Cottage Pie and Everything Nice

Not too long ago J and I spent a weekend at the family lake house with my parents and their friends. The husband of the couple hails from London, England so every time we see him we always ask him about life on the British isle. Food, history, accents, soccer- there isn't a topic untouched. 

The got on the topic of English food one conversation and Shepherd's Pie came up. I have always been intimidated of this meal and chicken pot pies. I thought they were complicated to make and required a good bit of time. Boy, was I wrong! 

Have you made Shepherd's Pie before? Was it with minced meat or lamb? If you made it with lamb, then you are corrected. You, indeed, made Shepherd's Pie. If you made it with ground beef, did you know you actually made Cottage Pie?

It's true. Ian shared with us the difference. Although, I really enjoy lamb, I had all the ingredients for Cottage Pie in my fridge so we opted for that instead. Stacy recommended that we follow the recipe on the back of the Colman's Shepherd's Pie seasoning packet, so that's what we did. 

If you're a "meat and potatoes" kinda of person, then this is going to be right up your alley. Who said English food was bad?

Cottage Pie


  • 1 packet of Colman's Shepherd's Pie seasoning mix
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 2/3 cup of cold water
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2/3 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 lbs of cooked mashed potatoes


1. Preheat the oven to 390 degrees. Brown the meat and onions in a large pan. Once the meat is browned and onions are tender, drain the excess fat. 

2. Blend the contents of the seasoning packet with water and stir well. Then, stir into meat mixture. Add carrots & peas.

3. Bring to boil, stirring continuously. Then, transfer to an ovenproof dish. 

4. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Serve.

Let me explain why our cottage pie looks a little scarce of potatoes. We used one bag of Ore Ida's frozen mashed potatoes, which, in my opinion, was plenty. However, I think if we had put it in a different sized dish, we would have more potatoes to go around. I used a 9x13x baking dish, but I would suggest using one with less surface space so the potatoes cover it all.