Cottage Pie Recipe

Posted on 5 October 2022

COOK meals are perfect for when you fancy a night off cooking … something even the most passionate home cook needs now and again. But how do our prices compare with making it yourself?

We followed our recipe for two for Cottage Pie at home and found it was more expensive getting the ingredients from the supermarket.

We based this on checking Sainsbury’s online ingredient prices in October 22 and now we have updated to most recent prices in February 22, for a two portion recipe. We didn't include ingredients we had in the fridge or kitchen cupboard (including any alcohol) and used the smallest available amounts of what we needed.

Our shopping list for the recipe below included:  minced beef, 1 onion, 1 carrot, celery, tomato puree, redcurrant jelly, beef stock, thyme, potatoes, parsley and chives. Everything else we had already,

If you'd prefer to make it yourself, our recipe for a 2 portion is below.  As freezer connoisseurs we'd always recommend batch cooking for the absolute best value recipe - scroll to the end for some tips.

Cottage Pie Recipe


  • 1 tsp Rapeseed or olive oil
  • 250g Minced Beef (12% Fat)
  • 1/3 Onion
  • 1 Small carrot
  • 1 Celery stick
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tsp Plain flour
  • 1 tsp Tomato purée
  • 1 tsp Redcurrant jelly
  • 70 ml Red wine
  • 170 ml Beef stock
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp Chopped thyme
  • 350g Potatoes
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 15g Butter
  • ½ tsp Chopped parsley
  • ½ tsp Chopped chives



STEP 1. Heat a large saucepan and fry beef mince until browned and set aside (no need to add oil as the beef contains enough fat).

STEP 2. Put 1 tbsp oil into the pan, add the finely chopped onion, chopped carrot and celery and cook on a gentle heat until soft (approx. 20 mins). Add 1 finely chopped garlic cloves, 2 tsp plain flour and 1 tsp tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then return the beef to the pan.

STEP 3. Pour over a large glass of red wine, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the 170ml beef stock, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp Redcurrant jelly and the chopped thyme.

STEP 4. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. Check after about 20 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season to taste.

STEP 5. Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the 350g potatoes which you've peeled and chopped, in salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the 15g of butter. Stir through the egg yolk until fully incorporated, then season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.

STEP 6. Spoon the meat into a large ovenproof dish. Gently spoon on the mash to cover. Sprinkle on the cheese and herb topping. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden.


Batch it up!

To save money, batch cooking is the way forward – it’s essentially why we can make recipes cheaper than you can at home.

With a bit of forethought, the right kit, space in the freezer and a few hours set aside, you can batch cook yourself by scaling up the quantities above.

A few tips:

  • Clean COOK fish pie trays can be really useful. Make your portion, freeze in the tray, then, once frozen, pop out and wrap in cling film to store (or, if you have lots of trays, just store in the tray).
  • To reheat from frozen, pop the frozen block into one of our ceramic dishes and cook at about 170C until piping hot.


Shop Cottage Pie

Shop Great Value COOK Nights

10% OFF

Sign up to our newsletter and we'll email you a voucher code for 10% off your first online order