Cottage pie is such a comforting and delicious family meal. And this version is simple to prepare ahead and can be easily cooked from frozen! A sure family favourite!
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5 from 1 vote

Individual Cottage Pie with Cheddar and Thyme Mash

Cottage pie is such a comforting and delicious family meal. And this version is simple to prepare ahead and can be easily cooked from frozen! A sure family favourite! 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 6
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Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 1 can brown lentils
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 250 ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400 ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas

For the mash

  • 800 g potatoes
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 125 g strong cheddar
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Instructions

  • Peel and chop the onion and carrot.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over a medium heat. Then add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until they are starting to soften.
  • Crush in the garlic and stir.
  • Add the mince to the pan and use a spatula to break it apart. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the flour, thyme, tarragon and black pepper. Stir everything together and then add in the red wine.
  • Once the red wine is incorporated add the tomato paste, beef stock, bay leaf and the worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. 
  • Cook uncovered for about 40 minutes until everything is cooked well and the gravy has reduced to coat the meat. Whilst this is cooking prepare the mash.
  • Peel and roughly chop the potatoes.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, salt it well and then add in the potatoes. Cook them for 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain well then return them to the pan and mash them with the milk and butter.
  • Once mashed add in the grated cheddar and fresh thyme. Check the seasoning and adjust to taste.

To Assemble the dish.

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF
  • Stir the frozen peas through the meat mixture.
  • Divide the meat mixture between 6 large ramekins (or any small oven proof dishes).
  • Top with the mashed potato and bake for 20 minutes until golden on top.

Notes

TO FREEZE.
Assemble the pies and allow them to completely cool.
Cover them well with cling film and the freeze.
Defrost them in the fridge and cook as instructed.
Alternatively to cook from frozen, heat the oven to 180ºC, cover with foil and cook for 11/2 hrs until bubbling. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes to get a golden crust.
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