A classic Irish dish, this skillet cottage pie is easy to make and incredibly good for you.
When I’m in the mood for a warming, savory meal, cottage pie is the perfect treat. Not only is it simple to prepare, but it’s very inexpensive to make and makes plenty of leftovers. This skillet cottage pie recipe is a slightly quicker more convenient way to make a family classic as it uses fewer dishes, which means less cleanup and more time for eating.
Cottage pie and Sheppard’s pie are very similar in nature. Both coming from England, cottage pie is typically made with ground beef, whereas Sheppard’s pie is mostly made with ground lamb or mutton. In North America, we typically refer to this recipe as Sheppard’s pie, but I think the rustic nature of this particular dish really calls for the name Skillet Cottage Pie.
The reason this dish makes my approved list of recipes is that it is made with 100% real food. I think stick-to-your-ribs dishes like Sheppard’s pie, roasts, and stews, have gotten a bad reputation in North America, but when you break it all down it doesn’t really make any sense. These dishes are made with whole foods that are local to the land, so suggesting they are unhealthy seems rather foolish to me. For instance, potatoes are a wonderful whole food that should be celebrated so much more than they are feared. As one of my clients said to me; “Potatoes come out of the ground, how can they be bad for you?”, and she is oh-so-correct. My goal with my work is to reconnect people with their food, teach them where their food comes from, and help them learn to love real food. It shocks me to think that many people have no problem eating a refined sugar and oil-loaded granola bar, but are afraid of something as simple and natural a potato. It is time that people take a step back and look at the big picture, think about where their food actually comes from and how it got to their fork. Visit a farmer’s market, learn what grows locally, and learn to eat seasonally. If we could all just do a little more of this, the world would be a much healthier place.
This skillet cottage pie is the perfect Sunday dinner; whip up a batch on the weekend, eat up and freeze all of the leftovers for so many more delicious meals to come.
Skillet Cottage Pie
You can certainly make this skillet cottage pie recipe in a baking tray as well, I just think the skillet looks great and it dirties fewer dishes too!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Irish
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 4–5 large russet potatoes (750g), peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Begin by cooking the potatoes. In a large pot, bring water to a boil, add potatoes, and cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes can easily be pierced with fork.
- While the potatoes are boiling, begin on filling. In a skillet on medium heat, add oil and then add diced carrot and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add ground beef to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes until no longer red/pink, using a spoon to gently break up the meat as it cooks. Add in minced garlic, dried thyme and rosemary and cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Season meat mixture with salt and pepper and then add in Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, peas and broth. Stir into meat mixture to ensure everything is well combined. Turn up the heat to bring mixture to a gentle simmer and allow to cook 10-15 minutes until liquid is reduced and filling has thickened.
- While the filling is reducing, finish the mash potatoes. Strain boiled potatoes and return them to the pot with butter and chicken stock. (You can also use milk/cream but using chicken stock is a lighter way to make a really rich and creamy mashed potato.) Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes together for a creamy consistency, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the filling has reduced and thickened, remove it from the heat and cover it with the mash potatoes. Using a spoon or spatula add dollops of mashed potatoes to the top of the filling and then evenly spread it out across the mixture. (I like to use a fork to create a fun design in the mash potatoes, but this is totally optional.)
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes until golden on top and bubbling on the sides.
- Serve with your favourite green vegetables or salad.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 346 calories
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 91 grams
- Fiber: 38 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
Keywords: easy, healthy
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