Rich and hearty cottage pie is a thing of beauty for most of us. Deep rich red wine gravy, tender beef, sauteed carrots, onion and garlic all snuggled under a fluffy blanket of mashed potatoes baked to golden crispy perfection. These are the days! ♡
Okay. Slow cooker week is shaping up to be all of my dinner dreams come true and this may be the peak for me. Although, we have 3 more days to go, so... who knows! Let's just have a quick chat about this cottage pie and why you should make it.
Reasons to make slow cooker cottage pie
It's Freezer friendly.
Makes enough for leftovers that actually get better the next day.
Slow Cooker Cottage Pie
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- Minced beef- Obviously this is the traditional choice, but you can use minced turkey, pork or lamb in place of the beef.
- Beef stock, wine, tomato puree- All elements for making the gravy that the beef cooks in.
- Mushrooms, carrots, onion & garlic- They help bring out the richness of the beef add flavour to the pie.
- Potatoes- For making fluffy mash for topping the pie.
- Butter, milk & Greek yoghurt- For making the mash fluffy, buttery and full of flavour. You can just use butter and milk for this, but I love the freshness that Greek yoghurt brings.
- Frozen peas- I always put a few handfuls of frozen peas in my cottage pie, but you can skip it if you want to.
Step by step how to
- Step 1 - Start by browning the beef very well. If you have a slow cooker with a bowl that can go directly on the hob, then you can do it all in one and you can skip the skillet. I have an induction hob, so need to use a skillet. As with a good bolognese, you want to get the mince as dark as possible without it burning. It's fine if it gets crispy because we're going to soften it up by slow cooking it in a gorgeous and rich beef red wine gravy.
- Step 2- Soften the onions and garlic and scrape up any little bits of beef in the bottom of the pan or slow cooker bowl. Add in the chopped mushrooms and carrots and continue to cook until the mushrooms are turning golden. About 5 minutes.
Step 3 & 4- Place everything from the pan into the slow cooker, or if you've sauteed everything in the slow cooker add in the tomato puree, flour, red wine and beef stock.
Step 5 & 6- Cook the cottage pie filling on high for 3 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking time, add in the handful of frozen peas.
Step 7 & 8- Once the filling is cooked, have a taste and check for seasoning. Add in anything you think it may need. Extra salt, pepper or thyme. Maybe a splash of water, if your gravy is really thick. While the beef is in the slow cooker make the mashed potato.
Browning the potatoes
- Step 9 & 10- Scoop the filling into an ovenproof skillet or pie dish and spoon the mashed potato on top. For extra crispy potatoes, drag a fork across the top of the potatoes and top with some extra butter. Place under the grill for about 10 minutes so the potatoes turn golden and the tips of the potato mountains are crispy.
- A lot of recipes tell you to cool the filling first before you top with the potatoes so that they don't sink. However, I always top with mash while the filling is still hot and this has never happened to me. The trick is a THICCCC filling that holds the potatoes up. Besides, we don't have time to cool the filling. Unless, of course, you're making it for the freezer.
You will truly know culinary satisfaction and achievement when you pull this out of the oven and that brown gravy is gently bubbling up around that golden mashed potato lid. And you will know, that true love really does exist!
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Tools used to make this Slow Cooker Cottage PiePrint
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THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING AND COOKING ALONG WITH ME! IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE OR HAVE A QUESTION, I’D LOVE IT IF YOU LEFT A COMMENT AND A RATING. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST, FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM TO SEE WHAT WE’RE EATING, PINNING AND A LITTLE BEHIND THE SCENES TOO!