Ultimate lighter cottage pie

screenshot_20170228-130226It’s National Pie Week!!! And one thing you gotta know about this food blogger – I LOVE PIE. Anyone that knows me, knows this! Any kinda pie – potato topped, pastry topped, sweet, savoury, hot, cold, individual, feed a family – I love it all.

But there’s no doubt it’s not too friendly on the waistline! This cottage pie is made a little lighter by way of turkey mince and using lots of lovely veggies to bulk out the filling.  I also use semi-skimmed milk in the mash – but you could add cream or full fat milk if you want. It’s a version of this tried and true recipe from BBC good food and never fails to hit the spot!!

Ok, I know, I know! There’s cheese on top – so it’s not totally virtuous, but you can easily omit that, or use a lighter version. I’m a sucker for cheese, so I used some delish mature cheddar #sorrynotsorry

I know most people know how to make a cottage pie – it’s not rocket science right? Sometimes I might use a packet sauce mix, sometimes a bisto and cornflour mix or on  occasion, I make it totally from scratch using red wine and beef stock as my sauce – and that’s exactly what I did here. There is a certain depth of flavour when it’s made this way that’s so comforting and moreish! It takes a little longer but it’s totally worth the effort!

Happy Pie Week!
  • 500 gms turkey mince
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 small onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 small glass of red wine
  • 500 mls beef stock (chicken would do)
  • A few shakes of worchestershire sauce
  • A bouquet garni (fresh herbs or teabag style will do)


  • 4-5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Large knob of butter
  • 200 mls semi-skimmed milk
  • 100 gms mature cheddar, grated
  1. Place the carrots and onion into a pot with a little olive oil and cook till softened – 5-10 mins on a medium heat.
  2. Add in the turkey mince and cook until it’s browned, then add in the crushed garlic, letting it fry for a minute.
  3. Put in the tomato puree and flour and give it a good stir around, mixing it in well – letting it cook for a minute.
  4. Pour in the red wine, followed by the stock and worchestershire sauce.
  5. Salt and pepper it well. Add in the bouquet garni.
  6. Allow it to come to the boil and simmer uncovered on a low-med heat for 30-45mins, until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Top up with water if it’s getting too thick.
  7. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan until tender. Drain them and allow them to steam dry in the pot.
  8. Mash well and add in the milk and butter. Season to taste.
  9. Pre heat the oven to 180-200 degrees fan.
  10. Place the mince into an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Then scatter over the grated cheese.
  11. Cook in the oven for 25 mins until the cheese is brown and bubbly!

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