Annabel Karmel’s multi-layered Cottage Pie

Another recipe from Annabel Karmel’s book 100 Family Meals. I have cooked many dishes from this handy little book and each one has been successful (meaning the kids ate it!). This one is super healthy as it contains so many vegetables, an amazing 9 different types if I’ve counted correctly! It also works as a vegetarian dish using Puy lentils or soya mince instead of the beef . I like to make it with half mince, half lentils as a lighter dish. My other tip would be to double the portions and freeze half for a quick meal.

Cottage Pie – Makes 6 portions


(To speed up the preparation you can buy packs of ready prepared carrot/swede and even potato if you are feeling really lazy!)

250g swede and 200g carrots, peeled and chopped
a generous knob of margarine
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
100g leek, finely chopped
100g red pepper, finely chopped
500g minced beef
150g button mushrooms, diced
4 medium tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 beef stock cube dissolved in 300ml boiling water
salt and black pepper
200g frozen peas, cooked
700g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
55g margarine
salt and a little white pepper
1 beaten egg

● Boil the carrots and swede in lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until tender and then whizz in a food processor with the margarine and a little seasoning until smooth.
● Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion and leek for 4 minutes, add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes.
● Add the minced beef and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sauté for 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes.
● Stir in the tomato puree, sugar, herbs and stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste.
● Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Return the potatoes to the empty saucepan and mash together with margarine, salt and pepper until smooth.
● Place the carrots in the base of a glass ovenproof dish (approximately 18cm diameter x 7.5 cm deep). Arrange the meat on top, then cover with a layer of cooked peas and top with a layer of potato.
● Brush the potato with the egg and cook under the grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until the top is browned.


My name is Caroline Sutton and I'm a wife and mother of 3 children, passionate about food, keeping me and my family healthy, gorgeous interiors and shopping! I have a degree in Biochemistry and Pharmacology and continue to be interested in the science behind diet and drugs. I also have a Diploma and City and Guilds in Interior Design and for the last 17 years have run a property company which develops, redevelops and manages rental properties: Sunlight Properties Ltd.

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