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Cottage Pie with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

This simple cottage pie with cheddar mashed potatoes makes a great weeknight meal! It's simply seasoned ground beef with carrots, peas and onions, topped with fluffy, cheesy potatoes.

This simple cottage pie with cheddar mashed potatoes makes a great weeknight meal! Simply top seasoned ground beef with fluffy, cheesy potatoes and enjoy.  

In honor of my Irish husband and half Irish kids and alllll the Irish in my own melting-pot American background, I made it the way you should, which is to say it was made with Kerrygold butter and Dubliner cheddar cheese. I highly recommend you get your hands on either of these fine examples of Irish culinary prowess, but if you’re not able to, any old butter and a good sharp cheddar will work just fine.

Wikipedia tells me that old school cottage pie and shepherd’s pie was usually made with a layer of pie crust underneath, and the filling was made with shredded beef or lamb instead of ground meat; usually, the filling was the remnants of a roast dinner.

But this is Percolate, and we keep things simple around here, and I’m certainly not making you roll out pie crust if you don’t have to. This Cottage Pie is made with no bottom layer, and is simply seasoned ground beef with carrots, onions and peas, topped with those bangin’ cheesy mashed potatoes.

It clocks in at just under 30 minutes cook time and is perfect for a weeknight meal. It’s also crazy forgiving if parts of it are made in advance; you can boil the potatoes or make the meat filling one night, and assemble the dish another. It also freezes beautifully; I made a couple individual servings of this pie when I was pregnant with my daughter and it was a lifesaver during those hazy newborn days. You might not have time to shower but you have time to defrost a cottage pie!

If you’re looking for an easy accompaniment to your cottage pie, check out the recipe for this fabulous Irish soda bread

Cottage Pie with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
  • ½ cup frozen or fresh shelled peas
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until they break apart easily with a fork.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and carrots have softened. Add the peas and stir to combine.
  3. Add the ground beef to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally to crumble, until the beef has browned.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350*F.
  5. Add the Worcestershire sauce, powdered mustard, garlic and salt. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper as necessary.
  6. When the potatoes have cooked, drain the water. Add the butter and milk to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
  7. Spoon the beef mixture into a 1 ½ QT baking dish, then evenly spread the potatoes on top.
  8. Place in the oven and bake, 20 minutes or until the top of the mashed potatoes have browned. Remove and serve hot.
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