Cottage Pie
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 5
Never throw out leftover mashed potatoes!
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped carrot
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped mushroom
  • 1½ pound ground beef
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or dried)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 8 tablespoons water (or use low sodium beef broth)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • gruyère cheese (optional)
  1. Remove your leftover mashed potatoes from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the carrot, onion, and mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add the ground beef to the skillet and mix the vegetables and beef together gently while browning the meat. Using your spatula, continually break the beef into smaller bits. When the beef is almost completely cooked, add the garlic and the thyme and allow them to cook briefly with the meat. Then add the tomato paste and the Worcestershire sauce and stir them completely into the meat. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and mix it in. Add the water to the skillet and allow the meat to simmer for a few moments until it is slightly thickened. This is not intended to be soupy.
  3. Remove the beef from the heat and taste it. Add salt and pepper accordingly. I use about 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt (if you have only table salt, start with ½ teaspoon and work your way up from there. This is how the meat will taste in the final dish, so this is your opportunity to season it. Consider whether your potatoes are particularly salty as you go.
  4. Place the meat into a casserole dish. I used an 8 inch round soufflé dish. Scoop the leftover mashed potatoes on top of the beef and spread it out gently with the bottom side of the spoon. You want about a 2 inch top of mashed potatoes. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and grate a bit of gruyère cheese on top of the mashed potatoes. Let the casserole sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe by kelly yandell at