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Mary Berry Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage pie is a classic comfort food that has been warming hearts and homes for generations.

One of the most beloved versions of this dish comes from none other than Mary Berry, the renowned British cook, author, and television personality.

With her unique flair and talent for creating mouth-watering recipes, Mary Berry’s cottage pie stands out as an exceptional take on this traditional favorite.

The key to success when preparing this cottage pie lies in the combination of savory beef mince, rich tomato purée, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce.

Topped with a layer of creamy mashed potatoes, it’s a dish that can make any mealtime feel like a special occasion.

By following Mary Berry’s cottage pie recipe, you will be able to create a comforting dinner your family will rave about.

Not only is this dish perfect for a cozy family meal, but it can also impress guests at your next dinner party.

The easy-to-follow recipe ensures a delightful result, and you can adapt it to suit your preferences, leaving you with a perfect Mary Berry cottage pie experience.

So, gather your ingredients, and let’s get started on this delicious culinary journey.

How to Make Mary Berry Cottage Pie

Ingredients List

For this classic Mary Berry Cottage Pie recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 900g/2lb beef mince
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, diced
  • 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  • 250ml/9fl oz beef stock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 250g/9oz brown chestnut mushrooms
  • Tomato puree or tomato paste
  • Floury potatoes (for potato topping)
  • Butter and milk (for potato topping)
  • Cheese (optional for potato topping)

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Preparation: Begin by preparing your ingredients: chop the onions, dice the celery, and slice the mushrooms.

Wash and peel the floury potatoes, and set aside for the potato topping.

Cook the beef: In a large pan, heat the tbsp of oil over medium heat.

Add the beef mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Cook until the meat is browned and the liquid released by the meat has evaporated.

Step 2

Add the veggies: Add the chopped onions and diced celery to the pan with the cooked meat.

Stir and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables soften.

Mix the flour and beef stock: In a separate bowl or jug, mix the plain flour with beef stock to make a thick, smooth paste.

This will help thicken the sauce for your comforting dish.

Step 3

Create the sauce: Pour the flour and beef stock mixture into the pan with the cooked meat and veggies.

Add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce, according to your taste, and stir in the tomato puree or tomato paste.

Add the mushrooms: Add the sliced brown chestnut mushrooms to the pan, stirring them into the beef mixture.

Cook for an additional 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.

Step 4

Preheat the oven: While the beef mixture is cooking, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

Prepare the potato topping: Boil the floury potatoes until fork-tender, then drain and return them to the pan.

Mash the potatoes with butter and milk until smooth and lump-free. If desired, stir in cheese until it melts.

Assemble the cottage pie: Spoon the cooked beef mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish.

Spread the mashed potato topping evenly over the beef, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon or a fork for a decorative finish.

Step 5

Bake: Place the prepared cottage pie in the preheated oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes, or until the potato topping is golden brown and the beef mixture is bubbling.

Once your Mary Berry Cottage Pie is cooked, enjoy this comforting dish as part of a cozy meal with family and friends.

Side Dishes for Mary Berry Cottage Pie

When enjoying a delicious Mary Berry Cottage Pie, side dishes can elevate your meal to the next level.

Whether you’re hosting a collaborative dinner, having a couple over, or sharing dinner with your husband, these dishes are perfect complements to the main course.

Irish Soda Bread

This traditional bread is both tasty and easy to make.

Its dense texture pairs wonderfully with the hearty filling of the cottage pie, and it’s great for soaking up any leftover gravy.

Plus, it adds an authentic touch to your meal.

Baked Beans

Add a touch of sweetness and tang with a side of baked beans.

Their rich tomato-based sauce complements the savory flavors of the cottage pie and creates a well-rounded meal that’s sure to please.

Yorkshire Pudding

A classic British side, Yorkshire pudding is a delicious, fluffy accompaniment that goes exceptionally well with your cottage pie.

It’s a fantastic option if you want to stick with traditional British dishes.

Enjoy your delicious dinner!

Ingredients Substitutes

Plain Flour Substitute

You can use cornstarch or arrowroot powder as a substitute for plain flour.

These options give you a similar thickening effect as plain flour without altering the taste or texture of the dish.

Use half the amount of cornstarch or arrowroot powder compared to the plain flour called for in the recipe.

Ground Beef Substitute

For a vegetarian or healthier option, consider using ground turkey, ground chicken, or a plant-based ground meat substitute like textured vegetable protein or lentils.

These alternatives can maintain the dish’s structure while offering a different taste profile.

It’s always best to work with the original ingredients if possible, but you can still create a delicious Mary Berry Cottage Pie by using these alternatives when necessary.

How to Store Mary Berry Cottage Pie

Storing your delicious cottage pie properly is crucial to maintaining its taste and quality.

Here are some guidelines on storing Mary Berry’s Cottage Pie.

Freezing the Cottage Pie

If you know you won’t be eating the entire pie within a few days, it’s best to freeze portions for later use.

Allow the pie to cool completely, then divide it into serving-sized portions.

Wrap each portion in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.

Label and date the container, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen pie, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating and serving.

Refrigerating the Cottage Pie

If you plan on eating the remaining pie within the next few days, simply cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Make sure to keep the dish on a lower shelf in the fridge to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.

When it’s time to serve, reheat the pie either in the oven or the microwave until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

By following these storage methods, you can enjoy your Mary Berry Cottage Pie for days after preparation.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Choosing the Incorrect Baking Dish

One common mistake in preparing Mary Berry’s cottage pie is choosing the wrong ovenproof dish.

Make sure you use the correct ovenproof dish with a 2.4-liter capacity, as mentioned in her recipe.

This will ensure the perfect balance between the beef mince filling and the potato layer.

Overcrowding the Pan

When browning the beef mince, do not attempt to cook it all at once.

This could make it difficult for the meat to brown evenly.

Instead, cook the mince in batches, using a slotted spoon to remove each batch as it is ready.

This will give the meat enough space to cook and develop a flavorful crust.

Incorrectly Preparing the Filling

The key to a delicious filling is a smoothly thickened sauce.

Be careful not to overlook this crucial step.

When adding the flour, ensure you mix it thoroughly to create a smooth paste that will blend seamlessly with the beef and vegetables.

This will prevent any lumps from forming and ensure a silky texture.

Over-boiling the Potatoes

Pay close attention when boiling the potatoes for your pie’s topping.

Overcooked potatoes will lose their shape and texture, making them difficult to spread evenly over the filling.

Boil potatoes until they are fork-tender but still firm enough to hold their shape when mashed and layered on top of the beef mixture.

By avoiding these common mistakes while preparing Mary Berry’s cottage pie, you’ll increase your chances of achieving a delicious and comforting meal that you, your family, and your friends can all enjoy.

mary berry cottage pie recipe

Mary Berry Cottage Pie Recipe

Cottage pie is a classic comfort food that has been warming hearts and homes for generations.
One of the most beloved versions of this dish comes from none other than Mary Berry, the renowned British cook, author, and television personality.
With her unique flair and talent for creating mouth-watering recipes, Mary Berry's cottage pie stands out as an exceptional take on this traditional favorite.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Equipment
  • 1 Large pan
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 Separate bowl
  • 1 shallow ovenproof dish.
Ingredients
  
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 900 g beef mince 2lb
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 4 sticks celery diced
  • 50 g plain flour 1¾oz
  • 250 ml beef stock 9fl oz
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 250 g brown chestnut mushrooms 9oz
  • Tomato puree or tomato paste
  • Floury potatoes for potato topping
  • Butter and milk for potato topping
  • Cheese optional for potato topping
Instructions
 
  • Preparation: Begin by preparing your ingredients: chop the onions, dice the celery, and slice the mushrooms.
    Wash and peel the floury potatoes, and set aside for the potato topping.
    Cook the beef: In a large pan, heat the tbsp of oil over medium heat.
    Add the beef mince, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
    Cook until the meat is browned and the liquid released by the meat has evaporated.
  • Add the veggies: Add the chopped onions and diced celery to the pan with the cooked meat.
    Stir and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables soften.
    Mix the flour and beef stock: In a separate bowl or jug, mix the plain flour with beef stock to make a thick, smooth paste.
    This will help thicken the sauce for your comforting dish.
  • Create the sauce: Pour the flour and beef stock mixture into the pan with the cooked meat and veggies.
    Add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce, according to your taste, and stir in the tomato puree or tomato paste.
    Add the mushrooms: Add the sliced brown chestnut mushrooms to the pan, stirring them into the beef mixture.
    Cook for an additional 10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
  • Preheat the oven: While the beef mixture is cooking, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
    Prepare the potato topping: Boil the floury potatoes until fork-tender, then drain and return them to the pan.
    Mash the potatoes with butter and milk until smooth and lump-free.
    If desired, stir in cheese until it melts.
    Assemble the cottage pie: Spoon the cooked beef mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish.
    Spread the mashed potato topping evenly over the beef, smoothing it out with the back of a spoon or a fork for a decorative finish. 
  • Bake: Place the prepared cottage pie in the preheated oven and bake for around 30-40 minutes, or until the potato topping is golden brown and the beef mixture is bubbling.
    Once your Mary Berry Cottage Pie is cooked, enjoy this comforting dish as part of a cozy meal with family and friends.

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