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Cottage Pie with Mashed Potato Crust

Cottage Pie with Mashed Potato Crust
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Comfort Food that brings back memories of home.

The brown bits that you see atop the layer of mashed potatoes are fried onions that I’d used to top the original dish. They added a nice little crunch to this dish too.

When I was growing up, this dish passed for Shepherd’s pie at our house.  It usually involved the leftover Sunday Roast and any mashed potatoes that managed to survive our wonderful Sunday family dinners. But if you want to create a controversy, using beef in Shepherd’s Pie really sets people off.  Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional British dish made with minced lamb.  But when the dish crossed the Atlantic where lamb was expensive and beef was not, most recipes give you the option of using one or the other. The bones of this recipe came from one Martha Stewart published calling it “Cottage Pie” so that’s what it’s called here.

The best use of leftover Roast Beef and Mashed Potatoes we can think of.

This is pure comfort food.  A savory beef mixture is topped with mashed potatoes. You can make this dish from scratch.  The recipe gives the instructions for doing just that.  However, after Thanksgiving this year, I had an enormous dish filled with mashed potatoes.  It didn’t take much imagination to apply them to this recipe. In fact, it was the reason I chose to cook it. Christmas dinner seems like another occasion in which you may find yourself with a surfeit of mash.  You can press the leftovers into service here.  As to the beef, I used a pound of ground chuck.  But if you’ve cooked Roast Beef for the holidays and have a pound of leftovers, use that. Simply cut the roast into ½ inch cubes and proceed.  This is a very forgiving recipe. Use more beef if you have it.  And per your personal taste, you might want to up the amount of Worcestershire sauce and instead of water, add a cup of red wine.  Here’s the recipe. And after it, a couple of other posts featuring leftovers.

Cottage Pie with Mashed Potato Crust

January 6, 2020
: 6
: 30 min
: 20 min
: 1 hr
: Easy

A great way to use leftover mashed potatoes and roast beef. A perfect comfort food.


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced large
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Cup Red Wine or water
  • Step 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Step 2 (If using leftover mashed potatoes, skip this step and move on to step 4.)
  • Step 3 In a pot of salted water bring potatoes and 3 cloves garlic to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Using a masher, mash vegetables until mostly smooth. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 4 Finely chop the remaining 2 cloves garlic. Set aside.
  • Step 5 In a large skillet over high, melt remaining tablespoon butter. Add beef and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove meat from pan, leaving drippings. Reduce heat to medium-high, add onion, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add chopped garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Return meat and collected juices to pan and stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 6 Transfer meat mixture to a 9-inch square baking dish. Dollop mashed vegetables over meat and spread to edges of the baking dish. Bake until juices are bubbling and topping is golden brown in spots, about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.


Two Clarks and Porchetta for Days: An unforgettable Pork Roast and a Cannellini Vegetable Soup from the leftovers.

Fresh from my Cheese Journey: Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

Got Turkey? This Turkey Tetrazzini is so good, you might want to roast another bird




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