Cottage pie recipe

Cottage Pie

Cottage pie recipe

A classic cottage pie recipe. Minced beef and gravy with a cheesy mashed potato topping that is baked in the oven. The only difference between cottage pie and Shepards pie is the meat. Cottage pie requires minced beef whereas Shepards pie requires minced lamb. You can use whichever meat you prefer.


Don’t be alarmed by the amount of stock required in this recipe. The reason a lot of stock is required is that this recipe is a two in one. In that it also provides a delicious gravy to be served alongside the cottage pie and who doesn’t like gravy.

Make Ahead

This recipe also can be made ahead of time and reheated later. After adding the cheesy mash topping allow to cool wrap with cling film and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to three days. Increase cooking time by 10 minutes and ensuring piping hot.


After topping with mash allow to cool. Wrap in cling film and another layer of tin foil. Use within 2 – 3 months. Thaw overnight in fridge and increase recipe cooking time by 10 – 15 minutes. Ensure piping hot within.

Winter Comfort Food

If like me at this time of year you are craving bolstering, comforting even soul soothing dishes then I’ve got you covered. I joke that you can tell the season by what is on my kitchen counter and the biggest give away is the slow cooker it never see the light of day in the summer but it makes up for it in the colder wintery months. It gets so much use, I use it for casserole and stews all the time like my oxtail stew and my Irish stew but also for puddings like my slow cooker sticky toffee pudding and jam pudding. Although, like with any dish that is cooked in the slow cooker there is a lot of waiting about but it can be extremely useful on days when the oven is in use like Sunday lunch time.

As always Happy Cooking!!

Below is a video of my favourite winter foods and below that even more of my go to winter comforts.

Chicken & Chorizo Orzo

Chicken & Chorizo Orzo

Chorizo often creeps its way into my comfort food and go to recipe for a couple of reason one is its long shelf life I always have a couple stashed in the fridge and the other is because I simply adore its flavour and the flavour it imparts on any dish it is cooked with. For example, the flavour it can bring to a simple pan-fried chicken breast is phenomenal. Simply chop the chorizo warm it through in a dry pan until it releases those flavoursome orange tinted oils, remove from the pan then fry a butterflied chicken breast seasoned simply with salt & pepper in the oil until cooked through. Top with cheddar cheese and pop under a hot grill to melt the cheese. Yum!  

This brings me to my chicken & chorizo orzo which is the type of bolstering comfort food I love. The orzo gets all sticky and gives the whole dish a velvety texture, the chorizo gives bright bold flavour and the chicken cooks in the steam released from the whole dish and the skin in the final 15 minutes in the oven with the lid off makes the skin really crisp up and bronze. Truely comfort food at its best. It also helps that it is very easy on the washing up. Check out the recipe below. 

Christmas recipes

Christmas: The Countdown

It has been a long and dark year. One which most of us will be glad to see over and look forward to a brighter 2021. I feel it is the lack of celebrations through 2020 that are making me feel so strongly that this years Christmas celebrations will be more important than ever. Christmas has always been an important event, at least to me, anyways. It breaks up and brings brightness to the bleak mid winter, something which I feel we all need amped up this year. There is a Danish and Norwegian word that sums up the feeling of the seasonal period perfectly and that hygge. It is a word used to express feelings of comfort, coziness and contentness. These are all the feelings that these cold dark nights bestow upon me. I love the coziness of a cold dark night, the house illuminated with fairy lights and the flicker of tea light candles as wind, rain, snow or sometimes even a combination of all three pelt the windows and of course a bowl of something soul soothing and comforting to eat from a bowl on the couch.

This year from today the 11/12/2020 the recipe of the day will be a festive recipe on the countdown to Christmas. These recipes will look at side dishes to accompany the main feast, cozy recipes on the lead up to the big day, sweet treats and snacks and of course all those other eating opportunities in between.

Below are just a few of the recipes available in the Christmas recipes section.

My top 3 Valentines Recipes…

I think the most important factors for valentines recipes is that they are quick, easy and light on the washing up, not that the washing up should be a factor on Valentine’s Day. It can be taken care of tomorrow.

First recipe up is what I call my date steak. One Steak can feed two generously. A lush juicy steak is given a quick fry then rest in the salad dressing, where it oozes some of it meaty flavor into the dressing whilst also taking on some of the flavors of the dressing. The steak gets sliced finely and then strewn over a messy tangle of salad. Delicious and only moments of work. Steak is always a real treat and even though this recipe takes very little time to make you would never know it. It is a quick feast.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Again, another quick and easy meal and of course you can have your lady and the tramp moment with this dish. It takes longer to eat than it does to make. By the time your pasta has cooked everything else will be ready to go.

If you want to get ahead of the cooking then try this Fabulous dessert, strawberries in Prosecco jelly. I make this in champagne saucers and it really just looks like a glass of champagne. It is a gently set jelly, the Prosecco retains the bubbles so the jelly has the most gentle light tingle in your mouth as you eat. To vamp it up even more for your loved one, whip some cream gently, scoop out a passion fruit and fold through the softly whipped cream.Dollop spoonfuls of the cream as you eat your jelly. I laugh at the cheesiness but I call this ‘’Quivering with passion jellies’’ and I think it sums up this day perfectly.

toad in the hole with onion gravy

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy

Toad in the hole is among one of my favourite cosy and comforting meals. It’s easy and quick. The oven does most of the work, it is a dish I do when I need cosyness and it is for this reason I came up with the easy simplified onion gravy. When I need the comforting, this dish instils I do not want to be standing over the stove for 20 – 30 minutes making an onion gravy, so since the oven is on anyways I put it to use a caramelise my onions in a pan with beef stock and vermouth meaning that I only have to thicken the gravy on the hob for a few minutes and slip off the onion skin and roughly but finely chop the sweet caramelised onions.

You can of course use red wine in place of the vermouth but, I always have a bottle of vermouth in the kitchen it prevents me needing to open a bottle of wine every time I need some.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas for the ultimate comforting experience.

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Chicken Pot au Feu

Chicken pot au feu, what can I say a bowl of this is comforting soothing and the sort of nursery food I want to eat when I feel under the weather. It is more soothing than a hug from a loved one. Deliciously sweet soft stewed vegetables with the mellow golden chicken broth is heaven. One pot cooking that requires little work is perfect when in this mood. I cook this so often and every time I do it changes a little depending on what I have in the house as with all stews and recipes in general this is a basic blue print chop and change it to make it your own.

What is your favourite dish to replenish when feel under the weather?