Casserole, Meat

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Cottage Pie
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
One of the greatest comfort foods of all time! A ground beef (mince) filling in a tasty gravy, topped with mashed potato. Make it a Shepherd's Pie simply by swapping the beef for lamb. This is my most used classic recipe - see notes for optional extras.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped*
  • 1 rib celery finely chopped*
  • 1.5 lb lb ground beef mince
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef stock / broth 500 ml
  • 1/2 cup red wine optional - can omit
  • 1 beef bouillon cube crumbled
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2.5 lbs potatoes peeled and cut into 2.5cm / 1" cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Nutmeg optional
  • Olive oil
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Then add carrots and celery. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened and sweet.
  2. Turn heat up to high. Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until browned.
  3. Add flour and mix in, then add tomato paste and mix in.
  4. Add beef stock, red wine, beef bouillon cube, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to simmer, then turn down heat so it is simmering rapidly - I have it on medium high. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reduces down to a gravy consistency (Note 1) (see video).
  5. Transfer to 6 cup pie dish (1.5 litre / quart). Cover, then refrigerate to cool for 1 - 2 hours or overnight. (Note 2)
Assemble Pie
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain then return to pot on turned off stove. Shake briefly and allow to steam dry for 30 seconds or so (Note 3).
  3. Add butter and mash until melted, then add milk and salt (+ optional nutmeg). Mash until smooth.
  4. Spread onto pie, use a fork to rough up the surface (rougher surface = more golden bits), drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the edges. Stick a knife into the middle to ensure it is piping hot.
  6. Stand for 5 minutes before serving, garnished with fresh thyme leaves if desired.
Recipe Notes

* Carrots and celery are used to make a truly great mirepoix / soffrritto flavour base for this pie. However, they can be omitted, but add 1 tsp of sugar instead.

1. Whatever the thickness of the sauce when you pour it into the tin, that's what it will be once baked - no steam escapes while baking to allow it to reduce any further. So keep cooking until it's the consistency you want.

2. Cooling the filling ensures that the potato doesn't sink into the filling. If you are in a rush - as I often am - pop it in the freezer while you make the potato. That works pretty well.

3. Watery potatoes drops excess liquid while baking into the filling which makes the sauce watery. So don't skip the step of steam drying the potatoes!

Also, make sure the mash is hot when spreading onto the pie. Cold mash is hard and so it is harder to dollop / spread onto the pie.

4. Variations: If I'm making this for company or am on a calorie-blow-out mission, I add a big handful of cheese into the potato and also top with more cheese before baking. It doesn't need it, it's a bonus. 🙂

For the filling, sometimes I add peas, or I reduce the amount of beef and add chopped veggies like zucchini.

5. Make ahead instructions: Assemble pie but don't bake it. Cool mashed potato topping then either refrigerate or freeze. Thaw if frozen (it will take way too long to bake from frozen) then bake as per recipe.


Dec 2017


Beef and cabbage casserole with tomatoes
Cook Time
45 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
  • 1-1.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head cabbage about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  • 3/4 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, cook ground beef, chopped onion, and chopped green pepper until meat is no longer pink; drain off fat. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and garlic powder. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Cut cabbage into 6 wedges. Cook cabbage in a small amount of boiling salted water, covered, for about 10 minutes and drain well. Arrange cabbage wedges in a lightly buttered 9-inch square baking dish. Pour ground beef mixture over and around the cabbage wedges. Bake cabbage casserole, uncovered, at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over cabbage casserole and bake about 5 minutes longer.
Recipe Notes

August 2009



Cabbage And Beef Casserole
Cook Time
10 hrs
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 head cabbage shredded
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 can (16 oz size) tomatoes
  • broth or tomato juice to cover bottom of pot
  • garlic salt
  • thyme
  • red pepper
  • oregano
  1. Brown ground beef and drain. Shred cabbage and chop onion. Put in broth or other liquid to cover bottom of pot. Layer cabbage, onion, spices, meat, and garlic salt. Repeat layers ending with beef. Top with tomatoes, undrained and a dusting of oregano.
  2. Cook on high for 1 hour. Stir all together. Cook on low heat until ready to eat, 8-10 hours.


Cheesy Hamburger and Potato Casserole
Servings: 6
  • 1 lb ground venison or 1 lb beef
  • 3 cups potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • salt and pepper
  1. Brown ground beef or venison and drain.

  2. In medium bowl combine soup, onion, milk, and salt and pepper.

  3. In a 2 quart baking dish (11x7) alternately layer the potatoes, soup mixture, meat and cheese.

  4. Repeat layers, ending with cheese on top.

  5. Bake covered, at 350° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until potatoes are tender.


Ground Beef & Potato Casserole
Course: Beef, Main Course
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 med. potatoes pared & sliced thin
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 med. onion sliced thin
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup undiluted
  • 1 can vegetable soup undiluted
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef; drain fat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cream of mushroom soup, onion, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Alternately layer the potatoes, soup mixture and meat in a 11x7 inch (2 quarbaking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until potatoes are tender. Top with Cheddar cheese, and continue baking until cheese is melted.
Recipe Notes

October 2009



Turkey & Wild Rice Casserole
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 c half and half
  • Chicken broth added to liquid from mushrooms to make 1 1/2 c.
  • 3 c cooked turkey cut up
  • 1 c uncooked wild rice
  • 2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c slivered almonds
  1. Cook and stir onions in butter over low heat - do not brown.
  2. Blend in flour.
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is bubbly.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in broth, mushroom liquid, and half and half.
  6. Heat to boiling, stir constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  7. Add mushrooms, turkey, rice, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  8. Pour into 2 quart casserole.
  9. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  10. Uncover, sprinkle with almonds.
  11. Bake 15 minutes longer.
Recipe Notes

This can be frozen before baking.