 25 mins you do not have the correct consistency, simmer for a further 5-10 minutes

(preheat oven to 180*c and place a large pie dish onto a baking sheet)

– add the potatoes to a pan of salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender (around 20 minutes)

– drain potatoes, then return to pan and mash with butter, cheese and egg yolk – you can then pass the mash through a potato ricer or Mouli if you want a smooth texture

– season mash to taste

– spoon the mince mixture into the bottom of your pie dish, then top with the mashed potato using a fork to pattern the surface – this will give you a nice crunchy, golden top

– sprinkle over a little more cheese then bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown on top

*Serves 6

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

Ultimate Cottage Pie with Guinness

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