Cottage Pie

by Mary Sacks

Cottage Pie

A British pub staple made with ground beef. Ground turkey will work and a great excuse for making more mashed potatoes then you needed for dinner the night before. Falls into the “planned” leftover category. Change the ground beef to lamb and the seasoning to rosemary and thyme and you will have created a classic Shepard’s Pie.


  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 tsp. RBC Beef Base
  • cooking spray for sautéing
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup small diced carrot
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 5-6 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • shredded cheese (cheddar)


  • Make RBC Beef Broth using 1½ cups of water and 2 tsp. of RBC Beef Base. Heat in small pot until dissolved. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high. Sauté ground beef 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Drain in colander.
  • Return skillet to stove top. Sauté onions until lightly browned. Add carrots, peas, and corn. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add cooked beef to vegetables. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir in until well blended.
  • Add garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and tomato paste. Mix well.
  • Add prepared RBC Beef Broth. Stir and cook 4-5 minutes over low to medium heat.
  • Adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Place mixture in a casserole (I used a casserole size of 8-inch x 8-inch x by 2-inch deep) and add mashed potatoes and cheese to top. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes.

Food for Thought

  • Potatoes. One cup of mashed potatoes weighs about 12 oz. (For this recipe you will need about 3 lbs. of potatoes if you don’t have leftovers.
  • Cinnamon. If you search recipes for this dish you will see that there have been changes to the classic. Cinnamon (the original recipe) makes this dish too sweet for my taste. I prefer more savory. I have seen people really have fun with many seasoning mixes. I’ve heard of friends switching out the seasoning so the ground beef tastes like a taco or a Moroccan seasoning. If you want your dish sweeter, but still don’t care for the cinnamon, just increase the amount of carrot.
  • RBC Beef Broth. The advantage of using a professional Base. In this case, “I only need this much liquid, but I want it to taste beefier.”
  • RBC Vegetable Base. This base is a workhorse in the kitchen. You will get to the point where you are going to adjust for salt and pepper and say to yourself, “why more salt? If I’m going to do that, I might as well sprinkle in a teaspoon of RBC Vegetable Base and get some flavor along with it.”
  • Onions. I’ve seen many cottage pie recipes that just toss everything in the pot. Stir it up, cook it for a few minutes and you’re done. Saute onions first. This will lead to a caramelization.
  • Caramelized Onions. During the caramelization time, the larger sugar molecules in onions are broken down into smaller, simple sugar molecules. This is why caramelized onions have a sweeter taste than their raw counterparts.


  • 6 to 8

Mary Sacks
Mary Sacks


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