Cottage pie with bubble and squeak topping


3 medium potatoes (450g)

1 parsnip (optional)

1 carrot

1 onion

125g (5oz) Savoy or leafy green cabbage (optional)

250g (8oz) lean beef mince

1x 15ml spoon plain flour

1x 15ml spoon tomato purée

1x 15ml spoon Worcestershire sauce

1 reduced salt beef or vegetable stock cube

250ml boiling water

25ml semi-skimmed milk

Freshly ground black pepper


Vegetable peeler, vegetable knife, chopping board, 2 x saucepans, colander, kettle, measuring jug, potato masher, ovenproof dish.


1. Peel the potatoes and parsnips, if using, and cut into small chunks. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until soft.

2. Prepare the remaining vegetables:

  • peel and finely dice the carrot;
  • peel and finely dice the onion;
  • shred the cabbage.

3. Dry fry the beef with the onion and carrot in a non-stick saucepan until the mince is browned. Carefully drain off any excess liquid.

4. Stir in the flour, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce.

5. Make up the stock by dissolving the stock cube in the boiling water in a jug. Add this to the pan.  Bring to the boil and cook for 5-10 minutes until the carrots are just soft.

6. During the last 5 minutes of cooking the potatoes and parsnip, add the cabbage.

7. Once cooked, drain carefully and mash with a little milk and season with black pepper.

8. Transfer the mince to an ovenproof dish and spoon the bubble and squeak mash over the top.

Top tips:

  • Just wash, but don’t peel, the potatoes for increased fibre.
  • Use 1x 15ml spoon (1tbsp) of Greek or natural yogurt instead of milk when making the mash for added flavour.
  • Serve with fresh seasonal, local vegetables.


Why not use the Explore Food calculator, the British Nutrition Foundation's free online nutritional analysis programme, to calculate the nutritional information for this and other Food - a fact of life recipes?

Food skills:

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Cut, Chop, Slice, Dice & Trim
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Melt, simmer and boil
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Fry & Sauté
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Mix, Stir & Combine
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