News, Culture & Society

Food: Cottage pie with pumpkin mash

Food: Cottage pie with pumpkin mash



  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp good olive oil
  • 2 slim carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 sticks celery heart trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano or marjoram leaves or 1 tbsp soft thyme leaves
  • 1kg good-quality minced beef
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped
  • tomatoes
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • sea salt and black pepper


  • 1.2kg pumpkin flesh trimmed weight
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter plus a knob for the top
  • freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 3 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • For the beef filling, heat the butter and oil in a medium pan over a medium heat, add the vegetables and herbs and fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and lightly coloured. Add the beef, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it changes colour. Add the remaining filling ingredients, bring to a simmer, then cook over a very low heat for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until nearly all the juices have been absorbed. Skim off any surface fat. Season the filling to taste and transfer it to a baking dish at least 2 litre capacity (for example measuring 20cm x 30cm). Preheat the oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 6½ .
  • For the mash, cut the prepped pumpkin into chunks, place in a large pan with a couple of centimetres of water and simmer over medium heat, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain in a sieve, press out the excess liquid, transfer to a large bowl and coarsely mash using a fork. Fold in the remaining mash ingredients one by one. Smooth the mash over the filling, sculpting the surface into rough peaks with a spoon.
  • Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Heat the grill to high, dot the pie with a little extra butter and pop under the grill briefly until the mash is golden at the tips.