Winter has finally arrived in this part of Norway, cold days and even colder evenings.  Nothing beats the smell of comforting food after a brisk walk in this snowy weather, gathering around the table and digging in with a glass of red wine!

Essentially, there is only one difference between a Cottage Pie and Shepherd´s Pie and that being that a Cottage Pie is made with beef mince and a Shepherd´s Pie with lamb mince.  So, either way you can use the exact same ingredients and method and just swop the mince for either beef or lamb.  Both of these dishes freezes really well and you can bake it from frozen for about an hour, the same goes for any leftovers.

Don’t stress too much if you do not have carrots or celery, simply replace it with another diced vegetable or even frozen peas!  If you do not have Worcesterhire sauce, use balsamic vinegar instead.

The dish goes really well with a fresh Green Salad or even roasted root vegetables like parsnip, carrots and beetroot.

Bon appetite!

You’ll need

  • • For the mince filling
  • 1 x white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 x large carrot, finely diced
  • 1 x celery, finely diced
  • 50g x button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp x olive oil
  • 1 tsp x dried oregano
  • 1 tsp x dried thyme
  • 1 x bay leave
  • 1 cup x beef stock
  • 400g x minced beef
  • 410g x tin crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp x Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 x Tbsp tomato purée
  • 20g x all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp x sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • • For the potato crust
  • 800g x potatoes, peeled and diced into even chunks.
  • 50g x butter
  • 150g x Full cream milk
  • 30g x butter (optional)
  • 20g x grated parmesan cheese (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Then add the mushrooms, carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the mix has softened and the mushrooms has slightly browned.
  3. Turn up the heat and add your mince and cook, breaking it up until it has browned.
  4. Add the flour and mix in, followed by the beef stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs and bay leave.
  5. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. It is important that you bring this to the correct consistency. Whatever the thickness of the sauce is at this stage, is what it will be after you have baked it.
  7. Transfer the mix to 2lt capacity dish, cover and allow it to cool.
  8. Allowing the mix to cool will stop the potatoes to sink to the bottom and give you 2 separate layers. If you are in a rush, just pop it into the freezer whilst you are making the mashed potatoes.
  9. To make the potato crust topping, preheat your oven to 180°C.
  10. Drop your potatoes in a large pot and top with water and a couple of pinches of salt. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
  11. Drain and allow to steam dry for a couple of minutes.
  12. Place back into your pot (heat off), add the butter and mash.
  13. Add the milk and season well.
  14. Either spoon or pipe your mash over cold mince. If you’ve spooned it over, finish by running a fork lengthways for a smart look.
  15. At this stage you can scatter over the grated parmesan and dot with extra butter.
  16. Bake in you oven for about 30 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the edges.
  17. Let it stand for a few minutes before serving.

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