(All images in this post are copyright Brianne Collins)

Cottage Pie – Fresh from the Collins Kitchen!

If you are looking for an easy, filling, and all-around delicious casserole, this is it! This recipe uses simple ingredients, that most households have on hand and/or should be easy to find. Most people refer to this as ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ but that recipe actually calls for lamb, which I am not a fan of. So this alternatively is called Cottage Pie with the beef.

I have made Cottage Pie recipes from books and other resources, but I found that I didn’t always have specific ingredients. In some instances I couldn’t even find some of them at my local grocery store. So I modified my own Cottage Pie recipe!

It has a good flavor and even my picky toddler ate it up and asked for more!

Set aside about 2 hours for prep and cooking. I used my cast iron skillet for the full recipe, but you can use a regular skillet for the first part of the recipe before transferring to a baking dish.

Let’s get to the recipe!:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (I used 97% lean)
  • 2 cloves of garlic-chopped/minced
  • 1 small yellow onion-chopped
  • 3 large carrots or 1/3 bag of baby carrots-chopped
  • 2 celery stalks-chopped
  • 3 C. beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 lbs. yukon gold potatoes-cubed
  • 1/2 C. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg


First off, brown your beef in a skillet. If using lean beef, I just leave in the little bit of grease. (If using fattier meat, I drain the grease into an empty can or jar until it cools-then dispose.) Then add the chopped up garlic, onion, carrots and celery and cook for 5 min. I did this all on Medium heat. (5-6 on my range) Add in the broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves and let simmer on a lower setting, until most of the liquid is gone.

In the meantime, set the oven to 350. And boil your cubed potatoes in a pot of water. It took my potatoes about 15-20 minutes to soften. Just poke with a fork to determine when they’re ready. Drain the water, then mash the potatoes. Add in your milk, butter and nutmeg, mix well.

Once the liquid has simmered down in your meat and veggie mixture, turn off the burner, remove the bay leaves, and if using a cast iron pan, top the mix with the mashed potatoes. If using a baking dish, transfer the meat and veg to the baking dish, then top with the mashed potatoes.


Put in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes start to crust and turn darker yellow.

Transfer to your plates or bowls and allow to cool a few minutes before serving! I did not add any salt and it had a great taste without it from the broth. My daughter was all about this Cottage Pie, and even ate the beef. She doesn’t usually care for meat. I will definitely be making this more often in my household!

Let me know if you try this, and how it turns out!!