Comforting cottage pie

Comforting cottage pie

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Comforting cottage pie

An easy twist on a classic dish. James Martin gives his topping a bit of oomph with parsnips and a dash of horseradish.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 560g/1¼ lb beef mince
  • 400g/14oz can tomatoes
  • 290ml/10fl oz beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh thyme leaves from 1 sprig
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
  • 750g/1½ lb potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 225g/8oz parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp creamed horseradish
  • 75g/2½oz butter
  • 55ml/2fl oz milk

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

  2. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook over a medium heat for five minutes until soft.

  3. Add the minced beef and cook for three minutes to brown.

  4. Add the tomatoes, purée, beef stock, bay leaf and thyme.

  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Season.

  6. Meanwhile, to make the topping, boil the potatoes and parsnips in water until soft. Drain and mash with the butter and milk. Stir in the horseradish and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Spoon the meat into an ovenproof dish. Top with the mash and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Required techniques

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James Martin recipes from Housecall

Less than 30 mins preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4