Lightly Spiced Veal Cottage Pie


Growing up I had 2 favourite dinners, roast and cottage pie. My sister and I had to take it in turns with mince as she liked lasagne and I like cottage pie. I must say as you get older your palate changes and I tend to like stronger flavour’s so Paulie has mastered the spicing in this perfectly. You get warmth from the spices and Worcester sauce, richness from the red wine and depth from adding the tomato puree. It’s not going too far, in that it is an Indian pie by using garam masala or even a Caribbean pie with sweet potato topping (though we do have this too and it is yum). It’s more like a traditional one which we have boosted. We like to use veal mince as it has a bit more texture but beef mince is just as good. I love a big bowl mid week when it is chilly outside. Looking back at past photos, Paulie and I were down the beach in 2011 at this time of year but as the weather here is still cold at the moment, I think the winter warmer dishes are going to continue for quite a bit longer yet.


  • 500g of Beef or Veal mince
  • 2 medium onions – chopped
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp of Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp of Curry Powder
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 100 ml of red wine
  • 200 ml of beef stock
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large potatoes


1. Brown the meat in a large frying or sauté pan
2. Drain the mixture through a sieve to remove the excess fat from the mince and set aside
3. In the same pan as you browned the meat in, add the oil and cook the onions until soft and translucent
4. Add the mince back into the pan with any resting juices and set the heat to medium
5. Next add the Coriander, Cumin and Curry powders and stir thoroughly to combine, the mixture will be quite dry but do not worry.
6. Now add the tins of tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, stock and Worcestershire sauce and give it all a good stir
7. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan and then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 1 hour
8. Switch on the oven and set to 180 degrees Centigrade
9. Now you can make the mashed potatoes
10. Peel and cut each potato into quarters and boil in water until you can put a knife through each piece without any resistance
11. Strain the potatoes and then mash. We use a Potato Riser to do this which is much better than mashing as there are no lumps!
12. Add a small knob of butter and a dash of milk to the potatoes and combine to form a silky mixture
13. Remove the lid from the meat mixture after 1 hour and check the consistency. If is too watery leave the lid off and simmer for another 10 minutes
14. Put the mixture into an oven proof casserole dish and then pile over the mashed potato and smooth using a fork
15. Grate some cheese over the top and then cook in the oven for about 35 minutes until the top is golden

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