Great British Dish - Cottage Pie with Porter Ale

There's nothing quite like a good old Great British dish, and cottage pie is perfect for this icy cold weather we've been having - cottage pie is also the ultimate comfort food.  My addition of Porter ale adds richness and depth of flavour.

I've been cooking up all sorts lately in my nice STOVES oven and I love how it cooks everything so evenly.  No turning food around to get it evenly browned (as I had to in my old oven) my Stoves Sterling 600MF oven gives a perfect result every time.

STOVES is proud to be part of Glen Dimplex Home Appliances, the only manufacturer that builds freestanding cookers, built-in ovens, hobs and range cookers right here in the UK.

Print Recipe

To Serve 4:
a large pie dish
olive oil
500g good quality (low fat) minced beef
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a sprig of thyme
1 x 400g good quality tinned tomatoes including their juice
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
2 teaspoons of Coleman's English mustard
300ml of Whitechapel Porter Ale
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 x Knorr chicken stock cube
3 large carrots chopped and cooked
sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the Potato Topping:
1 kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward, peeled and roughly cubed
70g butter a handful of grated Cheddar, plus extra for the top of the pie
1 egg yolk

How to do it:
Get yourself a large frying pan and add a thin layer of olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic and cook over a low to medium heat until nice and soft but not coloured.  
Now turn the heat up and add the mince.  Season with black pepper and fry while stirring, until nicely browned.

Throw in the sprig of thyme and the tomato puree and mustard cook whilst stirring for just a minute.
Add the Porter Ale and Worcestershire sauce bring to the boil and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. 
Now add the tomatoes including their juice.  Crumble in the Knorr stock cube and stir until it's dissolved.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 20-25 minutes, by which time the mixture should be lovely and thick and glossy.  You may need to add a little more liquid and if so add a little water.  Have a taste and adjust the seasoning - you may need a little sea salt.  Once done remove from the heat and discard the sprig of thyme.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F or Gas 4

Meanwhile, add the potatoes to a pan of salted water, bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain and return to the hot pan for 15 seconds or so, to dry out, then take off the heat.
Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer back into the pan or mash smoothly. Mix through the butter, cheese and egg yolk.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Put the cooked carrots into the bottom of the dish and then put the mince mixture on top.

Spoon the mashed potato on top and rough up the surface with a fork.  Grate over some extra cheese and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until bubbling and golden brown.  If you happen to have any left over you can can of course freeze it.

 Read my review of the STOVES Sterling 600MF multi function oven.


  1. Why have I never thought of adding ale to cottage pie? Occasionally I add wine, but ale is a far more British addition!

  2. This sounds like an incredibly flavourful dish! My FIL would absolutely love this. Sending to my MIL!

  3. This looks like a really comforting dish. I wish it was my lunch!


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