I spy the ultimate pie!

Cottage pie with parsnip and potato mash

This family favourite uses leftover roast parsnips mashed up in the potato topping. If you don’t have any leftovers its worth boiling a few and adding them to the potatoes when you mash them – they add a lovely soft sweetness to the finished dish.

To make this recipe lactose free use a non-dairy margarine and soya milk in the mash.

  • Serves

    4 people
  • Time

    55 mins
I spy the ultimate pie!


  • For the filling:
  • 500g good quality beef mince
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced or grated
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Kallo Organic Beef Stock Pot, dissolved in 500ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Marmite
  • A shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the potato and parsnip mash:
  • 1kg floury potatoes, peeled and cut into equal-sized chunks
  • 400g roast parsnips, finely chopped (or peel and boil 400g parsnips to mash)
  • 50g butter
  • 50-75ml milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

This recipe uses either...

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How to make

  1. In a deep frying pan set over a medium-high heat, fry the mince in the olive oil until it starts to take on a little colour, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Don’t stir too often as the pan will cool down and the meat will sweat rather than fry.
  2. Reduce the heat a little and add the onions frying for about 10 minutes or so until they start to soften. Stir through the garlic and carrots and fry for another minute before pouring in the tomatoes and beef stock. Season with the herbs, Marmite, Worcestershire sauce and a little salt and pepper. Bring up to the boil, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer uncovered for about 50 minutes until thick and rich. Taste to check the seasoning, adding a little more if necessary.
  3. Whilst the mince is cooking, make the topping. Add the potatoes to a large pan and cover with cold water. Shake in a little salt and bring up to the boil, cooking for around 20 minutes until they are soft. Drain well, tip back into the pan and allow the steam to evaporate off for a few minutes. Mash thoroughly until all the lumps have gone, then add the chopped roast parsnips and mash together, getting it as smooth as possible. Set over a low heat and beat in the butter and just enough milk to soften it, seasoning with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Pour the filling into a baking dish and spoon dessert-spoonfuls of mash over the top. Use a fork to level and fluff up the surface, making sure the mince is completely covered. Slide under a preheated grill for a few minutes to crisp up the top before serving.

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