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Cottage Pie

Cottage pie, or shepherd's pie is the ultimate comfort food.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium leek, white only, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • 1/2 cup milk, heated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut in pea-size piece


Melt butter in large, heavy pot. (As always, a Dutch oven is good.) Cook onions, leek, carrots and celery over low heat until soft, about 15 minutes. While that is cooking, sauté ground beef with oil in a frying pan, breaking up any large pieces with a wooden spoon.

When beef has lost its red color, drain excess fat, and add to vegetables. Pour in chicken broth. Mix in tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and turn into a baking dish.

Bake in preheated 350° F oven for 10 minutes.

Put potatoes through a ricer or a food mill. Stir in milk, butter and grated nutmeg.

Take pie from oven and stir in peas. Spread the mashed potatoes on top, forming swirls with a fork. Dot with diced butter bits and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Serves 6 - 8

Time is a good storyteller - Irish Proverb

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Contributor: Mary Merz for Theresa Farrell

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