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Cottage Pie

A traditional cottage pie is made with ground beef and topped with mashed potatoes. We used potato slices, which saves time and looks good, too. For a shepherd's pie, use lamb. Or, try a turkey twist: Add 2 cups finely minced turkey meat along with the peas.

  • prep: 30 mins
    total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced medium
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup dark (porter) beer
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large russet potato (3/4 pound), very thinly sliced

Cook's Note

To store, let cool completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate, up to 3 days. Reheat, covered, in a 350 degree oven until warmed through.


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Add meat and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, 3 minutes. Add thyme and beer and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced, 2 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir to combine. Add 1 cup water and cook until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Top with potatoes, overlapping slices. Season potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until potatoes are browned around edges and tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Everyday Food, November 2010

Reviews (8)

  • 22 Oct, 2013

    This turned out really good. My husband loved drinking the left over beer. I increased the meat to 1 1/2 lb. added a bit more beer, paste and a small container of fresh sliced mushrooms. It just gave us enough for one meal. Next time I will double the recipe . It's a good recipe for a low carb diet .

  • 24 Jan, 2013

    This was absolutely delicious! Made the recipe exactly according to directions.

  • 24 May, 2011

    This recipe is beautiful and delicious. I made it for a new mom, and I was so impressed with the result I made it 2 days later for my family.

  • 31 Jan, 2011

    The beer really adds flavor to a traditional recipe. I make it with either thinly sliced potatoes or mashed and cover for the last 5 minutes of baking. Feel free to add mushrooms and double recipe to serve six. It really barely is enough for three because it is very good and everyone will want just a little more until it is gone.

  • 9 Jan, 2011

    Really, really easy and tasty! I used ground turkey and added sliced portabellos, turnips and used red wine because I didn't have beer. Great Sunday night winter dinner!

  • 30 Dec, 2010

    We love this and now add it to our monthly regulars. We use the mashed potatoes instead and have been using Pyramid's Snow Cap seasonal ale in it (because that is what hubby bought). I'm interested to try it with the porter beer.

  • 28 Nov, 2010

    Very good recipe, loved the potatoes sliced rather than mashed, didn't quite serve 4 (only seconds for 3 :-( ) We thought doubling the meat and vegies under the same amount of potatoes would do the trick.

  • 28 Nov, 2010

    Good recipe I just used Shiner beer and it was great. Although I enjoyed the potatoes on top sliced. The husband thinks it would be better with the mashed potatoes.