Ground beef in a rich tasty gravy and topped with crispy tater tots make this easy cottage pie a must have for dinner!
Cottage pie is another recipe that falls under the comfort food category in life. Ground beef is cooked in a rich brown meaty gravy and usually topped with mashed potatoes. You'd be right if you noticed a similarity to shepherd's pie, but the difference is cottage pie is made with beef and shepherd's pie is made using ground lamb. Of course I decided to switch my pie up just a little and make things easier at the same time. Instead of using mashed potatoes for the topping, I decided to use tater tots. They're technically still potatoes but the crispiness gives them the edge over regular mash in my opinion.
Making this cottage pie recipe
With a few easy steps, this easy recipe is a great choice for dinner. It's also one that can be made ahead of time with all that needs to be done is to add the tater tots to the top and bake it in the oven. And less dishes are always better, that's why this is basically a one-pan recipe which begins by making a tasty base for the meat using red wine, beef broth and fresh herbs. Don't forget my secret ingredient which is soy sauce! This helps give an awesome deep flavor. I think you'll love this cottage pie recipe, and don't forget to try my shepherd's pie also!
FAQ's about this cottage pie recipe
Why is it called cottage pie? The recipe dates back to 18th century England where less fortunate people who lived in cottages would make this dish because potatoes were easy to come by.
Can cottage pie be frozen? Yes it can. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat warm in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes from frozen or the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
What size of pan do I need for this recipe? I'd recommend at least a ten-inch pan but a dutch oven pot would also work.
Do I need to thaw the tater tots before adding to the meat? No, the tater tots go straight from the freezer to the meat.
What can serve with cottage pie? Any green vegetable on the side will work such as broccoli for green beans. Some warm crusty bread and salty butter would also be fantastic to mop up any leftover gravy.
- To reheat leftovers, place the beef in a 350 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. A microwave can also be used for quickness but the tater tots won’t be as crispy.
- Switch out the ground beef for cauliflower and go for a lower barb version of cottage pie, or ground turkey for less fat.
- Add grated cheese for an extra indulgent version of cottage pie.
- This 9×13 inch pan will feed 6-8 people or 2 adults and 2 kids with leftovers for lunch the next day.
- If you prefer the cottage pie gravy a little thicker, combine 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 1 tbsp water and add to the meat as it simmers, stirring it in. This is optional.
- I like to use ground beef which is 70-30. This means it has 30% fat and is 70% lean. This is the cheapest type of ground beef but usually the most flavorful. Make sure to drain some of the fat from this recipe though or it can make the cottage pie gravy less thick and rich.