Riverford Wicked Leeks
Beef and lentil cottage pie recipe image

Print Beef and lentil cottage pie

Cheap and comforting cottage pie began as an improvised dish for using up the last of the Sunday roast. There's no need to be exact about quantities; you could also add odds and ends of root veg in the filling, or include some parsnip or celeriac in the mashed potato topping. Either go down the route of scooping this out of one large bake, or, if you have suitable oven proof dishes, you can make individual pies and knock a few minutes off the cooking time.


  • 1kg potatoes, peeled & roughly diced
  • Large knob of butter
  • Splash milk
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 3 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped or crushed
  • 500g beef mince
  • 250ml red wine (optional, or use more beef stock)
  • 250-300ml beef stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin cooked lentils, rinsed & drained
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, drain. Add butter and milk and mash well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste. Keep to one side.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion or shallots and fry for a few minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add the beef mince and fry until browned. Add the red wine, stock, thyme, bay leaves, tomato puree and salt and pepper to season. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add a little more stock if needed. Place the mixture in an ovenproof baking dish.
  5. Top with the potato mash. Spread the mash over the meat to cover and fork it into little peaks to help it crisp up. Bake in the oven until the top is golden, about 15-20 minutes.
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