Cottage Pie with tips from Chef Gordon Ramsay

Damn this dish is delicious! I was planning to serve the leftovers tonight but there aren't any, the fam devoured it. Next time I will double the batch!  I used Chef Gordon Ramsay's recipe for shepherd's pie, simply switching out ground lamb for ground beef. I would love to hear from my friends across the pond, and if they have a family favorite recipes or tips, but for me this was the best cottage pie I have ever had. Scroll down to the bottom for the recipe.

Cottage Pie in Baking Dish

Ramsey offered several tips to make the perfect cottage pie. First grating the carrot and onion versus chopping them. Seasoning the mash with fresh rosemary and thyme. He highlights in the video "It's all about the mince."

Sauteed meat and grated vegetables in pan

Pouring in several "glugs" of red wine and adding splashes of Worcestershire sauce created a steamy sauce that filled the house with a "get in my belly" aroma. 

Sauteed meat and grated vegetables simmering in wine

The next tip was life changing. Use a potato press for the mashed potato topping. I had never used one before, and made a trip to Ikea to get one. Wow! The consistency of the mashed potatoes came out so light and fluffy. Here is a link to the Ikea potato press I purchased.

Mashed potato in pot

Also, mixing freshly grated parmesan cheese into the potatoes and sprinkling it on top of the mash was clutch. 

Uncooked cottage pie in serving dish on stovetop

Baked cottage pie in serving dish on stovetop

Spooning out portion of baked cottage pie from serving dish

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 4 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2.5 lbs Yukon golden potatoes 
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs beef
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Prep independently and set to the side
    • Crack eggs, separating yolks
    • Measure out cream
    • Measure out butter
    • Grate approximately 1 cup of parmesan cheese
    • Wash, peel, and slice potatoes evenly
  • Pour enough water in a pot to boil the potatoes, adding some salt. Place pot on stove and turn to high heat. 
  • While waiting for the water to boil, prep independently and set to the side:
    • Measure out red wine
    • Measure out beef stock
    • Measure out Worcestershire
    • Measure out tomato paste
    • Separate rosemary and thyme from the stems, chopping rosemary
    • Wash, peel, and grate the carrot and onion
    • Peel and grate the garlic cloves
  • Place large pan on medium to high heat. When pan is hot add ground beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Break beef into very small pieces with a large spoon, and cook until browned. 
    • Add the rosemary, and thyme to beef, and stir to mix.
    • Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir to mix.
    • Add the grated carrot, onion, and garlic to beef, and stir to mix.
    • Pour in the red wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated.
    • Add the beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in the boiling water until tender (approximately 15min).
  • Drain potatoes and return to the hot pan over low heat to dry out briefly. Put them through a potato press then beat in the egg yolks, cream and butter, followed by about 1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your preference.
  • Spoon the beef mixture into an oven proof dish.
  • Using a large spoon, layer that potato on top of the beef mixture. Fluff up the potato with a fork to create rough peaks. Top potato with remaining parmesan cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown.
Note: If using lamb to make shepherds pie, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to hot pan to brown the meat. Also use chicken stock instead of beef stock.


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