This Irish Cottage Pie recipe is an easy and tasty comfort food meal everyone loves. This family favorite is made with ground beef (mince) and vegetables baked in a delicious gravy filling topped with pastry and baked until perfectly golden brown.
Love shepherd’s pie? Swap the beef for lamb and top with mashed potatoes.
What is the Difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie
The difference between Cottage Pie and Shepherd’s Pie is a variation of ingredients and geography.
Shepherd’s Pie is generally made with lamb and is widely known as an Irish dish. In fact, Irish Pubs all over Ireland serve this delicious, loved dish.
Cottage Pie, on the other hand, is most often made with beef and is topped with mashed potatoes. Sometimes, it serves both as a bottom layer and a top layer. It’s also known to be an English dish.
So… why is this recipe called Irish Cottage Pie?
That’s a great question!
The reason is that this dish is inspired by a recipe I found at The Irish Times newspaper. Their version contains “stewing steak” as they call it. I wanted to add some savory ingredients, additional vegetables and make it quicker by using ground beef.
With this title, Irish Cottage Pie, I’m taking some creative liberty and wanting to give credit to the original source too.
Irish Cottage Pie Ingredients
Meat: 1 pound of ground beef, I like to use lean.
Vegetables: onions, carrots, and one package of sliced mushrooms.
Pantry staples: flour, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
Other Ingredients: 1 sheet of store-bought puff pastry and an egg for a pastry wash.
How to Make this Irish Cottage Pie
With a large skillet, cook the onions and carrots until softened. Then add the ground beef and mushrooms. Brown the meat and mushrooms. Once there is no longer any pink, sprinkle the flour over the meat mixture and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
Then add the stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
While the meat filling is cooking, roll out the thawed sheet of puff pastry until it fits your baking dish and set aside.
Transfer the filling to the baking dish, and top with the puff pastry. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with a fork and brush over the pastry. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the puff pastry is nicely browned. Let cool slightly before serving.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- One package of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 carrots, diced small
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and thaw one sheet of puff pastry.
- Place the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and carrots; saute just until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and mushrooms; cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continue cooking for another minute, stirring constantly. Then add the tomato paste, stock, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, pepper, and thyme; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
- Meanwhile, roll out the thawed puff pastry until it fits the size of your baking dish. I like to trace my baking dish on the sheet of puff pastry so that it fits perfectly cutting it out using a sharp knife or pastry cutter.
- When the beef filling is cooked, transfer it to the baking dish. Top with the puff pastry, making sure it that it comes to the edges. The pastry will shrink slightly when baked. Whisk the egg slightly and brush over the pastry.
- Place the cottage pie on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the puff pastry is nicely browned. Let cool slightly before serving.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 295Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 272mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g