Though I wish I could be making Sheppard’s pie, the lack of affordable lamb mince means that a cottage pie is a more likely and more affordable option.


  • 3 tbsp. veg oil (split between cooking stages)
  • 2-3 rashers bacon (diced)
  • 500 g. beef mince
  • 1 can 4 bean mix ((optional) drained )
  • salt
  • 2-4 onions (finely diced (use more to stretch out dish))
  • 2-3 carrots (finely diced)
  • 2 celery stalks (finely diced)
  • 1 cauliflower head (break apart into bite sized pieces (optional))
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1.5 cup red wine
  • 2 cup beef stock (low salt)
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. thyme leaves


  • 1 large bowl potatoes (or sweet potatoes) (washed, peeled, quartered (about 3 large sweet potatoes or 5-7 reg potatoes))
  • salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 100 g. butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp. sour cream
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook Filling

    1. Heat cast-iron skillet over med-high and fry off bacon in a 1tbsp of oil, stirring often for 5-8min until browed and crisp.
    2. Add in beef mince, breaking apart, and stirring occasionally, allowing to brown for about 4min.
    3. (Optional) add strained can of 4 bean mix and let warm through.
    4. Use a slotted spoon to remove everything into a bowl and set it aside.
    5. In the same skillet, add anouther tbsp of oil and then fry off the onions, carrots and celery for 10-12 min (until soft and slightly browned)
    6. (Optional) add in bite-sized cauliflower and stir through.
    7. Add tomato paste, flour and stir through, allowing to cook out for 2min.
    8. Add red wine and deglaze the skillet (scrape brown bits from the pan) and cook out until the alcohol smell goes away (3-4min).
    9. Add stock and herbs, then stirring occasionally, allow to simmer and thicken into a gravy. Should take about 15-20minutes.
    10. Transfer to your baking dish (or separate into multiple dishes as required)

Potato topping

  1. Either boil or microwave the potatoes until a knife can easily pass through them.
  2. Strain and let steam dry while you take a piece at a time and use your potato masher and … mash. As you mash, add some salt to taste.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 deg C
  4. Once complete, let it cool for a couple of minutes while in a separate bowl mix the milk, eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  5. Once the potatoes have cooled to no more than warm, pour the milk mix in and mix completely. Add black pepper and adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. If using multiple containers measure out the required amount of potato onto the filling and smooth down.
  7. (Alternative) Using an icing bag and nozzle, create a decorative pattern with the potato on top of the filling. The more grooves the better as they become extra crispy.
  8. Finally, using a fork, drag it across the potato topping forming grooves down the entire length across the entire top. (Add cheese if you feel like it)
  9. Bake pie until the filling starts to bubble around the edges and the potato is crispy golden brown. (40min or so)
  10. If baking another day, cover and chill in the fridge. On the day you are cooking, take from the fridge a couple of hours before cooking to allow it to get close to room temp. (only store in the fridge for 3-4 days)